The Envirothon team made it to the state competition of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District on May 20 to 21.
The competition sponsors 11 teams in Virginia in order to distinguish students that have an interest in agriculture. Last year, the Envirothon team won second place in regionals.
Biology teacher Barbara Brown led the team, which competed in tests that measured their knowledge in forestry, soil, aquatics, wildlife and a special topic called sustainable agriculture. They presented a farm concept to the judges.
“We hadn’t specified in our plan that we wanted to build a solar-powered well,” senior and Envirothon team member Neel Simpson said. “The judge asked about that, and we were able to gain points back by clarifying.”
The tests involved content on five main topics. Simpson said that one of the obstacles was identifying species in Virginia’s water ecosystems.
“There’s always new content,” Simpson said. “You never know what’s going to come.”
Brown said that the team members were new to the state competition, and they encountered difficult questions.
Although they didn’t make it to the next round, Brown said that the team saw what they needed to do and set a goal for next year.
“On the way back, they planned what to improve,” Brown said. ”Their goal is to place [internationals] next year.”