Yough's Envirothon winning streak snapped
Learning about Pennsylvania's wildlife, forest composition and water chemistry are only a few of the topics that are covered annually in county Envirothons, held every year and hosted by county Conservation Districts.
The Westmoreland County Envirothon was recently held at Twin Lakes Park near Greensburg, and event organizers were pleasantly surprised with this year's response.
“This is a record year for us,” Westmoreland Conservation district assistant director Tony Quadro said. “In the 30 years that we have been a part of this, this is the most teams we have ever had with 19 teams competing this year.”
Quadro said that the increase in participation may be due in part to the general overall increase in interest for environmental concerns and issues but could also be based partly on the students and teachers experiences at the event itself.
“Last year, Latrobe participated again after they had been gone for many years,” Quadro said. “It was great to see them back and this year, they contacted us and asked if they could bring three teams which was great. We like to see the increase in interest, and it also means that they must have enjoyed the event last year.”
The students who participate in the event are broken into teams of four or five, and all must visit the six stations that make up the event.
Every year, there are five fixed stations of “Soils,” “Forestry,” Wildlife,” “Aquatics” and “Demonstration.”
A sixth station titled “Current Issue” changes every year, with this year's subject being “Sustainable Agriculture-Locally Grown.”
The students visit each station for a period of 35 minutes, then answer a series of questions based on that site and topic.
Questions are then scored with the top team being announced at the end of the daylong event.
Yough High School biology teacher and event faculty adviser Greg King brought two teams to the event, with his school being the reigning county champion for the past three years.
King said that all of the members from the winning team have now graduated, but the students of the teams are enthusiastic and interested in the subject matter.
“They work all year on this,” King said of the event, explaining that the students get together once a week during their activities period to prepare for the event.
All of the schools participating get packets of information to study and cover, preparing them for the competition.
“They all study everything, and we also have students who then concentrate on one area to focus on,” King said.
“I think that this is really interesting,” Yough student Gavin Gallaher, 15, said. “Pennsylvania is a very agricultural state.”
“Since we live in it I think we should learn about it,” Yough student and first time participant Ben Baldwin, 16, said.
Mt. Pleasant ecology teacher and event faculty sponsor Betty Jo Breakiron said that she enjoys the event and stresses to her students that it is both educational and fun.
“I tell them to have fun,” Breakiron said of her teams composed of newcomers to the event. “I tell them to go out and enjoy this. This is the best learning experience that they can get.”
Participating schools this year included Norwin, Greensburg Central Catholic, Southmoreland, Yough, Derry, Mt. Pleasant, Burrell, Kiski Area and Greater Latrobe.
Norwin took home first place, and the students will now compete at the state competitions May 20-21.
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer to Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Charges mount for rowdy Monongahela drug suspect
- Mon Valley readers request familiar journey to Memory Lane
- Monessen native receives Purple Heart, recalls Fort Hood shootings
- 3 to stand trial in Mon City drug sweep cases
- Police mum on Rostraver house probe
- Monessen man struck by train while chasing his dog
- Perryopolis woman nabbed in Monongahela on drug warrant
- Oldies dance at Stockdale returning with ‘new format’
- Rostraver police: Manor man’s disappearance ‘suspicious’
- Mon Valley Home Show ‘the right place’ for homeowners, exhibitors
- Know the rules of Social Security