Students from across Washington state gathered virtually on Zoom May 17-21, 2021, for the 2021 Washington State Envirothon competition. With last year’s cancellation due to COVID-19, the Washington State Envirothon (WSE) committee was especially excited to hold this year’s competition and made accommodations to support remote and hybrid teaching. 68 students, from eleven different schools, participated in the weeklong statewide event.
On Monday morning, May 17, teams logged into Zoom for the Welcome ceremony. Nikki Wolf, WSE’s Chair, introduced students to the competition and what teams could expect for the week. Once introductions were completed, all the students moved to their Zoom Test Session, where they worked together as a team in breakout rooms on the Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Soils and Land Use and Wildlife tests. Natural Resources experts and test writers presented and introduced tests to the teams and shared the importance of the topic and how it relates to their day-to-day work.
Between Tuesday and Thursday, each team was given a time slot to present to our panel of judges on the current topic issue, Water Resources Management: Local Control and Local Solutions. All teams were given a natural resource scenario to solve based on this topic and locally relevant concerns. They developed a 10-minute presentation on a conceptual public property acquisition proposal to demonstrate possible land uses for the long-term benefit/value to both the community and the environment.
Congratulations to the Garfield- Palouse team for placing first at this year’s competition! They will be representing Washington state at the national virtual competition in July 2021.
In total eleven WA state high schools composed of 68 students and thirteen advisors participated in the competition. There were 29 volunteers and staff from King, Snohomish, Pierce, Mason, Whatcom, Thurston, Skagit, Spokane, and Palouse Conservation Districts, Washington Association of Conservation Districts, The Slater Museum, NRCS, WDNR and Washington Service Corps who took on tasks from hosting zoom sessions, proctoring and grading tests, to judging the oral presentations. We could not have put this virtual event together without the help and support from these people and organizations.
The event was sponsored through funding by Washington State Conservation Commission, Washington Conservation Society, Washington Association of Conservation Districts and Washington State Envirothon.