From micro to macro — Envirothon teams examine the world

Tuscola, WMS teams to advance to state competition
By Rachel Robles, Lifestyles Editor | Apr 08, 2014
Photo by: Rachel Robles ENVIROTHON — Tuscola students examine aquatic life at the aquatics station during the Area 1 Envirothon.

Students from Haywood and surrounding counties competed in the 2014 Area 1 Envirothon on Friday, April 5, at the Test Farm on Raccoon Road.

Teams rotate among and listen to five resource experts, have lunch and then rotate again to take five tests as a group.

The five categories each team studies are forestry, wildlife, soils, aquatics and current environmental issues.

Susan Fay, of Holmes Educational State Forest in the Hendersonville area, led the forestry workshop, and discussed Biltmore sticks (a tool used to measure trees), forest management and disease.

Dave Dudek, a retired HCC fish and wildlife instructor, and Patrick Farrell, from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, led the wildlife station and talked about wildlife profiles and the life cycles of 30 animals.

The soils station was led by William Miller, a soil scientist from the Division of Soil and Water Conservation and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He spoke about soil surveys, soil particles, types of soil and land classifications.

In the aquatics station was led by Eric Romaniszyn of Haywood Waterways, who spoke about best management practices (BMPs) for water pollution. The students were able to take water samples and examine the wildlife in the creek.

Keith Bamberger, of the Division of Air Quality, led the workshop on current environmental issues. He engaged the teams in a questions game and discussed the benefits and disadvantages of hybrid cars.

The seven top scoring teams in the high school division and the top seven scoring teams in the middle school division will advance to the state competition to be held April 25-26 in Burlington, North Carolina.

The seven high school teams that will advance are the Finest Scientists, from Tuscola; Chaco Chics, from Rosman High School in Transylvania County; Incrementally Bored, from Rosman High School; Aquatards, from Tuscola; THS Ten, from Tuscola; Chocolate Mooses, from Madison High School in Madison County; and Chase HS from Chase High School in Rutherford County.

The Finest Scientist scored a perfect 100 in two of the five tests.

The seven middle school teams that will advance are the Green Mtn. Boys, a homeschool team from Buncombe County; Bacon Covered Pandas, from Madison Middle School; Thunder Llamas, from Rosman Middle School; Super Science Freaks, from Madison Middle School; Appalachian Wardens, from Rosman Middle School; The Nature Avengers, from Rosman Middle School; and WMS Walnuts, from Waynesville Middle School.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Gail Heathman | Apr 09, 2014 09:03

Envirothon is one of the largest educational events offered by soil and water conservation districts. We at Haywood Soil and Water owe huge thanks to the many who make it happen - the students for their hard work and the teachers who serve as advisors - Angie May, Amy Tiller, Sue Miller, Mark Ethridge, Sharon Flowe and 4-H advisor Amy Warren. The resource folks listed in the article are terrific; Kaleb Rathbone at the Test Farm and his staff always welcoming (plus, they did a teacher workshop while the kids were testing); the Pigeon River Fund aids in providing money for registration fees, travel expenses and motel rooms in Burlington; our Regional Coordinator Davis Ferguson (Division of Soil and Water Conservation) helps facilitate the whole event. Thank you, Rachel Robles, for this article and the great pictures. It's so good to know our youth, our future, are learning in depth about the environmental issues that affect us all.

Gail Heathman, Education Coordinator

Haywood Soil and Water Conservation District 

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