On Wednesday, March 27th, 35 students from King and Snohomish counties competed in the annual Northwest Regional Envirothon. Hosted through a partnership of King, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom Conservation Districts, this competition is part of the Washington State Envirothon, a program that engages high school aged youth in natural resource sciences. Teams of five compete together in this day-long event, after spending the winter training with teachers and club advisors.
Through hands-on and real-world problem solving, the Envirothon competition challenges students to think critically about four main topic areas: Wildlife, Forestry, Aquatic Ecology and Soils & Land Use. Testing stations may ask students to identify an animal pelt, calculate the board feet available in a stand of trees, discuss the ways in which an invasive weed is impacting stream flow, or measure the texture of a soil sample.
Each year also includes a rotating topic related to a current environmental issue. For 2019, it’s ‘Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge & Technology to Feed the World’. Students were given a natural resource scenario to solve based on the current topic and locally relevant concerns. They had thirty minutes to read, understand and develop a 10-minute presentation about utilizing new technological advances to increase a farm’s economic viability while maintaining soil health, water quality and sustainable food productions. They then delivered their presentation to a panel of judges, all local natural resource professionals.
The winning teams from each county will represent their districts at the state competition in May. Snohomish County’s Cascade High School and King County’s Ingraham High School are busy studying and will be competing again at Camp Don Bosco against all other regional event champions. The state winner will represent Washington at the national competition, held in North Carolina this July.