Envirothon team qualifies for state

The BSM Envirothon teams have been busy practicing their presentations on proposed ATV trails and learning everything there is to know about the environment, from soils to current events. After the area competition on May 1, BSM will be sending one team to the state competition in Fergus Falls on May 14.

Each team member specializes in a specific specialty category. “There is forestry, wildlife, aquatics, soils, and current events,” said Mr. Mark Lex, a BSM science teacher and Envirothon adviser and coach.

“I specialize in wildlife,” said senior Stuart Neville, “but everyone can contribute knowledge to that category, but you are just supposed to be the best at it.”

“I have soils,” said Josalan Sullivan, “I just need to research layers and stuff and how it applies to Minnesota.”

Each year, there is a different oral presentation that each team must prepare and present. This year, the teams looked at research impacts, benefits, and negative impacts that an ATV trail would cause that would be built between Fergus Falls and Maplewood State Park.

The two teams practiced on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for the past month. “We review past tests and give them time to work on oral projects,” said Mr. Lex on what the teams do at practice. “Last week, Mr. Backen watched them do their oral presentations and gave them tips.”

Yesterday, Thursday, May 1, the teams competed in their first competition, the metro area competition. “The top two teams from each area competition go to the state competition,” said Mr. Lex.

“We don’t really know anything about the other competition,” said Stuart Neville before the competition, “but we feel confident that we will do pretty well.”

At BSM, there are two Envirothon teams which consist of five students each. The first team includes seniors Stuart Neville, John Riley, Sullivan, Michelle Stein, and junior Meredith Neville. The team placed fourth in the metro-area competition. The second team is made up of seniors Ryan Haeg, Emily Allen, Shannon Morrissey, Ryan O’Halloran, and Jake Ingalls. They placed second in the competition and will be attending the state competition later this month, along with St. John’s Prep who took first. If they receive first place, the team will then continue on to the national competition in Arizona.

“It’s pretty fun; it’s a good learning experience about the environment,” said Ingalls before he competed, “I’m looking forward to our competitions and hopefully we’ll make it to state.”