Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

IMSA Students Share Energy Policy Recommendations With National Leaders in Washington, D.C.

IMSA students attending the annual Keystone Energy Board meeting say their proposal presented to national leaders would ‘slow, stop and then reverse’ increased carbon emissions in the U.S. over the next 40 years.

IMSA senior Anusha Kumar of Moline presents at the Keystone Youth Policy Summit.
IMSA students participating at the Keystone Youth Policy Summit take time for a hike.

IMSA senior Anusha Kumar of Moline made a presentation on conservation tillage to national leaders in fall 2009 during the annual Keystone Energy Board meeting, held in the Members’ Reading Room of the Library of Congress.  The meeting was attended by representatives from oil, natural gas, coal, wind, solar and conservation groups, including members of Congress.  

The presentation was a result of Anusha’s participation at the National Youth Policy Summit (YPS) held in Keystone, Colorado this past summer.  In addition to Anusha, IMSA students Sonia Bajaj of Oak Brook, Santina Lin of Sycamore and Kelly Wallin of  Rockford also attended the annual summit and contributed to the research and development of the position paper Anusha presented in Washington.

“At Keystone, I enjoyed participating in multiple thought-provoking discussions and a variety of stimulating debates amongst such incredible individuals from around the nation,” said Kumar.  “YPS has allowed me to appreciate, via first hand experience, the incredible amount of potential present amongst students both inside and outside the IMSA community,” she added.

The annual Keystone Youth Policy Summit, held in partnership with the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology (NCSSSMST), brings together high school juniors and seniors from throughout the country for focused, in-depth study on a number of real-world environmental, energy and public health problems. Past Summit topics have included Sustainable Energy in Transportation, Energy Efficiency, Obesity in America and Sustainable Fuels.  This year’s Summit focused on Greenhouse Gas Reductions in the U.S.

Kumar said she learned a great deal about the mediation process while trying to develop national policy solutions.

“I was able to appreciate the difficulty of applying scientific research and developed technology towards solving global issues,” she said.  “The complexity of the decision making process results from trying to satisfy seemingly disparate political, economic, environmental, etc interests all at once. Thus, the primary skill I exercised was maintaining awareness of all the stakeholders,” she added.  “I believe the consideration of many perspectives, though seemingly intuitive, is many times overlooked as people are bent on reaching a solution as efficiently as possible.”

While the focus of the National Youth Policy Summit changes from year to year the goals remain the same: “to advance critical thinking and problem solving skills in our leaders of the future.”

Wallin said that through YPS, she hopes that America’s politicians and policy makers can see firsthand how America’s youth can contribute in meaningful ways to solving many of the issues facing the U.S. today.

“The Youth Policy Summit gave me more of an insight as to what it's really like to work with policy and economics,” Wallin said.  “It gave me hope that my generation can be the force that changes the course of the entire world, that can combat global warming, that can fix the socio-economic problems facing not just America but the world today.”

To see the final YPS student policy recommendations for Greenhouse Gas Reductions in the U.S., visit

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