En­vi­rothon com­pe­ti­tion held at Camp Pe­cometh

The Kent Island Bay Times - - NEWS - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — More than 16 high schools from across Mary­land par­tic­i­pated in the 2017 En­vi­rothon state com­pe­ti­tion held at Camp Pe­cometh on June 15 and 16. With five-mem­ber teams, stu­dents iden­ti­fied soils, de­ter­mined tree ages and put their stud­ies of the nat­u­ral world on dis­play to de­ter­mine which group would rep­re­sent Mar yland in the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

While most high school­ers across the state were en­joy­ing their sum­mer break, com­peti­tors from Queen Anne’s County and Kent County high schools rep­re­sented the Eastern Shore in the an­nual en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion event.

“En­vi­rothon is a hands-on team based com­pe­ti­tion that gives high school stu­dents hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence in nat­u­ral re­source sub­jects,” the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion’s web­site states.

Kent County High School was rep­re­sented by Olivia Cole­man, Zach El­burn, El­iz­a­beth Goetz, Deirdre Hyl­ton and Jenna No­vak and was coached by Liza Goetz and Tim Kelle­man. Queen Anne’s County High School was rep­re­sented by Caro­line Draper, Filo­ga­nia Martinez, Meg Wil­liams and Hunter Schee­lar and was coached by Kim Agee and Amy Trexler.

The com­pe­ti­tion is held in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion each year. The na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, which will take place from July 23 to 29, will be held on the cam­pus of Mount Saint Mary’s Univer­sity in Em­mits­burg.

To de­ter­mine who par­tic­i­pates in the statewide com­pe­ti­tion, lo­cal En­vi­rothon com­pe­ti­tions are held each spring us­ing the same for­mat as the state and na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. Teams can be cre­ated ei­ther through a school’s science depart­ment or a county’s Soil Con­ser­va­tion District.

In 40-minute sta­tions, teams are tasked with an­swer­ing ques­tions re­lated specif­i­cally to the five ar­eas. Ev­ery year soils, aquat­ics, forestry and wildlife are sta­tions. A “5th is­sue” is de­ter­mined ev­ery year as the fi­nal topic. This year the topic was en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sue.

Nat­u­ral re­source pro­fes­sion­als re­view and grade each test. The day be­fore the pro­fes­sion­als ob­served fu­ture en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists in ac­tion work­ing hand-in-hand with their team­mates, a “field day” was held where nat­u­ral re­source pro­fes­sion­als re­viewed how they went about their work. Stu­dents from each team were sent to the var­i­ous sta­tions through­out the camp­grounds to have ca­reer in­ter­ac­tions and to learn tools on how to test and ver­ify cer­tain en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ments.

Barry Burch, chair­man of the Mary­land En­vi­rothon Com­mit­tee, said the stu­dents learned “au­then­tic as­sess­ment” dur­ing their train­ing day and saw what en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists did on a daily ba­sis. Burch said past com­peti­tors have gone on to pur­sue ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reer fields on nat­u­ral re­sources in part be­cause of the in­ter­ac­tions through En­vi­rothon.

Burch said the hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties help the stu­dents learn and retain the con­cepts bet­ter.

Awards were given to the schools that scored high­est in each of the five cat­e­gories as well as over­all awards for the top five point-scor­ing schools. The over­all win­ners, from first to third place, are as fol­lows: Car­roll County “Ven­tur­ing Crew 202,” 441 points; North Har­ford High School, 438 points; Mont­gomer y Blair High School “Duck Giz­zards,” 438 points; Ca­toctin High School “Mud­cats,” 435 points; and Eleanor Roo­sevelt High School, 403 points. Sec­ond and third place teams were sep­a­rated us­ing a tiebreaker.

Queen Anne’s County High School had a to­tal score of 304 points, which got them 15th place, and Kent County High School had a to­tal score of 330 points, good for 14th place.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @ mike_k­ibay­times.


Kent County High School team mem­bers pose with a par­tic­i­pa­tion cer­tifi­cate after the 2017 Mary­land En­vi­rothon awards cer­e­mony on Fri­day, June 16. From left: Coach Liza Goetz, Deirdre Hyl­ton, Jenna No­vak, Lizzy Goetz, Zach El­burn, Olivia Cole­man, Coach...

Queen Anne’s County High School En­vi­rothon coaches Kim Agee and Amy Trexler stand with stu­dents Caro­line Draper, Filo­ga­nia Martinez, Meg Wil­liams and Hunter Schee­lar after the 2017 Mary­land En­vi­rothon awards cer­e­mony at Camp Pe­cometh on Fri­day, June 16.

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