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.

quabbin

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!

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.

Local teens take top honors at 2019 Mass. Envirothon

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Lexington High School – 2019 Massachusetts Envirothon overall winning team

LEOMINSTER, Mass., May 17, 2019 – For the past school year, high school students across the commonwealth have been studying current and future prospects for growing, harvesting, and distributing food in their own home communities and across the Commonwealth. They presented their findings at the 32nd annual Massachusetts Envirothon competition on Friday, May 17th at Sholan Farms in Leominster, Mass.

The approximately 200 students from 29 Massachusetts communities also tested their knowledge of the area’s soils, forests, water, and wildlife as part of the competition.

At this outdoor field event, teams rotated through four “ecostations” where they answered written questions and engaged in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality testing. Each team had up to 10 participants and split into specialized sub-teams during the competition, each focusing their efforts at different ecostations.

At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each team gave a 15-minute presentation on “Abundant, Affordable Healthy Food” to a panel of judges. Teams researched the Current Issue in their own community in preparation for their presentation. Each panel of judges included concerned citizens and environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to explore current and future prospects for growing, harvesting, and distributing food in their own home communities and across the Commonwealth.

This year’s top scoring teams are:

Top Overall
1st Lexington High School
2nd Newton North High School
3rd Shepherd Hill Regional High School
Current Issue
1st Rockland High School
2nd Bristol County Agricultural High School
3rd Pioneer Valley Regional School
4th Shepherd Hill Regional High School
5th Newton North High School
Forestry
1st Newton North High School
2nd Lexington High School
3rd Shepherd Hill Regional High School
4th Pioneer Valley Regional School
5th Fitchburg High School
Wildlife
1st Newton North High School
2nd Lexington High School
3rd Shepherd Hill Regional High School
4th Pioneer Valley Regional School
5th Oliver Ames High School
Water
1st Newton North High School
2nd Lexington High School
3rd Pioneer Valley Regional School
4th Fitchburg High School
5th Brockton High School/Wildlands Trust
Soils
1st Lexington High School
2nd Shepherd Hill Regional High School
3rd Newton North High School
4th Deerfield Academy
5th Rockland High School

“These teams worked hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We tested their scientific knowledge, but we also liked hearing their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment,” said Kelley Freda of the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Water Supply Protection and Chair of the Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee.

“The Envirothon is more than just a competition about environmental knowledge. Many teams have taken what they’ve learned and put it to work in an action/service project in their community. The program aims to prepare the next generation for the stewardship work that needs to be done,” said Freda. “And this annual competition actually becomes a festive gathering of the environmental community of Massachusetts where students learn from the environmental professionals and the environmental professionals learn from the students.”

The overall winning team will have the opportunity to represent Massachusetts in the North American Envirothon, which will be held July 28th to August 2nd in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The 2019 Massachusetts Envirothon was 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.

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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Local teens to compete in 32nd Mass. Envirothon on Fri. May 17th

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Competition will be held at Sholan Farms, Leominster

Abundant, Affordable Healthy Food is 2019 current issue

LEOMINSTER, Mass., May 2, 2019 – For the past school year, high school students across the commonwealth have been studying current and future prospects for growing, harvesting, and distributing food in their own home communities and across the Commonwealth. They’ll present their findings at the 32nd annual Massachusetts Envirothon competition on Friday, May 17th at Sholan Farms in Leominster, Mass.

The approximately 200 students from 29 Massachusetts communities will also test their knowledge of the area’s soils, forests, water, and wildlife as part of the competition.

At this outdoor field event, teams will rotate through four “ecostations” where they will answer written questions and engage in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality testing. Each team will have up to 10 participants and will split into specialized sub-teams during the competition, each focusing their efforts at different ecostations.

At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each team will give a 15-minute presentation on “Abundant, Affordable Healthy Food” to a panel of judges. Teams have been researching the Current Issue in their own community in preparation for their presentation. Each panel of judges includes concerned citizens and environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to explore current and future prospects for growing, harvesting, and distributing food in their own home communities and across the Commonwealth.

“These teams work hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We test their scientific knowledge, but we also like to hear their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment,” said Kelley Freda of the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Water Supply Protection and Chair of the Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee.

“The Envirothon is more than just a competition about environmental knowledge.  Many teams have taken what they’ve learned and put it to work in an action/service project in their community.  The program aims to prepare the next generation for the stewardship work that needs to be done,” said Freda. “And this annual competition actually becomes a festive gathering of the environmental community of Massachusetts where students learn from the environmental professionals and the environmental professionals learn from the students, .”

The overall winning team will have the opportunity to represent Massachusetts in the North American Envirothon, which will be held July 28th to August 2nd in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The 2019 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. Dozens of volunteers will also be on hand on May 17th to handle all the event logistics from setting up tents, tables and chairs, checking-in teams, serving food, scoring tests and cleaning up.

For more information on the Massachusetts Envirothon visit www.massenvirothon.org.

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2019 PARTICIPATING TEAMS (as of May 2, 2019)

  • 4 H Cows and Clover Club, Berkley
  • Acton Boxborough Regional High School, Acton
  • Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, Bridgewater
  • Bristol County Agricultural High School, Dighton
  • Brockton High School/Wildlands Trust, Brockton
  • David Prouty High School, Spencer
  • Deerfield Academy, Deerfield
  • Doherty High School, Worcester
  • Fitchburg High School, Fitchburg
  • Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School, New Bedford
  • Innovation Academy Charter School, Tyngsboro
  • Leicester High School, Leicester
  • Lexington High School, Lexington
  • Malden High School, Malden
  • Millbury Jr./Sr. High School, Millbury
  • Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg
  • Newton North High School, Newton
  • Newton South High School, Newton
  • Norfolk County Agricultural High School, Walpole
  • Oliver Ames High School, North Easton
  • Pioneer Valley Regional School, Northfield
  • Plymouth South High School, Plymouth
  • Quabbin Regional High School, Barre
  • Reading Memorial High School, Reading
  • Rockland High School, Rockland
  • Shepherd Hill Regional High School, Dudley
  • Somerset Berkley Regional High School, Somerset
  • Southeastern Regional Voc Tech, South Easton
  • Springfield Central High School, Springfield

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.

Newton North team represents Massachusetts at the 2018 NCF Envirothon

Five team members from the Newton North Envirothon Team traveled to Pocatello, Idaho in July to represent Massachusetts in the 2018 NCF Envirothon.

They put together a video talking about their EnviroTrek through the year and at the competition.  Congratulations to Laura Schmidt-Hong and Einat Gavish co-captains, Eve Martin, Gus Betts-O’Rourke, and Ethan Gahm for all their hard work and to the rest of the team and coach Anndy Dannenberg for their support during the year!