What is Envirothon?
Envirothon is North America's largest and most academically challenging high school environmental competition. The goal of Envirothon is to enhance students' environmental literacy and enable them to make informed decisions regarding the environment.
Envirothon is a TEAM competition. Through several months of study, teams of five students prepare themselves for testing in wildlife biology, forestry, aquatics, soil science, and a current environmental issue. At Envirothon, teams must work together to answer knowledge-based questions in outdoor field-testing stations and also apply that knowledge to solve real-life problems.
The Envirothon uses a team approach to learning. Teachers attend training workshops and assist their students with mastering the Envirothon goals. Students begin study sessions in the fall of the school year and continue with the top team preparing in the summer for the national competition. The teams study with natural resource professionals and educators to learn about the five areas of study. The students are also provided with reference materials to enhance their knowledge about the Envirothon program's key concepts.
State and National Competition
The Texas Envirothon is held over three days in March or April of each year.
At the state competition, students will:
- Participate in seminars led by natural resource professionals
- Create solutions to real-life problems and present them to a panel of experts
- Compete at outdoor field-testing stations in the areas of wildlife biology, forestry, aquatics, soil science, and a current environmental issue
The Environmental Institute of Houston will pay for the winning Texas Envirothon team to represent Texas at the national level by paying the registration fees for NCF-Envirothon. In addition, the Environmental Institute of Houston will subsidize up to $4,000 of the costs associated with transportation to the national event. The NCF-Envirothon's five-day competition is held in the summer in a different North American location each year.
Commitment to Education
All Texas Envirothon objectives and materials are TEKS correlated. The key points highlighted within each area of study will provide you with a good idea about what you need to know to compete at the Texas Envirothon. Advisors may use them as a guide to design effective curricula, educational resources, and testing scenarios. The study guide is available online, and covers all testable material in the five subject areas.
Envirothon teacher training workshops are held each year.
History of the Texas Envirothon
The Envirothon program originated in Pennsylvania in the spring of 1979. Since 1979, the Envirothon has continued a steady growth. The first national competition was held in 1988 with three teams. Currently, over 50 teams attend the NCF-Envirothon representing the states and Canadian provinces.
In Texas, the first state competition was conducted in April 2001 where twelve teams participated. Teams represented schools from West Texas to East Texas to the Coast. Since then, more than 50 schools have participated in the state competition, including the towns of Lubbock, Hallsville, Nacogdoches, Magnolia, Mt. Pleasant, Houston, Ft. Worth, Conroe, The Woodlands, Rio Hondo, San Antonio, and Paris.
The Envirothon is volunteer dependent. Over 50 individuals volunteer over 500 hours in order to make the Texas Envirothon a success. Volunteers assist with the preparation of the site, teacher training, and the actual state competition. Volunteers represent local non-profits, state and federal agency personnel, local school districts, universities, and businesses. Volunteers help train the teachers on environmental issues, forestry, soils, aquatics, and wildlife. Other volunteers participate as guest speakers, judges, score keepers, team buddies, team leaders, and test writers. As the program grows, the number of volunteers and the hours dedicated to the program also grows.