Story by Paula Curry
On Thursday, April 7th, a group of 10 Discovery students made their way to Wilkesboro, North Carolina where they competed in the Area 2 Northwest Envirothon competition.
Envirothon is an annual competition where middle and high school students can compete for scholarships and recognition by demonstrating their knowledge and critical thinking concerning environmental issues and sustainability. The competitions are primarily organized by the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts but are funded almost exclusively by private organizations and corporate sponsorships from companies that have an interest in environmental education. Students compete in teams of five and are tested on their knowledge of five different aspects of environmental studies: soils, aquatics, forestry, wildlife and current environmental issues.
Leanne Nguyen, a Discovery High School sophomore, competed for the first time at Envirothon this year. When asked about her experience competing in the wildlife section at Envirothon she replied, “I took on the topic of wildlife. I’ve loved animals since I was a kid, so I was really excited for the competition. I gained so much knowledge from it and I will definitely compete again”.
One of the two Discovery teams competing this year, The Difference, placed second overall in the high school division of the competition. Mr. Gene Scronce, the teacher sponsor for both teams, said that he “thought both teams did very well” and he adds that he “thinks The Difference has a good chance of winning the state competition”. The North Carolina Envirothon competition will be held April 29th & 30th at Cedarock National Park in Graham, North Carolina. The students who will be going on to represent Discovery at the state competition will be freshman Anika Foret, Leanne Nguyen, Jillian Whitener, Annamarie Eustice, and Kaitlyn Stewart, who are all sophomores.
Grace Little, a junior, competed as member of The Difference during the Northwestern Regional but will be unable to attend the state competition due to an AP Earth and Environmental Science final exam at the North Carolina School of Science and Math on the same day. This was her fifth year competing at the regional Envirothon.
When asked why she thought Envirothon was important to Discovery and its community of participants Grace replied, “Envirothon is very important to me because it helps young people and their sponsors get into the community of sustainability and other environmental issues. I think that as long as we keep educating people and growing that community our situation can only improve, and that’s part of the way to building a greener, more environmentally-conscious future which is really what Envirothon is all about.”