St. Mary's Ryken Students Participate in Envirothon Fall Training

Last week, six St. Mary's Ryken advanced placement Environmental Science students traveled to a local farm in Valley Lee, Maryland to participate in Envirothon training. The Envirothon is a problem solving natural resource competition for high school student teams.   In April, five St. Mary's Ryken students will academically compete in against others schools on their knowledge of current environmental issues. This topic this year is: Agriculture and the Environment - Knowledge & Technology to Feed the World.

In St. Mary's County, the Envirothon is sponsored by the local district with financial support coming from many local businesses,organizations, and individuals.

Five member teams of students are tested on their knowledge in five natural resource areas; aquatics, forestry, soils,wildlife, and a current natural resource issue.  Training is provided year round starting with the school year in September and culminates with the test in April. The training is provided by natural resource professionals using as much hands-on demonstration as the topic will allow.

This year, the key learning goals are:

  • Understanding how agroecosystems function and the services they provide.
  • Understanding the importance of soil health as the foundation of a healthy ecosystem.
  • Understanding sustainable agriculture on large and small farm operations, as well as the indicators of sustainable farming.
  • Understanding how sustainable and best management farming practices enhance and protect soil health, water quality and quantity, and biodiversity; as well as manage insect pests, disease,and weeds.
  • The differences of local, regional, and national foods systems that are vital to grow food for an ever increasing world population; and the importance of each food system.
  • New technologies that help provide more efficient agriculture production.

Individual awards are given to each member of the team that wins each subject area, and group awards are presented to the top three(3) high scoring teams.  The first place winner goes on to represent St.Mary's County at the State Competition.

Spring training will occur in April along with the county competition. The state competition will be held in June at the St. Mary'sCollege of Maryland. 

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