To Conserve and Protect

West ninth grader advances to nationals in poster competition

By Hannah Bensen, Editor in Chief

Ally Klug spent three hours a night for two weeks working out every detail of her conservation poster.

The art piece was for the Conservation Poster Contest, a nationwide competition that aims to promote awareness of the environment and conservation among young Americans. The hard work paid off for the West Bend West High School ninth grader, as she received first place at the local and state levels and has advanced to the national level of competition in the division for grades 7-9. Klug has yet to find out if she placed at nationals.

“I thought it was really fun because I usually don’t do stuff like that,” Klug said about the contest. “Not enough people are aware of these issues, and they should know how important keeping our environment is.”

Three other West Bend students received recognition for combining their passion for art and science in the contest. Alina Prahl, Hunter Schutz, and Austin Gripentrog received first, second, and third, respectively, in the local level of competition for grades 10-12.

“This particular opportunity appealed to me because it was art-based, which is something I’m very interested in,” said Prahl, a junior at East High School. “Plus it’s for a good cause, it’s raising awareness for conservation.”

The four students received trophies, art materials, and gift cards as a prize. Their posters were also published in the 2017 Conservation Poster Contest calendar. Both the contest and the calendar are sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts.

“I’m really happy that I worked so hard on something and it was able to be published,” Klug said.

“I thought it was really fun because I usually don’t do stuff like that.”
– Ally Klug, West ninth grader

Submitted at the local level of competition were 214 posters for grades kindergarten through 12th grades. The posters were evaluated based on visual effectiveness, originality, universal appeal, and how well they conveyed the message of the contest. The theme this year was “Healthy Soils are Full of Life.”

“The quality of the posters were awesome,” said Stephanie Egner, the organizer and one of the judges of the local level of competition. “Once the judging gets to the state level, it is very hard to choose the best to represent Wisconsin. There was a lot of thought regarding plants, crops, and wildlife and how all these tie together and need healthy soil.”

Environmental science teacher Paul DeLain, who encourages his students to participate in the contest every year, was pleased that West Bend had so many talented students that chose to further their learning through the contest.

“Science in high school is required to graduate, but there are definitely people in the classroom that are using the other side of their brain, the art side, not the science side,” DeLain said. “So this is an opportunity for them to make a connection to science.”

(Image: Ally Klug, Hunter Schultz, and Alina Prahl, left to right, pose April 3 with their award-winning posters. Photograph by Hannah Bensen, Editor in Chief. Click to enlarge.)

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