Mates Students Win New Jersey Envirothon, Head to National Competition in California
Jean Sullivian, May 11, 2010
|PHOTO CAPTION: Members of the MATES Envirothon teams are MATES Science Instructors Dave Werner, Adam Sprague and MATES Students
MANAHAWKIN, NJ- Students from the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) once again delivered an outstanding performance at the 2010 New Jersey Envirothon Competition held at Camp Sacajawea in Gloucester County, New Jersey this past weekend.
Led by MATES Science Instructors/Team Advisors Adam Sprague and David Werner, the student teams placed 1st and 2nd out of 48 teams in the state. Although consistently placing as top contenders since the Envirothon began in 1997, this is the first time that MATES has taken top honors overall in this competition and it is the first time in Envirothon history that the same school earned both 1st and 2nd place honors.
Science Instructor Dave Werner explains, “We have placed in the top five every year we have competed. We knew we had what it takes to win and this year everything seemed to come together. “
The Envirothon Competition is a dynamic hands-on environmental education program for high school students throughout New Jersey. The main objective of the competition is to encourage students to become more active participants in natural resource management. Student teams explore natural resource related topics such as soils, forestry, aquatics, wildlife ecology and current environmental issues. Teams are tested on environmental topics through hands-on interactive problem-solving, as well as a written test at each of five stations. Each team must also research and create a 10 minute presentation providing viable solutions to a real-world environmental concern, the topic of which is disclosed just five days prior to competition. Final ranking is based on the total points earned throughout the competition.
The Envirothon is sponsored by the NJ Department of Agriculture, the NJ State Soil Conservation Committee, the NJ Association of Conservation Districts, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the NJ Soil Conservation Districts. Visit www.envirothon.org for more information.
Members of MATES Team 1 are: Bridget Blood, senior from Barnegat; Sara Goheen, senior from Manahawkin; sophomores Alex Hascha of Brick, Michelle Predi, Barnegat Light, and Ryan Sullivan, of Forked River. These students will represent New Jersey at the Canon Envirothon National Competition, to be held August 1-6 at California State University, in Fresno. Members of the 1st place team also received scholarship offers from several sources.
MATES Senior Sara Goheen, of Manahawkin commented, “The competition requires a lot of studying. You want to go to the competition really prepared, that way you can actually enjoy the whole experience.”
Members of MATES Team 2 – Kelsey Lardiere of Manahawkin, Dana Gregory of Forked River, Jim Geddis of Jackson, Evan Herrington, of Point Pleasant, and Cala Champury of Brick, all sophomores.
In addition to overall awards, MATES won top honors in the Forestry division and Aquatics division for highest overall scores. As the students prepare for the next level of competition they will also be involved in fundraising efforts to help defray their travel expenses
The Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES), located in Manahawkin, New Jersey, is a four-year public high school administered by the Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) District. The school exists within the community to provide a unique, nurturing, and challenging hands-on learning experience for college bound and career-oriented students interested in pursuing a career in the marine sciences. MATES has been designed to give its students a rigorous academic curriculum with concentration in the areas of math, science, and technology. Students are selected from applications through a competitive process and enter at the ninth grade level. Applicants must reside in Ocean County to be eligible for admission. Visit www.ocvts.org for more information.