RHS Students Compete in 2018 Envirothon
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief
The Rockland High School Environmental Club recently took part in their third annual Massachusetts Envirothon. This year the event took place on May 18 at Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge, Mass.
The Rockland Team, coached by RHS science teacher Angela Armstrong, included: Jad Bendarkawi, Sean Fitzgerald, Tyler Gambon, Saoirse and Ronan McNally, Joseph Naughton, Michelle Ramoska, Sean Sugrue, Zach Webb and Hannah Wyllie.
In Uxbridge, students competed at different ecostations in which they demonstrated their knowledge about the environment based on research they had done throughout the year.
After being split up into sub-teams, they rotated through four ecostations where they answered written questions and engaged in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality measures.
At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each school gave a 15-minute presentation on “Partnering with Nature in Watersheds” to a panel of judges. Each team researched the Current Issue in their own community in preparation for their presentation. Rockland presented their research and action plan investigating the North and South River Watersheds.
Each panel of judges included concerned citizens and environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to assess water infrastructure resources and needs, identify an important partnering opportunity, and make specific recommendations for action.
This week the Rockland Team was notified that they had received a Community Action and Community Research Award from the Mass. Envirothon. They were one of 12 teams to receive the awards. Will Snyder, a board member of Mass. Envirothon congratulated Rockland’s team members for their presentation about the North and South River Watershed. Snyder cited the team’s work with the Rockland Board of Selectmen, and other town officials in investigating the pollutants that run-off into the tributaries that flow into the watershed. The team provided data that the town will use in its annual EPA report.
Sophomore Tyler Gambon noted, “Our recent success has only made us more ready for next year.”
The team has already started planning and learning for next year’s competition. Sophomore Hannah Wyllie said, “We have actually already started working on next year’s topic, ‘Growing Abundant, Affordable, Nutritious Food in Massachusetts.’ We are always looking for more teammates as well!”