North Carolina’s State Champion Envirothon team from Enloe High School in Raleigh clinched third place at the 2012 Canon Envirothon, a week-long environmental education competition held last month at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Penn., and sponsored by Canon USA Inc.
The Wake County high school students competed with an international field of 54 high school teams from 44 U.S. states, nine Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory. They achieved the second highest oral presentation score and tied for the top wildlife score. In total, the team took home $15,000 in scholarships — $3,000 each — an engraved plaque and Canon products for their school and local sponsor, Wake Soil and Water Conservation District.
At the Envirothon, all qualifying teams received training and were then tested on soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and current environmental issues under the supervision of foresters, soil scientists, wildlife specialists and other natural resources and environmental education professionals.
Teamwork, problem solving and public speaking skills were evaluated as each team offered a panel of judges a 20-minute oral presentation containing recommendations for solving an environmental problem related to the annual theme. This year’s theme was “Low Impact Development” that focused on how hard surfaces increase stormwater runoff and water quality problems.
The Enloe High School team’s journey to nationals began at the 2012 Area 4 Envirothon in March. Studying after school and on weekends paid off as they captured first place, earning the privilege to advance to the 2012 N.C. Envirothon in April. More than 2,000 students, 220 teachers and 200 schools participated in the statewide Envirothon. Capturing first place again led them to the North American Envirothon in Pennsylvania. Overall, more than 500,000 teenagers participate each year in Envirothon challenges throughout North America to win a share of $120,000 in scholarships and Canon products.
Middle schools and high schools across North Carolina are invited to form teams and register for the 2013 Envirothon by contacting their local Soil and Water Conservation District.