Keuka College will host the state-level competition of the Canon Envirothon, one of North America’s largest high school environmental education competitions, this spring.
Teams of five high school students from all 62 New York state counties will compete on campus May 27-29. The winning team from this competition will go on to compete with students from participating U.S. states and Canadian providences.
During the Envirothon, teams compete to solve environmental problems in five subject areas including aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and a current issue. This year’s current issue is “Biodiversity in a Changing World.” Each team is also required to give an oral presentation based on the current issue. Student participants are exposed to scientists and experts in the field who coach and guide their learning experiences.
The Envirothon involves a series of contests starting at the local level. In New York, Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the state work with schools to hold a county or regional event. Top teams advance to the state/provincial/territorial contests. Winners then head to the Canon Envirothon, a week-long culminating competition, where more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes are awarded. The Canon Envirothon will be held in Ashville, N.C. in July 2009.
Why Keuka College?
“Each year, there is a designated person on the New York State (NYS) Envirothon Committee that solicits colleges throughout the state as possible hosts for the event,” explained Sandy Huey, chair of the NYS Envirothon Committee.
“Keuka College was on the list, along with about 10-15 other schools. Attributes the committee were looking for included a waterfront, wooded area and short walking distance between buildings, all of which the college located on Keuka Lake has.”
“I included photographs of the lakefront, TeamWorks! The Birkett Mills/Keuka College Challenge Experience (ropes course), activities taking place in Sunset Woods, Davis Point, and an aerial view of the entire campus,” said Sable.
She also led a tour of the campus for members of the Envirothon Committee earlier this year. Committee members liked what they saw.
“The campus and the lake are beautiful,” said Huey.
Another thing Keuka has: Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Tim Sellers, who will assist with the writing of the tests for the teams competing in Envirothon.
“This is quite an undertaking,” said Sable, who anticipates some 400 people on campus for Envirothon, including participants and volunteers. “It couldn’t happen without the support of the entire Keuka College community.”
And Keuka College is offering more than its facilities to participants.
The College will offer $5,000 over four years of attendance ($1,250 annually) to the top five finishers in the Envirothon competition if they are admitted and elect to attend Keuka College.
To learn more about Envirothon, visit www.nysenvirothon.org.