Basic FAQ

For more information contact Brita Dempsey, Envirothon coordinator via email

Info on this page can be downloaded as a pdf.

When is the the Main Event?

The 2023 competition will be held all day on Thursday, May 25, Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park.

.  Some key details:

  • Schools/Organizations can at least one 5 member team, and hopefully up to 10 students in 2 teams:
    • Teams can have as few as 3 members and many as 5 members and can win or place at any station.
    • However, only teams of 5 can qualify for NCF and for First through Fifth place Overall, and only one (the higher scoring) five-member team per school can qualify for first through fifth place overall
  • The competition begins on time. Late teams are allowed to enter the competition as they arrive, but cannot make up lost time or missed stations.
  • At registration on the day of the event, schools receive a schedule for the morning that ensures that their team(s) have a chance to compete at all four ecostations (soil, water, wildlife, forest) and to make a Current Issue presentation.  If the school has 2 teams competing, they will have different schedules that do not overlap.
  • The morning competition will take the form of five 50-minute sessions. At each ecostation, teams take a short answer/hands-on test of skills and knowledge related to forests, soil, wildlife, and water resources.  Tests include use of provided resource materials and assessment of conditions at the site.
  • At the Current Issue station the team members make a 15-minute presentation of their findings and recommendations to a panel of judges, then answer judges’ questions for 10 minutes. Teams are scored on their knowledge, recommendations, and presentation skills. Copies of the score sheets and scoring criteria used by the judges are included in the spring mailing.
    • Coaches are allowed to observe their team’s Current Issue presentation but do not accompany their teams to the ecostations. There is a separate program for coaches. There is no contact allowed between coaches and teams during the competition.
    • At lunchtime, teams are invited to relax, make new friends, share their community research and other experiences at the Roundtable session, and check their answers and meet the natural resource experts behind the questions on the morning’s tests.
    • The day concludes with recognition of teams that have qualified for the Community Research and Community Action awards. Final competition scores are posted by the following day.

2023 Current Issue is Climate Change in your Community. Teams investigate this issue as it pertains to their own community and local ecosystems, identify the critical problems and potential courses of action, and develop a presentation of their findings and recommendations.  See the current issue page for more information.

What are the rules?

All team members and coaches must agree to abide by the Massachusetts Envirothon Rules in all aspects of the program. The rules are posted on the website. Final amendments for 2023 will be posted by March.

How is the competition scored and what awards are given?

A total of 500 points is possible in the competition.  Each ecostation test is worth 100 points.  The Current Issue presentation is worth 100 points, with a team’s score derived by averaging the judges’ individual scores.  Mass Envirothon awards prizes for the first-, second-, and third-place winners overall and the top-scoring team at each ecostation and for the Current Issue. The five top-scoring teams at each station and the top ten teams overall are acknowledged in the post-event news release.

Is there Envirothon beyond Massachusetts?

The overall first-place Massachusetts team has the opportunity to represent the state in a competition held each summer that draws winning teams from states and provinces all across the continent (see, sponsored by the non-profit National Conservation Foundation (“NCF”). The NCF Envirothon is scheduled for July 23 – 29, 2023 at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.

How do we earn Community Research and Community Action Awards?

These awards are optional and noncompetitive. They recognize teams that have met a high standard in their community research and have taken what they learned and applied it in service to their community.

When are the workshops?

  • Thursday, Nov 10 at UMass Amherst.  This event includes workshops on all Envirothon topics but has a special focus on the Current Issue.
  • Saturday, April 1, 2023 at Alden Research Laboratory, Holden. This event includes workshops on all Envirothon topics and the Current Issue.There is a mini-Envirothon in the afternoon with practice questions.
  • Please contact the coordinator if you are interested in hosting a small regional workshop!

 Mass Envirothon does not limit the number of participants from any school at any workshop, but we ask for an adult-to-youth ratio of at least 1:10 for participating groups.


What Resource Materials do teams receive?

All registered teams receive
• Mass Envirothon Manual. This resource is available on our website and includes background and test prep information for teams relating to soil, forest, wildlife, and water resources.
• Current Issue Guides. Useful links and a guide to getting started in their community research. This information is also posted on the website.

What will teams receive in the Spring Mailing?

In mid March, Mass Envirothon posts on the website and sends out to all registered teams:
• The final schedule for the May competition and directions to the event site
• Intent to Compete Form (must be completed – except for signatures – and returned by May 10)
• Frequently Asked Questions about the Envirothon (including what to wear and bring)
• Final Current Issue information, including
-The Current Issue Problem (including final guidelines and suggestions for presentations)
-Current Issue Scoring Sheet
– Judging Guidelines for the Current Issue
• Items to bring with you to on-site Envirothon Registration at the May competition.

What is Envirotrek?

At lunchtime on the day of the Envirothon, teams are invited to host informal roundtables where they share their Envirothon experiences (their “EnviroTrek through the year) with other teams, judges, and community volunteers. All teams, and especially those earning Community Awards, are encouraged to participate.

How do we Register?  (a three-step process)

  •  2023_Program_Registration.  In order to participate in the 2023 Mass Envirothon, teams must submit their $200 registration fee and Program Registration form by February 17, 2023.
  • Final Registration,  (must be submitted by May 10, 2023).
    • Intent to Compete.  This form asks the team for the names of the members (up to 10) who will be competing, their plans for how they will break into 2 teams (if applicable).
    • Community Awards Registration.  This form asks teams to document their community research and action projects to certify that they meet the standards for these awards (optional, but highly encouraged!)
  • Day of Competition: Thursday May 25. Registration opens at 7:30. Check in by 8:30 to get name tags and schedules for the competition and confirm community award registration, then have a team picture taken.

Who sponsors the program?

The Massachusetts Envirothon is planned each year by the Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee, a subcommittee of the Massachusetts State Commission for the Conservation of Soil, Water, and Related Resources. Members of the Steering Committee represent a variety of federal and state agencies, business, and nongovernmental organizations. The program relies on the support and good will and participation and financial support of a variety of local, state, and federal agencies, educational institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations, and individual volunteers. Close to 90% of the Mass Envirothon “budget” comes from partnerships, volunteerism, and contributed resources. A small (though critical) 10% comes from cash donations and grants. 12/22

Envirothon STE Standards Concordance

History and Social Studies Frameworks and the Civics Project Guide Concordance