Northwest Regional Envirothon is back for another year, and what a year it was! Fourteen teams, representing nine high schools and three counties, gathered at the Brightwater Education Center on March 23 to demonstrate their knowledge of environmental science and conservation.
Envirothon is an environmental and natural resources competition for high school students. Teams of five students compete in four core topic areas — aquatic ecology, soils and land use, forestry, and wildlife — as well as a rotating current topic. This year’s current topic is “Adapting to a Changing Climate”. Students were challenged to research and present on climate mitigation and adaptation strategies for local communities.
We are very proud of the hard work put in by all our competitors. We are pleased to announce the winners of the NW Regional Envirothon competition!
First Place – Team Sea Otter from Tesla STEM High School in Redmond
Second Place – Team Heron from Foster High School in Tukwila
Third Place – Team Coyote from Skyline High School in Sammamish
Envirothon provides an engaging way for students to explore and learn about the environment and the stewardship of our natural resources. In addition to being educational, we want Envirothon to be fun! Students said that one of their favorite parts was the hands-on components of the competition, such as identifying skull specimens, taking water quality measurements, and evaluating wildlife habitat features in a forest. We hope that these positive experiences will inspire our participants, and that someday they will be using the skills they learned for careers in conservation.
Our impressive turnout this year is in part thanks to a generous grant from NCF-Envirothon and the US Forest Service that Washington State Envirothon received in 2021. With the grant, we were able to improve our outreach methods and develop study resources to recruit and support new teams, with a focus on underserved schools. The Envirothon Study Bins that we created are full of tools and activities that allow students to explore each core topic and specifically support teams from schools that may not have existing environmental science resources or curriculum. The bins have been such a big success that we have received a second grant to create more! The new bins will be distributed to conservation districts across the state to support Envirothon in every region.
Envirothon would not be possible without the help of our wonderful partners and volunteers from across the region. Thank you to all the conservation district staff and board members from King, Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom who organize and run Envirothon each year. We’d also like to thank Brightwater for allowing us to use their beautiful environmental education facility, and our many volunteers from Snohomish County Surface Water Management, the National Resource Conservation Service, the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Padilla Bay Estuarine Reserve, the Nature Conservancy, Forterra, and the Slater Museum of Natural History for their help with training workshops, test writing, proctoring, and career guidance. And, last but not least, we want to thank the wonderful advisors and students for joining us for this educational, fun, and interactive competition!
The top placing team from each county will move on to the state competition in Pierce County this May. Tesla STEM High School in Redmond will represent King County, Sequoia High School in Everett will represent Snohomish County, and Mount Vernon Christian School will represent Skagit County. Good luck at the state competition, teams!