Champion Crowned in 2021 Junior Solar Sprint

Solar Sprint Winner Aarushi Nayak

Middle School Students Compete in Virtual Event

A Middletown home school student earned the title of 2021 Junior Solar Sprint champion in a virtual competition held Friday.

Each year, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control teams up with the Delaware Technology Student Association for the event. Middle school students work with classmates and teacher advisors over several months to build model cars powered by solar photovoltaic cells, better known as solar panels.

“As we continue to move toward cleaner, renewable energy sources, the competition provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate how we can meet our future energy needs,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Seeing how your design stacks up against others from around the state is a fun and educational experience that students can learn and grow from.”

This year the competition was altered from past events in that, in addition to designing their solar vehicles, students had to construct a track to competition specifications and record their best times in a video presentation that was also part of the judging.

“Every year we are amazed by the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the students in the Junior Solar Sprint,” said Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy Director Dayna Cobb. “But this year was more impressive by the requirements for the virtual event.”

The Junior Solar Sprint encourages students to engage in problem-solving, teamwork and creative scientific thinking to take on environmental challenges.

Students received points for project portfolios, video presentations of their work, overall design and fastest speed in a timed run. The team accumulating the most points wins and has an opportunity to represent Delaware against other students from around the country in the national TSA conference, which is being held virtually this summer.

In addition to one homeschool team and a team of remote learners, student from Milford Central Academy, Cab Calloway, Postlethwait Middle School, HB duPont and Gauger-Cobbs participated in this year’s virtual event.

Competition Results

The all-around winners for combined speed, design, video and portfolio presentations were:

  • 1st place: Middletown homeschool student Aarushi Nayak
  • 2nd place: Gauger-Cobbs
  • 3rd place: Sussex Academy

Top results from the timed run competition included:

  • 1st place: Gauger-Cobbs
  • 2nd place: Sussex Academy
  • 3rd place: HB duPont

Top results from the design competition included:

  • 1st place: Middletown homeschool student Aarushi Nayak
  • 2nd place: Gauger-Cobbs
  • 3rd place: Sussex Academy

Top results from the video presentation included:

  • 1st place: Milford Central Academy
  • 2nd place: Sussex Academy
  • 3rd. place: Middletown homeschool student Aarushi Nayak

Top results from the portfolio competition:

  • 1st place: Middletown homeschool student Aarushi Nayak
  • 2nd place: Milford Central Academy
  • 3rd place: Cab Calloway

The 2021 Virtual Junior Solar Sprint sponsors include Chesapeake Utilities, Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility and the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation.

Visit the program web page for more information on the Junior Solar Sprint, or to watch a recording of the virtual competition.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov, Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov

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Delaware Waterfowl and Trout Stamp Art Winners Announced

Just days after capturing his second Federal Duck Stamp contest, renowned Delaware wildlife artist Richard Clifton of Milford also won the state waterfowl stamp art contest. Judges selected his painting of a Mallard hen and drake to grace the 2021/22 Delaware stamp. In the 2021 Delaware Trout Stamp art contest, newcomer Dennis Arp of Culbertson, Neb., took the top prize with his painting of a brown trout.

The annual stamp art competition drew 21 entries for the 2021/22 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and 18 entries for the 2021 Trout Stamp. The Waterfowl Stamp contest specified that submitted artwork must include a Mallard duck. Trout Stamp artwork entries could depict a rainbow, brown or brook trout. Both contests are sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

As the 2021/22 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp winner, Richard Clifton receives a $2,500 prize and 150 artist’s proofs of the limited edition print series of his first-place entry. Clifton, who resides on a historic family farm in the Milford area near Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, is an avid hunter and self-taught wildlife artist who works in acrylics with waterfowl among his favorite subjects. He has painted 52 winning duck stamps, including nine Delaware Waterfowl Stamps, the 1996 Australian Duck Stamp, the 2007/08 Federal Duck Stamp and most recently, the 2021/22 Federal Duck Stamp. Clifton also was named the 2018 Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year.

As the 2021 Delaware Trout Stamp winner, Dennis Arp receives a $250 prize and retains the rights to reproduce and sell prints of the stamp artwork. A Nebraska native, Arp is a self-taught artist and an avid outdoorsman from an early age. In addition, 30 years as an award-winning taxidermist specializing in fish and birds gave him extensive knowledge of their anatomy and behavior. After selling his business, he returned to his passion for painting. Arp also received honorable mentions in both California and Oklahoma’s 2020 duck stamp competitions.

Other winners were:

  • 2021/22 Waterfowl Stamp — Second place: Caleb Metrich, Lake Tomahawk, Wis.; third place: Matt Patterson, New Ipswich, N.H.; honorable mentions: Jonathan Milo, Monroe, Conn.; Paul Makuchal, Pocomoke City, Md.; and Robert Metropulos, Minocqua, Wis.
  • 2021 Trout Stamp — Second place: George Bradford, Georgetown, Del., brown trout; third place: Eric Jablonowski, Suwanee, Ga., brown trout; honorable mentions: Stephen Hamrick, Lakeville, Minn., rainbow trout; Ryan Peterson, Jackson, Wyo., brown trout; and David Weaver, Gettysburg, Pa., brook trout.

Art in each contest was judged by a different set of five judges. As part of COVID-19 safety precautions, each judge separately evaluated and scored the respective contest artwork in person rather than convening in the customary judge panel format. Videos depicting the artwork, judging and winning entries are available on the DNREC YouTube channel.

The winning 2021/22 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp will be available for purchase July 1, 2021, and the winning 2021 Delaware Trout Stamp will be available for purchase Jan. 1, 2021.

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, started the Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and print program in 1980 to raise funds for waterfowl conservation, including acquiring and improving wetland habitats vital to the survival of migratory waterfowl. To date, more than $3.6 million has been raised. A Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and hunting license are required for most waterfowl hunters.

