King County Envirothon Team Places Second at State

Eleven high school teams from across Washington State met in Longbranch, WA on May 25 to compete in the Washington State Envirothon and demonstrate their knowledge of environmental science. Hosted by Pierce Conservation District, this year marked the return to a full two-day event.

Envirothon is a unique opportunity for high school students to gain problem-solving, public speaking, critical thinking, and leadership skills, all while learning more about conservation and environmental topics and careers. At the State competition, teams worked their way through four different testing stations: wildlife, forestry, aquatic ecology, and soils and land use. At these stations, teams worked together to complete challenges such as identifying animal skulls, measuring the height of trees, evaluating water quality from a sample of macroinvertebrates, or determining the texture of a soil sample.

In addition to demonstrating their technical skills and knowledge, teams prepared a 10-minute presentation based on the 2023 current issue, Adapting to A Changing Climate. Teams were given information about a fictional coastal town and asked to present on potential impacts of climate change on the various communities and industries. They were then asked to suggest ways that the town could mitigate or adapt to the effects of climate change. During the competition, teams delivered their presentation and proposed solutions in front of a panel of judges in the natural resource field.

This year’s state competition was held at a beautiful camp on the Key Peninsula.  When the students weren’t competing, they explored the forest and beach, toasted marshmallows over the campfire, and got to know their fellow competitors. After the competition, students discussed their favorite parts of the event.  “I love the fact that you get to connect with so many different peers,” said a student from the Center for Agriculture, Science, and Environmental Education (CASEE) in Clark County.  Many students echoed this sentiment, as well as enjoying the chance to get out in nature. “When I walk through a forest now, I feel so much more informed and aware of what’s happening around me,” said a student from Walla Walla High School. We hope that these positive experiences will inspire our participants, and that someday they will use the skills they learned for careers in conservation.

Walla Walla High School placed first and will represent Washington State at the North American Envirothon in New Brunswick this July. Tesla STEM High School, representing King County, placed second overall, with the highest score in the presentation category. Congratulations, teams, for all your hard work!

First Place: Walla Walla High School

Second Place: Tesla STEM High School


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