Thursday, May 26, 2016

Penncrest High School, Delaware County Wins 2016 PA Envirothon

The 33rd annual Pennsylvania Envirothon champions, scoring 548.3 points of a possible 600, are from Penncrest High School, Delaware County. The statewide Envirothon was held at Susquehanna University and Camp Mount Luther on May 24-25.
The Delaware County team earned the honor to represent Pennsylvania at the NCF-Envirothon North American competition.
Following close on the heels of Penncrest are the other top winners in the competition--
-- Second Place – Palmyra Area High School, Lebanon County, with a score of 538.7;
-- Third Place – Carmichaels Area High School, Greene County, with a score of 522.7;
-- Fourth Place – Neshaminy High School, Bucks County, with a score of 516.7;
-- Fifth Place – YHSA Homeschoolers, York County, with a score of 512.3;
-- Sixth Place – North East High School, Erie County, with a score of 479.7;
-- Seventh Place – Oley Valley High School, Berks County, with a score of 471.3;
-- Eighth Place – Cumberland Valley High School, Cumberland County, with a score of 461.3;
-- Ninth Place – Pleasant Valley High School, Monroe County, with a score of 453.3; and
-- Tenth Place – Coudersport High School, Potter County, with a score of 453.
The Pennsylvania Envirothon also awarded scholarships to the first, second, and third place teams. The scholarships were sponsored by Pennsylvania’s County Conservation Districts and Shell Oil.
Each of the top ten teams received a plaque and other prizes.  The high station winners, with scores include:
-- Soils/Land Use – Berks County, with a score of 97;
-- Aquatic Ecology – Lebanon County, with a score of 98;
-- Forestry –Delaware County, with a score of 94;
-- Wildlife – Lebanon County, with a score of 81;
-- Current Issue – Greene County, with a score of 94; and
-- Oral Presentation Component – Delaware County, with a score of 96.3.
High school students from 65 Pennsylvania counties participated in this year’s event.
Pennsylvania has won the North American event in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2009.
At the Envirothon, five-member teams participate in a series of field station tests that focus on five topic areas – soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and environmental issues.
The 2016 current environmental issue focused on Invasive Species.
The teams also prepare and deliver oral presentations to panels of judges who evaluate each team on its problem-solving capabilities, oral presentation skills and recommendations to help solve the specific environmental challenge, which relates to the current environmental issue.
Teams participating represent the best and the brightest of the thousands of high school teens who have competed in county Envirothon competitions sponsored by conservation districts from across the state.
Secretary Agriculture Russell Redding
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding recognized the achievements of 335 Pennsylvania high school students for their efforts as a part of the 2016 state Envirothon competition.
While visiting Susquehanna University Wednesday afternoon, Redding spoke to the 67 teams, stressing the value of their Envirothon preparation and how the experience lays a strong foundation for future career options in the agriculture and food industry.
“Today is more than applying classroom learning to scenarios that showcase the real-life environmental challenges we face. You’re gaining the experience that will make you our future leaders and decision makers, and I thank you for taking this commitment seriously,” Redding said during yesterday’s awards ceremony.
“The Envirothon teaches students to be critical, strategic thinkers in a world that’s dependent on science, technology, engineering and math – the STEM studies,” Redding noted while speaking with the students. “Jobs in these STEM fields are expected to grow in demand by more than 10 percent in the next 10 years. Your preparation today sets you up for your future position in a workforce that will need your passion and insight to help solve challenges similar to the ones you explore as a part of this competition.”
With an anticipated 75,000 jobs opening in the food and fiber industry in the next decade, the department is working closely with the Department of Education to introduce students to career opportunities in agriculture.
“We currently lack the pipeline of workers who will be needed to fill these anticipated employment gaps in our industry over the next decade,” Redding said. “Programs like the Envirothon help open students to possible agricultural careers that they never realized were available.”
The department has identified the top 25 most in-demand positions among those anticipated vacancies – approximately 60 percent of which are currently held by individuals with an associate’s degree, professional certification, high school diploma or less. These most-in-demand positions span sectors such as production agriculture; animal health and veterinary services; landscaping; food manufacturing, forestry, lumber and wood products; and conservation and natural resources.
To help make more students and school guidance counselors aware of opportunities within the industry, the department has developed “Agriculture and Food Careers in Pennsylvania: A Desk Guide for Educators and Counselors.” This guide offers detailed information on the knowledge, skills, and abilities related to these 25 in-demand positions.
For more information about the department’s agriculture education and workforce initiatives, visit Agriculture’s Workforce Development webpage.
PA Envirothon
At the state level, the Envirothon is sponsored by Pennsylvania’s sixty-six county conservation districts, the State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts.
The program is managed by a board of directors representing those sponsors.
Technical expertise is provided by the following partners: Department of Agriculture,  Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Game Commission, Fish and Boat Commission, U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
Sponsors and partners of the 2016 Envirothon are Shell Oil Company, PPL Corporation, EQT Foundation, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Weis, SWN, Chief Oil & Gas LLC, 2005 Canon Envirothon Champion Team Penncrest High School, National Conservation Foundation Envirothon, and Pennsylvania Department of Education.
The EQT Foundation, Hershey Company, Dwight Lewis Lumber, Lewis Lumber Products, PPL, and Cargill are corporate station sponsors.
The 2016 Pennsylvania Envirothon champions will represent the Commonwealth at the 28th North American competition planned for July 24 – July 29 at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario Canada.
More than 46 states, eight Canadian provinces, and one Canadian territory have initiated Envirothon contests based on the program that was originally developed by Pennsylvania’s conservation districts.
For more information on the Envirothon program, contact your county conservation district or contact the Pennsylvania Envirothon by phone 814-623-7900 ext. 111 or send email to:  Click Here to sign up regular updates from PA Envirothon.

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