What is Envirochallenge?
Envirochallenge is a science program that integrates fifth graders and high school students in the realm of environmental science. It is an enrichment program in a competition format. The Envirochallenge is an endeavor in which fifth grade students from our district compete in various areas of environmental science under the direction of the Penncrest High School Envirothon team. The goals of this program include environmental enrichment for fifth grade students, a cooperative learning experience, a collaboration between high school and fifth grade students and teachers, and a fun exciting outdoor experience that will hopefully spark further interest in the field of environmental science.
How does Envirochallenge work?
Envirochallenge is a competition in which teams of fifth graders compete in five categories of environmental science. The five categories are wildlife, aquatics, soils, forestry, and alternative energies. During the actual competition, fifth grade teams will visit Ridley Creek State Park. The teams will rotate to five stations representing the five categories. There they will be tested on various objectives in that topic in an outdoor setting. Teams will be evaluated through identification and other hands-on activities, as short answers to written questions. Testing stations will consist of a 20-minute test followed by a 10-minute review by the station leaders. Each station will be worth 100 points combining for a total of 500 possible points. The team with the most total points will be the winner. Prizes will be awarded for the overall and individual station winners.
How do teams prepare for Envirochallenge?
Even though this is a competition, the primary goal is to make it fun and educational for the students in a different setting than that of the classroom. Participating students will attend Envirochallenge Club twice a month from October through April. Teams will prepare for the competition by exploring websites suited for the five different studies. Students will keep a journal and a folder of learned information for further study. The club concludes at the end of April with a full day of activities and competition at Ridley Creek State Park hosted by Mr. Samilenko and the Penncrest Envirothon Team.