It was a rapid fire education event that promised more nights to come at Vermillion’s first Pecha Kucha.
Pecha Kucha is an international event where speakers present their ideas and lifestyles to communities in a fast-paced format. The events have 10 speakers who move through 20 presentation slides at a rate of 20 seconds a slide.
The April 23 event night drew a crowd of about 30 students, faculty and community members to the Pit Lounge of the Muenster University Center as a part of a weeklong series of events celebrating Earth Day.
The presenters included students, faculty and other members of the community who presented on a variety of topics including appreciating the Missouri River, Spirit Mound and an education presentation on bicycles. Each speaker framed their subject within the context of sustainability and Earth Day.
Sustainability Club co-president Emily Roberson was the first speaker of the night. Roberson presented on the idea of introducing ecoliterary to elementary school students through the hands on activity of creating and maintaining a garden.
“Schools are where we start developing a value for sustainability,” Roberson said.
Roberson said gardening is an interdisciplinary study because it can incorporate topics such as math, working in a group and science. Students can keep a journal about the garden and draw pictures of plants and seeds.
“It teaches us the value of nutrition, healthy eating and where our food comes from,” Roberson said.
The Missouri River was the focus of Grace Freeman and Jarett Bies’ presentations. Freeman spearheads the yearly River Appreciation Day which brings in sixth graders to Clay County Park to learn about the river and participate in activities such as boat building and racing. Bies focused on how kayaking down the river is an ever-changing experience and how kayaking provides the individual with a sense of solidarity.
Speakers Norma and Jerry Wilson shared the experience of building their geo-solar home that is built into a hill and maximizes winter solar gain while minimizing the summer heat. Their home includes a greenhouse and has saved them about $45,000 in heating costs within about 30 years.
Jonah Wonnenberg also shared his way of life. Wonnenberg spoke about Spirit Mound Creek Ranch and how he built a chicken tractor, a small, movable coop.
Susan Heggestad focused on how art can be used to promote the idea of sustainability.