In support of United Nations (UN) World Environment Day, Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) is pleased to announce its first-ever “The 2021 World Environment Day Science Project Competition” for the youth and students of Turkish American and Canadian American communities.

The winning team members, along with student and youth attendees, will participate in the special virtual Zoom webinar and meet with Keynote Speaker, Mihri Ozkan, Phd, Climate Action Champion Professor, University of California, Riverside to discuss their projects and future plans on June 6, 2021. Dr. Ozkan is committed to green energy technologies and to sustainable systems. Partnerships on green energy, sustainable manufacturing, and zero emission vehicles to develop, apply and disseminate knowledge, test theories and address economic, social, educational, environmental and technological issues are her main objectives.



World Environment Day is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Since the first celebration in 1974, World Environment Day has helped the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to raise awareness and generate political momentum around growing concerns, such as the depletion of the ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification and global warming [1]. Yet, we are still far from bringing a significant chance.



It is an undeniable fact that we are harming the natural world we live in. Pollution, toxic waste, commercial and agricultural chemicals impacting our atmosphere, water and land. Fires, floods, droughts, and superstorms are more frequent and causing irreparable damages. For example, Due to low rainfall in Anatolia, Turkey drinking water supplies reached critical levels in early 2021 [2]. Wildfires in Australia and Amazon are doubled last few years [3,4]. Mature tree cleans our air, absorbing 22 kilos of carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen in exchange [5]. Needless to say that unless we make serious collective effort to improve our behaviors right away we would damage our environment beyond repair.




  • Entry Deadline is April 15, 2021.
  • Project Completion Deadline is May 21, 2021.
  • Project Judging is from May 22, 2021 to May 27, 2021.
  • Competition Results will be communicated by May 28, 2021.
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd place winning teams are required to present their project in Nation Webinar on June 6, 2021.

Who Can Enter?

  • High school juniors and seniors; collage freshman and sophomore students.

How to Enter?

Please fill out Competition Entry Form and mail to

Teams Structure:

  • Teams must have no more than three members. Team members apart from geographic area will use digital technology to collaborate.
  • Teams are encouraged to select a Team Leader as the spokes person but each team member should participate in presentations.
  • Full names, school, and grades of each team member should be included on the forms.

Project Selection:

Each student must select one project they plan to work on. Students will be group in to 2-3 person Teams and will work on the project as a team.

  • Climate Change and its Impact on our Future
  • Renewable Energy
  • Plastics, Chemical, Waste
  • Water – Increasingly under threat
  • Product/ Project/Policy/ Development for Green Economy
  • Impact of environmental changes on Ecosystems and their restoration


Safety, honesty, objectivity, and avoidance of conflicts of interest are expected during every phase of the project.

Students Responsibilities:

  • Follow the guidelines of this competition.
  • Select project from the 2021 Competition Project List (See attached Brochure).
  • Complete the Project Form and email it to ATAA.
  • Perform project research, experimentation, data collection, data analysis, and any
    other process or procedures related to the project; document, and report out.
  • All research references must be documented and included in the final Project Report.

Mentor’s and Responsibilities:

  • Providing guidance to the students with their projects.
  • Reviewing projects, assess risk, point out any ethical, safety concerns.
  • Ensure students are on the right targets for their projects.
  • Guide the students in managing research, timeline, and documentation of their projects.

Judging Criteria:

Judges are responsible to review project reports presented by the teams, interview the teams, evaluate project details, and make recommendations on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winning teams. Collaborate with the other judges and select the winners. Key elements of judging criteria for the Science Projects are Ethics, Creativity, Project Details & Interview, and Project Report and Presentation.

  • Ethics: Evaluate if the teams have followed the ethical guidelines of the competition in their projects
  • Creativity: A creative project demonstrates imagination and inventive skills of the students
  • Project Details & Interview: The interview provides the judges opportunity to interact with the students, evaluate students understanding of the project’s basic, scientific methods used and their interpretations and limitations of the results and conclusions.
  • Project Report and Presentation:
    • Teams work is present.
    • Report include key components of the project and presented in a logical and factual manner.
    • Visual aids are included.
    • References are included.

Expected Outcome:

  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be selected by the expert judges.
  • Winning teams will receive ribbons, certificates, and project t-shirt.
  • ATAA will host Virtual Zoom Meeting for an international audience as part of the 2021 Environment Day Program on June 6th.
  • Winning Teams will present their projects as part of the environment Day Program.
  • Students will meet with the Keynote Speakers, ask questions and discuss their future plans.
  • ATAA will recognize the winning teams by posting their projects on the website.



The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), representing over 50 local chapters and 500,000 Turkish Americans throughout the United States, serves locally and nationwide to develop an informed and empowered Turkish American community and to support strong U.S.-Turkish relations. The ATAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed under the laws of the District of Columbia in 1979.  ATAA associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications in July 2020. The founding principle of ATAA was the need to create cohesion and cooperation among the large numbers of social/cultural Turkish American organizations around the US. The Assembly’s main goal is to be a link between all communities, large or small, and pursue their interests in Washington and beyond. The main objectives of ATAA are two-fold. One is to create an informed national Turkish American community that can help foster US-Turkey relations and take an active part in promoting a balanced and truthful picture of Turkey in the US. The other is to educate Americans in government, the media, and the public at large about Turkey and issues that concern us as Turkish Americans.  (



The Committee was formed by the Board of Directors of ATAA in November 2019 towards the starting association process with the United Nations Department of Global Communication (UNDGC). Official application towards the association was submitted to the UNDGC on March 30, 2020. It was granted and announced through the UN News Center on July 14, 2020. Instantly, and since then the Committee has been developing programs that are within the core Mission of ATAA along with those supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and/or UN Days. In this line, this program is developed to observe the International Day of Women (March 8), along with, to contribute in the Sustainable Development Goals 5 (SDG5), which is “Gender Equality”. Since July 14, 2020, the Committee has undertaken and presented four UN related webinars including this one. The Committee selected 6 UN Days for 2021, and it meets on a monthly basis.  (

ATAA’s Head Representative to the United Nations is, President Mazlum Koşma. Chair of the Committee is Bircan Ünver; co-chair is Gökhan Özalp (past-president of ATAA); and secretaries are: Yücel Tavolara (Mid-West V.P.) and Selim Erhan (past Mid-West V.P.). Members are: Sevgin Oktay (past New York Region V.P.) and Burcu Tansu (First V.P. and Western Region V.P.). Youth members are: Alev Erhan, Saime Atakan and Ali Alp Gürer. The Committee operates underneath of the Board of Directors of ATAA.

#EnvironmentDay #WorldEnvironmentDay #June5 #A_T_A_A #ATAAUNCommittee

#UNWithCivilSociety #UNDGC_CSO


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  1. Background
  2. Turkey drought: Istanbul could run out of water in 45 days | Turkey | The Guardian
  3. Australia fires: A by-the-numbers look at the disaster – CNN
  4. This is how big Australia’s wildfires actually are (
  5. World Environment Day | United Nations