Students gain experience, make connections during Envirothon
Poland Central School District science teacher and Science Club advisor Jessica Meyer and Poland students who attended the 2022 Herkimer County Envirothon pose for a photo together.
POLAND – Seventeen Poland Central School District students recently attended the 2022 Herkimer County Envirothon, where they competed against other local schools in five environmental academic areas and interacted with local experts in the industry.
The Envirothon and the preparation leading up to it are beneficial for students, Poland science teacher and Science Club advisor Jessica Meyer said.
“They learn a lot of additional information that they would never learn in living environment with me or field biology with me,” Meyer said. “It’s a really great way to get further knowledge. It’s also a fantastic thing to be a part of for a college resume.”
Envirothon also allows students to meet local professionals in environmental career fields such as the people who host the stations at the Envirothon, and this could help them network for future jobs, Meyer said.
“It gives a whole different avenue of connections and information for them,” she said.
The Herkimer County Envirothon, which is sponsored and organized by the Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District, took place on Wednesday, May 11, at the Herkimer College Wehrum Stadium. Poland had three teams of five in the Envirothon, and two students attended as alternates.
Poland Team A won third place with the following members: 10th-grader Sophia Farber, 10th-grader Luke Malin, 10th-grader Emily Satterlee, ninth-grader Trinity Barnello and ninth-grader Anthony Wilson.
Poland Team B consisted of 10th-graders Zachary Gee, Kyle Grimaldi, Seth Miller-Huckabone, Brendan Parow and Frank Sudakow. Poland Team C included 12th-grader Gabrielle Ross, 10th-grader Isabelle Ross, 10th-grader Megan March, ninth-grader Emily Smith and eighth-grader Jack Hoffman. The alternates were 11th-grader Sydney Tabor and ninth-grader Grace Grems.
The Envirothon is an academic competition consisting of five stations: soil, forestry, wildlife, aquatics and a current event category that changes each year. The current event category this year was “waste to resources” and involved designing a comprehensive local solid waste management plan. Students also created a video on the “waste to resources” issue.
Students spend the whole school day at the Envirothon, receive breakfast and lunch and participate in door prize activities.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Meyer said.
Poland students in ninth grade to 12th grade or who are in the advanced living environment class Meyer teaches are eligible to participate in Envirothon. Students participating in Envirothon met on Wednesdays throughout the school year and then met more frequently as the event got closer. During one of the meetings, Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority Recycling Coordinator Samantha Brown visited as a guest speaker and to help students prepare for the “waste to resources” category.
The 17 Poland students who attended Envirothon this year did so first the time because COVID-19 resulted in no Envirothon in 2020 and Poland not having a team for 2021. That made this year’s Envirothon both a good learning opportunity for students and a chance to start building back up Envirothon experience among Poland students, Meyer said.
“Every student that participated this year had never done the competition before – which I think is pretty neat,” she said. “It’s great to be able to do it again because we weren’t able to do it for the last two years.”
Poland Central School District Team A members pose with the third-place plaque they won from the 2022 Herkimer County Envirothon. From left: 10th-grader Luke Malin, 10th-grader Emily Satterlee, ninth-grader Trinity Barnello and ninth-grader Anthony Wilson. Team A member not pictured: 10th-grader Sophia Farber.