Leonardo Project Awards: High school anti-bullying effort recognized
July 18, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - It was a packed house at the Wiesbaden Kurhaus June 30 as German and American students awaited the judges' decisions in the 2013 Leonardo Awards.
This was the first year local Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe students joined their German peers in competing in various categories aimed at encouraging greater involvement in music, technology, communication, social awareness and a host of other competitive categories.
"U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, particularly Wiesbaden High School, was recognized at the start of the program as a first-time American entry in the project," said Peter Witmer, USAG Wiesbaden school liaison. In welcoming the Wiesbaden military community's participation in the city-wide project, organizers said they hoped American students would participate again in the next Leonardo competition.
The Leonardo Project, which involved 1,500 students on 114 teams from 35 different area schools, saw students brainstorming, creating and presenting projects for more than six months. While not every team won a prestigious Leonardo trophy and cash award, all participants left with a special Leonardo card valid for various discounts on admissions to city-wide activities.
"After all of the hard work on Leonardo projects, even if they don't leave with a Leonardo, I believe in their hearts they'll leave with a piece of Wiesbaden," said Nicola Beer, Hessian culture minister.
During the several-hour-long awards show, that saw a host of speakers from academia, industry, the city and Hessian government, presenters recognized the top three awardees in each category, including a special "Inclusion" award for the entries that reached out to diverse members of the community. Col. David Carstens, USAG Wiesbaden commander, was on hand to help present the winners in the Ideas for Wiesbaden category, delivering his speech almost entirely in German.
For its first outing in the contest, Wiesbaden High School walked away with a third-place finish in the Media category -- winning ,500 -- for its anti-bullying project, a series of public service announcements. Recent Warrior graduate Roscoe Johnson accepted the award on behalf of the team.
And while the other Wiesbaden High School entries didn't score with the judges, Witmer said he was pleased with the overall turnout and thanked everyone who participated.
"Your efforts and participation in the Leonardo Project marked an important milestone. Your contributions to host nation partnerships in Wiesbaden are highly significant," Witmer added.