Keep Akron Beautiful Volunteers to Judge at APS Science Fair

by Cindy Pantea

Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) volunteers are gearing up to judge for the 59th Annual Akron Public Schools (APS) 2015 Science, Math, and Technology Expo scheduled for Saturday, January 24, 2015, at North High School (NHS).

environmental science

Image courtesy of franky242 at

These volunteer judges are looking forward to viewing the science projects of the competing elementary, middle and high school science students that address issues covered in the Greenprint for Akron sustainability goals and climate change strategies outlined for the government and the community.

This is the kind of learning that sprouts ideas of alternative energies, such as solar panels, and/or makes young minds appreciate the environment and nature so that they have knowledge of the science behind how to grow flowers and trees as well as food bearing trees and plants.

Judges for the Akron Public Schools Science Fair

The KAB volunteer judges for 2015 are:

  • Katie Dye of Akron’s GOJO Industries – a 2013 Summit of Sustainability Awards winner. Katie is also a Board Member of Keep Akron Beautiful.
  • Kevin Lockett of Lockett Media. Kevin is both a Keep Akron Beautiful Board Member and a member of the Summit of Sustainability Awards committee.
  • Cindy Pantea of Keep Akron Beautiful. Cindy also sits on The Summit of Sustainability Awards committee.
  • Carl Safreed, P.E. (Head Judge) of Canton City Health Department’s Air Pollution Control Division.

Keep Akron Beautiful is always excited to be a part of this expo, as this is the only science fair in the area that offers monetary prizes for first, second and third place sustainability project winners, who will receive $250, $100 and $50 respectively. Winning prize money comes from the agency’s Greenprint for Akron budget. The volunteer time, judging expertise and prize money is just one small portion of our proud agency’s educational environmental programming.

Last Year’s APS Science Fair Winners

This is a big event with various Akron news affiliates reporting the results of winning projects. On February 27, 2014, did a story for last year’s event, which I’ve shared with you here.

Last year’s winners for Greenprint for Akron projects were:

    • Grace Julien, a seventh-grader at the National Inventors Hall of Fame® School … Center for STEM Learning, who received the Greenprint for Akron $250 First Place award for her project, under the supervision of Coach Christine Justiss, called “Roof Top Temperatures.”
    • Conner Mullins, also a seventh-grader at the National Inventors Hall of Fame® School … Center for STEM Learning, received the $100 Second Place Greenprint award for his project, also under the supervision of Coach Christine Justiss, called “The Effects of Aquaponics, Sand and Soil on Plants.”
    • David Smethers, a senior at Ellet High School, received the $50 Third Place Greenprint Akron award for his project, under direction of teacher Joseph DeAngelis, called “Water — What Are You Paying For?

Again we are excited for what the students and their instructors have in store for us.

Thank you to our wonderful agency donors and sponsors who make programs like this possible for the younger generation who are learning about responsible environmental management, an education that not only benefits our community but our world.

If you would like to donate to 2015 programming, we invite you to donate online today.

Check Out Volunteer Opportunities

by Cindy Pantea

If you have made a New Year’s resolution to do a volunteer activity this year, you may want to check out Keep Akron Beautiful’s volunteer information page to access the 2015 Volunteer Done-In-A-Day opportunities.

From participating in a litter survey to assisting with KAB’s annual volunteer Adopt-A-Site clinic to doing a cleanup activity as part of Clean Up Akron Month, you are sure to find something that you alone or a group with which you are affiliated can do.

Just print, fill out and return your Done-In-A-Day opportunities form to Keep Akron Beautiful, 850 E. Market St., Akron, OH 44305. If you do not have computer access, call us at 330.375.2116 option 1, and we will mail a volunteer packet to you.

Volunteering with Keep Akron Beautiful is a great way to help your Akron neighborhood and community. Fill out your Done-In-A-Day form and return to us today!

Other Ways to Volunteer and Keep Akron Beautiful

litter pickup keeps akron beautiful

Image courtesy of m_bartosch at

If our Done-In-A-Day opportunities are not feasible for your calendar, there are other ways to volunteer within your community and keep Akron beautiful. Here are some ideas:

  1. While taking your dog for a walk or walking to a friend’s house, take a trash bag and pick up litter along the way.
  2. Offer to shovel snow from an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk.
  3. Get a group of folks from your church or neighborhood who would be willing to do a spring cleanup for an elderly neighbor or do a community garden.
  4. Do a report on litter prevention, recycling, Arbor Day, graffiti prevention or something else environmental and contact us so we can put your findings on our social media outlets to help increase awareness.

As it states on Wikipedia, volunteering is an activity that promotes goodness and can help improve quality of life. While you give of your time and do not receive financial gain, volunteering can increase your self respect because of helping your community.

What will you do for your community in 2015?