2020 Massachusetts Envirothon team presentations go online

In response to the coronavirus pandemic in spring 2020, the Massachusetts Envirothon program replaced its annual large, outdoor, in-person competition, which had been scheduled for May 14th, with an experiment in online team presentations.

“We told teams that this was not intended to be an academic exercise; we were asking them to produce a video that presented a message they felt was important for their communities to hear,” said Will Snyder, of UMass Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program, who developed background materials and guidelines for teams with extensive input from members of the Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee and Council.

In place of the usual five-part competition, the Massachusetts Envirothon offered teams a single real-life challenge: teams were invited to submit an online audio-visual presentation in the form of a message to their communities. The presentations were reviewed by more than 30 environmental professionals, who offered comments.

“We provided a review process to provide feedback that would help them sharpen and clarify their presentations if they chose,” said Snyder.

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Teams were given several options for developing their presentations:

  1. Focus on the planned 2020 Current Issue, Sustainable Safe Water Supply, drawing on all the Envirothon natural resource management topics to answer the question: What actions should our communities take now to ensure an ecologically healthy and resilient water supply for the future?
  2. Widen their focus to look at the ways the world is changing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and think about what that means for their community, and the world.
  3. Combine these two choices or determine their own focus.

Five teams submitted videos:

“The full story of this learning experience is told not only in the videos that the teams created, but also in the comments from the reviewers,” said Snyder. A representative sample of review comments are included with each video.

The Massachusetts Envirothon is made possible through the contributions of partnering agencies and organizations, including financial support from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, the Massachusetts Grange, Environmental Business Council of New England, Wegman’s supermarkets and local conservation districts. Fifteen federal and state environmental agencies, conservation districts, non-profit organizations, higher educational institutions, and businesses provide expertise and help organize the event.

2020 On-line Presentations

We hope you are well and staying safe in these unprecedented times. Due to the many uncertainties going forward, we have decided to replace the 2020 Massachusetts Envirothon competition scheduled for May 14th with an experiment in online team presentations. There will be no face-to-face event at the Quabbin on May 14.

The MA Envirothon Steering Committee and Council have developed an alternative to the competition- a non-competitive, digital opportunity for teams to be creative and share the hard work accomplished this year. This alternative will be submitted as a “team presentation” with the requirement that teams comply with social distancing rules. Submission deadline has been extended to May 14.

Learn more about the presentations…download the invitation as a pdf…

Kelley Freda, Chair, MA Envirothon Steering Committee

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2016 spring workshop, students in soil pit- not safe this year!

Winter Workshop Cancelled AGAIN

Good morning everyone. I wanted to let you all know that due to the Governor’s orders yesterday we are required to CANCEL Fridays workshop at MWCC.  MassEnvirothon falls under the umbrella of an Executive Branch and therefore cannot host any outside events for the time being. This has been a trying year for all of us and please know that any decisions on cancellations made by the Steering Committee do not come lightly. The safety of our volunteers, students and coaches is always at the forefront of our discussions and we are just as disappointed when we have to reschedule or cancel an event. Thank you all for your support of the Envirothon, your understanding and stay safe.

Kelley

Envirothon Steering Committee Chair

2020 MA State Grange Scholarships

The MGrange_Roots_Logo_finalassachusetts State Grange will again sponsor the 2020 EnviroTrek Lunch at the Massachusetts Envirothon Competition on May 14th, 2020 at Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown. Massachusetts Envirothon is extremely grateful for their continued support!

Five $300 scholarships will be made available to teams for the 2019-2020 program year.

Teams will be invited to propose how they would spend this scholarship money – e.g. Envirothon related equipment, field trips, transportation, or registration.”  Priority will be given to new teams, teams that have not been awarded grants previously, and teams with financial need.

To apply, fill out the form below! Applications are due by Feb 14, 2020 @ 5pm. MESC will vote on March 12, 2020 and teams will be notified soon after.

Envirothon Teams and Coaches recognized for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

Four Envirothon teams and their coaches were recognized today as part of a State House ceremony when Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides honored 32 energy and environmental education programs at Massachusetts schools and nonprofits as part of the 25th Annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education (5/6/19).

Congratulations to Joyce Voorhis, Brockton High School; Joanne Bernier, Leicester High School; Sarah Johnson and Ann Taft, Fitchburg High School; and Angela Armstrong, Rockland High School for their contributions to environmental education, and to their teams for going above and beyond to learn and take action! EEA News Release is linked here.

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2019 Massachusetts State Grange Sponsorship

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Members of the Massachusetts State Grange presented a donation of $5000 to the MA Envirothon Steering Committee at the Spring Workshop.  An additional $1500 of grant money will be made available to teams for the 2019-2020 program year

The Massachusetts State Grange will again sponsor the 2019 EnviroTrek Lunch at the Massachusetts Envirothon Competition on May 17th, 2019 at Sholan Farms in Leominster. Massachusetts Envirothon is extremely grateful for their continued support!

Ten $150 scholarships will be made available to teams for the 2019-2020 program year to cover materials, transportation or registration.  To apply, fill out the form below! Applications are due by Aug 28, 2019 @ 5pm.

2019 Current Issue Problem posted

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Students at Shepherd Hill Regional High School growing Abundant, Affordable, Healthy Food in Dudley

Teams preparing for the 2019 Massachusetts Envirothon have been sent the 2019 Current Issue Problem. Their presentations will feature research done in their local communities to answer: What should our community do right now to help ensure abundant, affordable, healthy food for all in 2050?
Please visit the Current Issue page for background information and presentation score sheets.

Fall 18 Workshop wrap up

Despite a reschedule, the Fall 2018 Envirothon workshop at UMass Amherst was a success!

Almost all the original presenters and teams were able to be there!  202 students and 34 coaches from 20 teams (Acton-Boxborough, Bedford, Bristol Aggie, Brockton, Central, David Prouty, Doherty, Fitchburg, Greenfield, Innovation, Leicester, Lexington, Monty Tech, Newton North, Oliver Ames, PVRS, Quabbin, Reading, Shepherd Hill, and SABIS) as well as 8 members of the USDA APHIS crew attended.

 Massachusetts Envirothon wishes to thank the University of Massachusetts Amherst for the support that has made this event possible.  In particular, we are grateful for the funding, time, and expertise provided by:
UMass College of Natural Sciences (CNS) (http://www.cns.umass.edu/)
UMass School of Earth & Sustainability (https://www.umass.edu/ses/), particularly
UMass Extension/Center for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (http://ag.umass.edu/extension-outreach)

15 unique sessions were offered (Final Agenda here)

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Marion Larson from MassWildlife talks about Wild for Food

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Mary Bell from UMass Amherst discusses the Food Recovery Hierarchy and eating “ugly” veggies

And our first ever (not your average) Resource Fair during lunch:

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(not your average) Resource Fair featuring UMass student farmers, Cabot Co-op, USDA/NRCS and Mass Ag in the Classroom among others

 

We hope you’ll join us at our Winter Workshop on Feb 8, 2019 at Mt Wachusett Community College in Gardner.