Exciting news just arrived that the team of five Missouri students from Parkway North High School placed 2nd in the Canon Envirothon held in Arizona this year. Each will receive a $4,000 scholarship. They faced the challenge of 54 teams from 46 states and eight Canadian provinces.
To win, teams show what they know about resource management and environmental science at a series of hands-on outdoor stations covering forestry, aquatic ecology, wildlife and soils/land use. Then they work as a team to give a convincing presentation on a key conservation/environmental issue (This year’s issue was recreational impacts on the environment.).
The competition is all about helping the next generation learn to conserve our natural resources and deal with the complex issues that arise in balancing the quality of lives with the quality of the environment. To compete at the international level, more than 100 high school teams in Missouri studied throughout the year and entered regional contests, then the top three in each region entered the state contest. Schools large and small, urban, suburban and rural all compete.
Though I’ve never attended the international contest, hearing the students at the state level is impressive enough. Judy Stinson, who has worked with Missouri’s Envirothon since the state began participating 11 years ago, said the only thing heated in this year’s contest (held in temperate Flagstaff) was the competition—but that was intense. Two of the five on the Parkway North team were among last year’s fourth-place winners.