The envirothon is a fun and exciting way for high school students in grades 9-12 to learn about the natural world around us. Envirothon teams are made up of 5 students who work together to study Maryland’s natural resources over the course of the school year. All topics are very hands-on and include practical skills and the trainings are taught by experts in each field.
Aquatics– Students explore complex under-water ecosystems with marine and freshwater biologists. They also learn how wetlands and buffers contribute to healthy streams.
Forestry– Maryland foresters will teach how to identify tree species and determine a tree’s height and age. Students also learn management techniques for healthy and productive forestry resources.
Soils– Students work alongside soil scientists to learn about profiling and mapping techniques used to determine soil characteristics for farming and developing activities.
Wildlife– Students learn first hand from wildlife managers about animal populations and dynamics in Maryland and the importance of preserving wildlife habitat.
The first wave of competitions begins in the spring with local teams competing for the county Envirothon title. The county winner advances to the statewide Maryland Envirothon. This 2 day competition is usually held in June and features a hands-on training day in all 5 resource areas as well as number of fun events including a pizza and ice cream party. The winner of the Maryland Envirothon earns the right to represent the state at the North American Envirothon.
The Venturing Crew 202 from Carroll County won the 2016 Maryland Envirothon, and placed 5th at Nationals. Teams from Harford and Montgomery finished 2nd and 3rd respectively at the State Competition with teams from Anne Arundel and Garrett performing notably in individual subjects. Around 80 challengers from 16 counties across Maryland took part in this year’s State Competition. The event was held at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
If you want to be part of Envirothon, you can contact your school’s science department or your local soil conservation district to see if a program exists in your school. If a program does not exist, then your local soil conservation district can help you get one started! Youth groups and other teen organizations can also form teams.
If you have any questions contact the Maryland State Envirothon Coordinator Craig Hartsock (301) 707-6042 or firstname.lastname@example.org