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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

April 20, 2012

Students to compete in annual South Carolina Envirothon on May 4

Participating high school teams will compete for recognition and scholarships by demonstrating their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management in the hands-on environmental problem-solving competition known as the South Carolina Envirothon.

Teams of three to five members will rotate between the outdoor stations of Aquatics, Forestry, Oral Presentation, Soils, Wildlife and the current environmental topic chosen for each individual year of the program. The topic of the 2012 competition is Non-Point Source Pollution/Low Impact Development, joining such other topics as Recreational Impacts on Natural Resources, Biodiversity, Groundwater Protection and Salt & Freshwater Estuaries.

The event will be held at the Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development at the Sandhill facility north of Columbia on May 4.

The Envirothon has been in South Carolina since 1997 and has provided over $70,000 in college scholarships to students that have participated. First place team members win $500, second place members receive $250 and third place winners receive $125. All scholarships are available for five years and are paid directly to the college or university of the student’s choice. Coaches receive a cash award in the same amount for each level to support their educational efforts at their school. In addition, teams are recognized with a framed certificate for the highest test score obtained for each testing station.

The first place team and coach also have the opportunity to attend and compete at the Canon North American Envirothon Competition held in the summer each year where an additional $100,000 in scholarships will be up for grabs. The trip offers a unique experience in environmental education, travel and cultural diversity by participating with students from 45 other states and nine Canadian provinces. The Canon Envirothon is hosted by a different region of the United States and Canada each year. It was hosted by Arizona in 2008, North Carolina in 2009, California in 2010, New Brunswick, Canada in 2011, and now comes full circle in 2012 in Pennsylvania where the competition originated in 1987.

In 2011, a team from Spartanburg High School placed third in the Canon North American Envirothon Competition. Each team member received a $3,000 college scholarship in addition to the scholarship monies won at the state level.

The South Carolina Envirothon is sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, S.C. Forestry Commission, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Central Carolina Technical College, Francis Marion University, Florence County Environmental Discovery Center, USC Upstate, Canon Envirothon, the Clemson Institute, the Conservation Districts Foundation, the S.C. Association of Conservation Districts, individual Conservation Districts and private donors.

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