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High School Students Again Vie For Envirothon Honors At Shikellamy State Park

The 130-acre Shikellamy State Park will be drawing high school students from throughout the state to Snyder County late next month when the 28th annual Pennsylvania State Envirothon kicks off in a variety of outdoors classrooms nestled along the banks of the Susquehanna River.
            Sixty-six teams of high school students are expected to compete at this year’s event, May 24 and 25. Traditional testing stations will be at Shikellamy State Park, Shamokin Dam, Snyder County, and oral presentations will be at Susquehanna University in nearby Selinsgrove.
            An environmental education and natural resource program, the Envirothon sees winning teams from participating counties compete for recognition and scholarships by demonstrating knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management.
            Competition centers on four universal testing categories: soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, and wildlife, as well as a current environmental issue.
            The event is designed to help educators and students move beyond the classroom into the outdoors, preparing them to complete written exams and sample hands-on experiences developed by soil scientists, aquatic biologists, foresters, wildlife managers and natural resource professionals.
            Conservation districts from Pennsylvania’s 66 counties are expected to sponsor county level Envirothon events reaching over 15,000 youth from over 700 high schools. Five-member Envirothon teams prepare for competition from late autumn until spring before working their way through the county Envirothon events. 
            Winning county Envirothon teams earn the honor to represent their county and travel to Susquehanna University and Shikellamy State Park to participate in the state competition for scholarships and other prizes.
            The Pennsylvania Envirothon partners with the U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service, Fish and Boat Commission, Game Commission, DCNR’s bureaus of Forestry and State Parks, Department of Environmental Protection, and Department of Agriculture.
            These partners provide educational reference materials to participating high school teams as well as technical expertise, knowledge, and manpower at not only the state event but also at 66 county events, assuring the continued success of the program.
            Pennsylvania’s sixty-six county conservation districts, the State Conservation Commission and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts sponsor the Envirothon program.
            Corporate sponsorship from PPL Corporation, The Hershey Company, Nestle Waters North America, Air Products Foundation, Talisman Energy USA, Bayer HealthCare, PA Outdoor Writers Association, PA Trapper’s Association, Friends of Envirothon, Larson Design Group, Canon Envirothon, Cargill, Dwight Lewis Lumber, and Lewis Lumber Products along with state grants allows the Pennsylvania Envirothon Board of Directors to continue to ensure a quality event for all those who participate. Sponsors and partners of the program award the top ten teams.
            Again this year, team members of the overall winning first-, second- and third-place teams receive scholarships that can be used toward post-secondary education. The scholarships are funded by The Hershey Company.
            The highest scoring team in upcoming state competition achieves the ultimate goal to represent Pennsylvania at the Canon Envirothon, North America’s largest environmental competition for high school students.
            That event takes place July 24 -29 at Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick. Pennsylvania teams have won 11 of 23 Canon Envirothon events.
            For more information, visit the PA Envirothon website or call Lorelle Steach, program coordinator at 814-623-7900, ext. 111; or send email to: paenvirothon@pennswoods.net.


5/2/2011

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