Students created videos, websites and social media channels to promote New Jersey’s wildlife
by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager
First Place Winner David Tattoni’s video “Plover Biologist”
On Thursday, October 1, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and sponsor PSEG celebrated and recognized the winners of the 2015 Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest, a statewide educational contest with a S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) focus for New Jersey high school students.
“Too often, we worry that technology has made the youngest generation lose touch with the world around them. Yet these four promising individuals are instead connecting all of us with nature through their expertise with modern technology,” said David Wheeler, Executive Director, Conserve Wildlife Foundation. “Their innate skills, boundless creativity, and inspiring enthusiasm help make the wonders of New Jersey’s wildlife come to life online – and help so many others understand why it’s so vital to protect that wildlife.”
The Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest invited students to submit an original video, digital graphic design, webpage, or other multimedia project showing why wildlife protection is important in New Jersey. The contest showcased high school students’ interest in new media technologies, as well as their talent, creativity, and love of nature.
- David Tattoni, a senior at Peddie School from Princeton won first place in the contest and was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for his YouTube channel featuring rare wildlife, like piping plovers, a state endangered beach nesting bird, and wild places in New Jersey.
- Victoria Momyer and Priyanshi Jain, both seniors at Biotechnology High School in Freehold shared second place and the $500 scholarship prize for the development of the website “New Jersey Wilds” and their accompanying Facebook page.
- Kayleigh Young, a junior at Cresskill High School in Cresskill was awarded a $250 scholarship for her Vimeo video “Endangered in New Jersey.”
The Species on the Edge 2.0 Multimedia Contest scholarships were made possible by sponsor PSEG.
“PSEG is proud to support our next generation of leaders in using modern technology to better connect with the environment around us,” said Lisa Gleason, program officer, PSEG Foundation. “Through projects like Species on the Edge 2.0, PSEG’s corporate sustainability leadership continues to benefit innovative educational and environmental programs across New Jersey.”
“My career goal is to be a wildlife biologist. I love birding, herping [studying reptiles and amphibians], and looking for rare plants. I like to photograph and film wildlife. I also really enjoy doing conservation work,” explained first place winner David Tattoni. “As you could tell from my video I spent a lot of time this summer working with piping plovers and I would love to do similar work protecting endangered birds for the rest of my life.”
Since 2003, over 10,000 children from across New Jersey have entered Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s Species on the Edge educational contests. The contests are a great way to engage and excite students into learning about New Jersey’s over 80 endangered and threatened wildlife species.
Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.