Delaware began requiring trout stamps for anglers in the 1950s, and a trout stamp and a general fishing license are required for most anglers to fish in designated trout waters during certain seasons, with the funds from the sale of the stamps used to purchase trout to stock in two downstate ponds and selected streams in northern New Castle County.

Delaware hunting and fishing licenses, as well as Waterfowl Stamps and Trout Stamps, are sold online and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase licenses or stamps online, visit Delaware licenses. For additional information on Delaware hunting and fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.

For more information on Delaware’s Waterfowl and Trout Stamp art competitions, visit Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and Delaware Trout Stamp.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces 2019 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest winners

Winning entry in DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2019 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest by Dave Tally of Camden, titled “Purple Worm,” and taken of two anglers fishing on McColley Pond in Kent County. The photo will be featured on the cover of the 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide.

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today that Dave Tally of Camden won the 2019 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest, for best portraying this year’s contest theme, “Get Out and Fish DE.” His winning photo of two anglers fishing on McColley Pond in Kent County, titled “Purple Worm,” will be featured on the cover of the 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide, with four other winning photos to be displayed inside the guide.

The other contest winners are:

  • Second place: “Filling the Basket with Pop Pop” by Michael Cox of Middletown featuring his father and daughter with a bushel of crabs at Woodland Beach.
  • Honorable mention: “It’s All About that Bass” by Jessica Scholl of Wilmington for her photo of Steve and Madison Kohn on Blairs Pond near Milford.
  • Honorable mention: “What a CRAPPIE Day” by Raymond Howard Scheufele of Harrington for his photo of son Raymond Lee on McColley Pond.
  • Honorable mention: “1st Time Fishing” by Andrea Olson of Milton for her photo of daughter Alexandria fishing at the Broadkill River near Milton.w

The winning entries are posted on the Fish & Wildlife photo contest webpage, along with information about the annual photo contests.

DNREC’s 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide will soon be online, with hard copies also available where fishing licenses are sold, at that time. Details for the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2020 Fishing Photo Contest will be announced in April.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife’s annual Hunting Photo Contest is currently accepting entries through Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. Information and forms are available on the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website or from Jennifer Childears at 302-739-9910 or Jennifer.childears@delaware.gov.

Follow DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


Top national mathematics, science teachers recognized

Four Delaware teachers have been named as recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest recognition that K-12 mathematics and science teachers can receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. The finalists were honored last week at the national awards ceremony in Washington, DC.

The 2017 national awardees are:

Kathleen Olenderski (mathematics) of Alfred G. Waters Middle School in the Appoquinimink School District.
Joshua Gates (science) of the private Tatnall School

The 2018 national awardees are:

Jennah Truitt (mathematics) of Lord Baltimore Elementary School in the Indian River School District
Danielle Rash (science) of Olive B. Loss Elementary School in the Appoquinimink School District

The Delaware Department of Education also has named six teachers as 2019 state PAEMST finalists:

Katherine Hoffecker (mathematics) of Middletown High School in the Appoquinimink School District
Eileen Voltz (mathematics) of the Charter School of Wilmington in the Red Clay Consolidated School District
Kathleen Wilson (mathematics) of St. Georges Vocational Technical High School in the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District
Jordan Estock (science) of Concord High School in the Brandywine School District
Elizabeth Plant (science) of First State Montessori Academy Charter School
Rachael Smith (science) of Hodgson Vo-Tech High School in the New Castle County Vo-Tech School District

The national finalists and state awardees will be recognized later this school year at the Delaware STEM Conference. Information will be forthcoming.

The goal of the PAEMST award program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching in addition to honoring individual achievement. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. The award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. Every year each state selects up to three mathematics teachers and three science teachers as state finalists. A national selection committee reviews state finalist applications and selects one awardee in each content area for every state. Teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science. As part of the recognition process, awardees take part in a weeklong series of networking and professional development activities in Washington, D.C., and receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

For more information about PAEMST and to see nomination forms and application instructions, visit www.paemst.org.


DNREC Shoreline & Waterway Management Section announces results from dune sign contest

DOVER – The results are in for the DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section’s “Keep Off the Dunes” signage contest, which invited the public to submit eye-catching and effective original artwork and messaging to remind beachgoers of the importance of protecting Delaware’s vibrant but fragile dune system.

Winners were selected in three categories by Shoreline & Waterway Management staff from 36 entries:

Adult
First place – The Chesapeake Mermaid, Angela R. Mitchell, Chesapeake Beach, Md.
Second place – Jane Mruk, Odessa
Third place – Gregory Young, Wilmington

Teen
First place – Amanda Silar, Sussex Technical High School
Second place – Ally Collier, Sussex Technical High School
Third place – Nadjina Bogle, Sussex Technical High School

Kids
First place – Lily Reed, Felton
Second place – Ava Shilling, Hereford, Md.*
Third place – Sydney P., Hereford, Md.*
*Signs made in the Water Family Fest, held in June at the James Farm Preserve in Ocean View

Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay coastal dunes are vital in the state’s defense against coastal storms and extreme weather events. Dunes are also important natural habitats for plants and animals. To keep dunes strong enough to help protect our environment and the ecosystems they support, Delawareans need to protect the dunes by staying off of them. DNREC emphasizes this message by posting beach signs to encourage beach-goers to use provided crossovers along the dune system to avoid damaging the dunes.

To see the winners of the Keep Off the Dunes sign contest, please visit https://de.gov/dunesign. Winners will be announced and their entries displayed at University of Delaware’s Coast Day Oct. 6. The winning artwork in the contest may be reproduced as signs and placed near dunes along Delaware’s coastline.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902