Morgan County team to compete for scholarships
On April 25 at the Canaan Valley Resort, 28 high school teams from around the state are assembling to be tested in environmental sciences at the West Virginia Envirothon in hopes of winning a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to compete in the international Canon Envirothon in Flagstaff, Ariz.
The West Virginia Envirothon is a competition for students in grades nine through 12 in which they face hands-on challenges testing their natural resource knowledge, skills and problem-solving abilities. Each test is conducted outdoors, allowing the students a chance to work and learn in a real-world setting, guided by environmental professionals.
Berkeley Springs Future Farmers of America, with David Aberegg, advisor of East Hardy High School, for Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, will be a participating team.
Along with the four regular testing topics of aquatics, forestry, soil and wildlife, the teams are addressing the challenging current environmental topic, Recreational Impacts on Natural Resources, in their oral presentation. The specific challenge for the teams is to develop a visitor management and education plan for the Dolly Sods Wilderness, while examining the effects of visitors to sensitive habitats and ecosystems.
To provide the opportunity to learn from and to interact with science professionals, a teaching day is offered to participating teams and advisors on the day before the competition. In addition to presentations on the five topics, students are scheduled to tour the Dominion Power wind farm in Grant County.
The first place winning team earns a $5,000 scholarship to be shared equally among team members. This team also will win the privilege of representing West Virginia at the international event, the Canon Envirothon in Flagstaff.
The second place team wins a shared $3,750, while the third place team secures a shared $2,500 scholarship. The fourth place winners splits $1,250. Lastly, the fifth place team picks up a shared $500 scholarship.
This event for high school students is made possible by many generous partners and sponsors who provide the needed funds and labor for planning and event completion.
The Dominion Foundation, USDA Farm Service and West Virginia Department of Education are the 2008 event's Platinum Level donors who contributed $10,000 or more. Weyerhaeuser Foundation is a Gold Level donor that has been supporting the competition since the second year of its existence.