A team of South High School students—Kathelyn Chang, Angela Chi, Allan Lee, Angelina Wang and Ann Zhang—was named Nassau County and overall Long Island winner in the recent Long Island Regional Envirothon Competition. The team will now compete in the New York State tournament at the end of May.
Envirothon is an environmental studies program for high school students. The learning objective of Envirothon correlates to the NYS Learning Standards and the program is based on five subject areas: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and the current issue, invasive species, which changes annually.
The Nassau and Suffolk County Soil & Water Conservation Districts coordinates the Long Island Regional Envirothon in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
For this year’s competition, the invasive species the South High team chose was Hydrilla, a water weed that can be a nuisance for boaters and the environment.
On the day of the competition, students rotated between subject stations and answered questions as a team. Each subject area test was made up of 25 multiple-choice questions. Many of the questions were hands-on, involving the use of equipment, maps and/or audio-
visual devices. A sixth category, the oral presentation, was devoted to the current issue. Students were given an environmental scenario, posted on the Envirothon website in February. They were required to prepare a solution as a team and present their results to a panel.
Team member Ann Zhang explained that the team approached the problem with a threefold solution. They used carps as a biological control, then they used two different kinds of herbicides. She said that the team “definitely learned to communicate teamwork skills. It took a lot of time to try to patch these ideas together.”
South High faculty advisors for Envirothon are science teachers Abby-Jo Brighton and Andrew Tuomey.