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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Envirothon Brings Students from Across North America to Springfield


An event that ended Sunday in Springfield tested high school students' knowledge about the natural world.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

The 2015 NCS Envirothon wrapped up Sunday on the Missouri State University campus.  It was last held in Springfield ten years ago.  The competition brought in 52 teams, each with five high school students, from 44 states and eight Canadian provinces. 

Theresa Dunlap, a Missouri State Envirothon committee member, said the event moves around the U.S. and Canada.  She said they considered larger metropolitan areas in Missouri to host the event, but they felt Springfield was a better fit.

"It's an environmental competition, and with all of the natural resources that we have down in the Ozarks and just the beauty of nature in the Ozarks is something very attractive that we kind of wanted to show off in our state," she said.

The students in the competition move through five ecostations:  wildlife, forestry, soils and land use, aquatic ecology and a current issue theme, which this year was urban forestry, and answer questions at each site.  They also have to do an oral presentation.

"The program itself teaches team work, leadership, critical thinking, public speaking, research and problem solving," she said.

The competition, she said, is a way to encourage interest and participation in natural resource conservation.

The winners of this year's Envirothon are from Pembroke Hill High School in Kansas City, MO.

Next year's competition will be in Ontario, Canada.