Why a Community Engagement Award? When your Current Issue research results in a project or presentation that benefits your community, you deserve recognition for this work! When you take what you have learned and put it to work beyond the Envirothon, the Community Engagement Award provides recognition for your team and visibility for your school and community partners.
The wider world gets a better understanding of how young people can be resources for stewardship and positive change in their communities.
The Community Engagement Award is optional and noncompetitive. It can be earned by any team that meets the award requirements. You and your coach are responsible for certifying the quality and completeness of your work.
The Community Engagement Award Checklist is a tool that you can use to guide your preparation for the Envirothon competition, whether or not you choose to qualify for the Award.
Recognition. Teams who earn the Community Engagement Award receive a certificate at the awards program at the May competition. A letter of congratulations, and a link to your completed Checklist, is sent to your principal, with copies to your coach, superintendent, community partners, state legislators, local news media contacts, and the Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs.
NEW FOR 2023: Mass Envirothon has combined the Community Research Award and the Community Action Award into a single award. The Community Engagement Award recognizes teams who do high quality community research, then use what they have learned as they engage with the wider world on the issue.
- Start with wide-ranging and thorough community research for your Current Issue presentation at the Envirothon. To qualify for the award, your team must show that you have been resourceful in using a range of research strategies – exploring community places, talking to a variety of people, using maps, researching at the library and town offices, making scientific observations, using the web – and reflecting on what you find.
- Then take action! Action projects (See these Action Resources) can be as simple as putting your research findings and recommendations into a letter to the editor or to a decision maker, or making your Current Issue presentation to an audience beyond the Envirothon. Many forms of action are possible: community education (e.g. making and sharing a video, or organizing a public event), participating in hands-on conservation research or stewardship projects in the field, lobbying for legislation, or meeting with decision-makers. Teams can plug into an existing community effort or develop a project of their own.
Civic Engagement. Mass Envirothon teams that meet the requirements for a Community Engagement Award may meet or exceed the expectations for student-led civic engagement projects as set forth in the 2018 Act to Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement and the Mass Department of Education’s Civics Project Guidebook.
To qualify for the 2023 Award your team must
- Complete and submit the following by Thursday, May 18:
- Community Engagement Award Checklist 2023 (pdf format for printing hard copy. Non-fillable. Use google sheet format below for filling and submission)
- Community Engagement Award Checklist 2023 (google sheet format: download, name with your school/team name, share with team, fill out. When completed, submit by sharing with email@example.com)
- Evidence of community engagement (see also Action Resources)
- (optional) A news release about your action project (see Action Resources)
- Community Engagement Award Registration form (google sheet format: download, name with your school/team name, fill out. Submit by sharing with firstname.lastname@example.org when completed)
- Meet with one or more Envirothon volunteers by zoom who will interview you about your research and action experiences. This interview will be set for a time that is convenient for your team.
Questions? Contact Will Snyder at email@example.com
Research Checklists from past years
Teams used these checklists to guide their community research on past Current Issues:
- 2022 Achieving a Zero Waste Future for Massachusetts research checklist
- 2021 Water Resources & Climate Change research checklist
- 2019 Abundant, Affordable, Healthy Food research checklist
- 2018 Partnering with Nature in Watersheds research checklist
- 2017 Agricultural Soil & Water Conservation research checklist
- 2016 Managing Invasive Species research checklist
Links to summaries of Envirothon teams’ Community Awards work:
- 2019 Mass Envirothon Community Award Summary
- 2018 Mass Envirothon Community Award Summary
- 2017 Mass Envirothon Community Award Summary
For more information on the Mass Envirothon Community Awards, past and present, contact: Will Snyder, firstname.lastname@example.org