A team of five Bethlehem Academy middle school students took first place in the middle school team competition at the Minnesota State Envirothon held May 8 in Byron, Minnesota.
Sponsored by local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, an Envirothon is an outdoor, hands-on learning experience for high school students. The regional competition in Byron also included a middle school competition comprised of seven area teams.
Envirothon teams compete in five areas — soils, wildlife, water resources, forestry and current environmental issues. Local natural resource professionals staffed five outdoor hands-on learning stations, and teams earn points by taking exams and giving an oral presentation in each category.
Eighth graders Noah Ardolf, Cohen Martin, Reagan Kangas, Lindsay Hanson, and Karlie DeGrood comprised the winning team from Bethlehem Academy. To prepare for the competition, students worked with middle school science teacher and team advisor Julie Smisek to study the subject areas, looked at soil information with Teresa DeMars from the Rice Soil and Water Conservation District office and met with Claire LaCanne from the University of Minnesota Extension to learn about threatened and endangered species in Minnesota.