This is the first year that Bellows Falls Union High School has competed in the Vermont State annual Envirothon Competition. The competition was held at Farm and Wilderness Camp in Plymouth, Vermont in May.
It was a full day of events in which students were tested on their knowledge in five categories of Vermont's environment: wildlife, forests, soils, aquatics, and a current environmental Issue in which students were required to do research, present their findings and state any recommendations they had in an oral presentation.
The team consisted of five main members and two alternates: Codi-Ann Hindes, Taylor Smith, Marion Major, Joey Aiken, Aaron Morton, Hannah Hodsden, and Sarah Engerman. Susan Steiner, the team's coach, trained with the students throughout year in preparation for the event.
The Bellows Falls team took 1st in the Aquatics division with a score of a 93. It not only was the top score of the day, the only time a team has scored higher than this was 3 years ago in 2007 and 9 years ago in 2001. Bellows Falls also took 1st place in the oral presentation with a score of 185.6, the only event that counted for double points. The last time a team has scored higher than this was 9 years ago in 2001 with a score of 192. By the end of the day the Bellows Falls team ended up tying for 2nd place overall. To top off the day of events, the Bellows Falls alternate team members scored 1st place with their alternates group.
"The work was quite challenging for all of us, in fact, quite overwhelming at times, however, this group had such positive energy and the students enjoyed being together which consequently resulted in quite an accomplishment." said Susan Steiner, Science Educator and Envirothon coach.
Steiner said, "We are very lucky here in Bellows Falls to have a great pool of professional people in the area in which to draw from, who have been more than willing to share in their knowledge and take the time to work with the students."
Steiner said she looked forward to coaching a new team for next year's competition.