Education

33rd Centre County Envirothon hosts 11 teams

Bald Eagle Area students Lucas Holderman, Garrett Rigg, Joey Gates and Cameron Cody participate in a Envirothon activity on Wednesday at Bald Eagle State Park.
Bald Eagle Area students Lucas Holderman, Garrett Rigg, Joey Gates and Cameron Cody participate in a Envirothon activity on Wednesday at Bald Eagle State Park. bmilazzo@centredaily.com

When Ann-Marie Pase dropped her chemistry class earlier this school year, she was required to replace it with another science class.

That’s when the St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy senior signed up for the wildlife biology class with teacher Cathy Merovich — a class Pase said would help prepare her for her college future, studying marine science at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C.

5 stations: aquatic ecology, forestry, soil and land use, wildlife, and agriculture soil and water conservation

“(I’ve) been interested in wildlife for a long time, and this class was a good fit that would work well with my major, even though there are some difference,” she said. “We do a lot of hands-on activities in class that give us a good sense of the work, and really lucky to participate in the Envirothon this year at the high school level. I didn’t realize this was something available to high-schoolers.”

On Wednesday,St. Joe’s students competed for the first time against 11 other teams in the annual Centre County Envirothon at Bald Eagle State Park.

“It’s our whole class, and we’ve basically made this part of our curriculum,” she said.

Envirothon is an annual education competition for high school students. Teams of five are required to participate in five activities and take a final test on what they learned.

5 stations: aquatic ecology, forestry, soil and land use, wildlife, and agriculture soil and water conservation

Stations included aquatic ecology, forestry, soil and land use, wildlife, and agriculture soil and water conservation.

“It’s helpful because when you’re at (the stations), you get a realistic look at of how the things you’re working with work in difference circumstance,” Pase said. “In soils, we look at dirt and soil types, and distinguish what is good for the foundation of a house or a crop.”

Conservation District Manager Robert Sweitzer said the event has been held for 33 years.

“The mission is to make youth more environmentally aware and conservation-minded,” he said.

Teams participating represented Bald Eagle, Bellefonte, Penns Valley and State College area school districts; Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology; and St. Joe’s.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

Top 5 results

Penns Valley I: 418.5 points (out of 500 total)

Bald Eagle Area III Woodpeckers: 362.5 points

Penns Valley II: 325.5 points

State College Ag Science: 292 points

Bellefonte I: 290 points

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