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By Dean Franklin,2014-08-29 13:37
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flenvirothoncom

    Florida Envirothon

    Table of Contents

    ENVIROTHON STRUCTURE .................................................................................... 3 FIELD SITES …………………………………………………………………………….3 ORGANIZING LOCAL CONTEST …………………………………………………4-9 MEDIA RELATIONS ................................................................................................... 9 FINAL COUNTDOWN, DAY OF CONTEST ……………………………………11-12 PROPOSED PROGRAM GOALS AND OBJECTIVE ………………………….13-14 SOIL KEY POINTS .................................................................................................... 15

    WILDLIFE KEY POINTS ......................................................................................... 15 AQUATIC KE POINTS ……………………………………………………………….16 FORESTSRY KEY POINTS ………………………………………………………….16 CURRENT ISSUE ……………………………………………………………………..17 2011 FLORIDA ENVIROTHON BOARD OF DIRECTORS ………………………18 RULES AND REGULATIONS ……………………………………………………19-20 INTENT TO COMPETE FORM ……………………………………………………..21 STATE REGISTRATION FORM ……………………………………………………22

    PHOTO RELEASE ……………………………………………………………………23

    INTRODUCTION

    The Florida Envirothon is a problem-solving, natural resource education program for high school students. It is a field-oriented program in which students, working in teams of five, learn to use critical thinking skills, work as a team, and develop problem-solving and communications skills to answer written questions or conduct hands-on investigations about environmental issues.

    The program focuses on the following five areas of study: AQUATICS, FORESTRY, SOILS, WILDLIFE, and CURRENT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. The current environmental issue is different each year. These interrelated and broad study areas teach a holistic approach to natural resource conservation and can be incorporated easily into a teaching curriculum.

    The Florida Envirothon stimulates, reinforces and enhances students’ interest in the environment and Florida’s natural resources. The concept was created in 1979 by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts as an outdoor, hands-on educational competition for students who are concerned about the conservation of natural resources and the environment. The Envirothon is an educational program that promotes good stewardship of the land while giving students an awareness of environmental issues and human impacts. From “Environmental Olympics,” the concept expanded to other states, and when the national competition was added in 1988, the name was changed to Envirothon.

    The Florida Envirothon stimulates practical curriculum development by establishing broad study areas and helping schools to find useful resources in their community. Partnering among schools, resource agencies and other environmentally concerned organizations is encouraged and promoted. The Florida Envirothon encourages a constantly changing curriculum and helps to build strong ties between schools and the organizations that help them teach a hands-on, interdisciplinary perspective of environmental awareness and education.

    A resource packet with information on the five study areas is provided through local Soil and Water Conservation Districts or sponsoring groups to interested teams and schools. These materials can be used as supplementary curriculum materials for classroom study at any level. Conservation Districts, in conjunction with cooperating agencies, educators, and community and interest groups, conduct regional Envirothon competitions in the spring. Winners from the regional competitions compete in the state competition. The winning team from the state competition represents Florida at the National EventCanon Envirothon.

    2 Revised 2/18/09

    ENVIROTHON STRUCTURE

STUDY AREAS OR TESTING STATIONS

Aquatics

    Water ecology, water chemistry, plants and animals living in or around water, water quality, water conservation, etc.

Forestry

    Forest ecology, tree identification, insects, diseases, timber measurements, forest management, urban forestry, forest economics, etc.

Soils

    Classification, soil formation, basic chemical and physical properties, profiles, soil characteristics, soil surveys, site suitability, erosion, land use, conservation practices, etc.

Wildlife

    Identification, habitat, foods, diseases, rules and regulations, management, etc.

Current Environmental Issues

    A topic selected annually by the State or Regional Envirothon Planning Committee. Most years the Florida Envirothon Committee selects the same topic as the National Committee and the Study Materials are found at www.envirothon.org.

FIELD SITES

    Local, regional and state Envirothons have a maximum of five test areas but may have more than five test stations set up in the field. A contest theme should be developed to drive the educational focus and ensure an interdisciplinary approach to learning. The Envirothon site, local topography, geophysical conditions or issues could determine the theme. Because themes, written questions and problem-solving tasks may be site specific, each competition may be different. Envirothons, including both judging and results, should be conducted in one day. The following items should be considered when selecting a site: accessibility, rest rooms, handicap accessibility, picnic/lunch areas, display area, inclement weather facilities, appropriate areas for stations, distance between stations, and parking for school buses. Unique or outstanding environmental or habitat features (that can be incorporated into test questions or hands-on activities) will enhance the students learning experience. The outdoor area should have enough room to space the testing stations so that students won’t be overheard by students at other stations. Every attempt should be

    made to dig a soil pit, to sample pond or lake water, to walk through a variety of trees and grasses, and to allow for a current event category - such as solid waste where you may want to demonstrate a hazardous waste site. Remember that any state park will require special permission before any digging can take place. If the park has been designated as a historical or archeological site, permission will be required from the Florida Governor’s Office.

    Revised 8/29/2011 -- 3

DATE SELECTION

    Check local school calendars to eliminate as many conflicts as possible in selecting a date. The Envirothon should take place as a school-approved activity on a school day. School Board approval may be needed and the necessary forms and paperwork should be initiated during the summer before the beginning of the school year. Develop a time line as a guide to setting a date. Consider holidays, both religious and national, staffing and site availability. The best dates are usually between January and March, to allow adequate time to submit Florida Envirothon State Registration Forms (see forms section for due date).

ORGANIZING AN ENVIROTHON

    Critical to any successful Envirothon competition is the quality and enthusiasm of the Planning Committee. The first organizational meeting could be hosted by a Soil and Water Conservation District. The purpose of this first meeting is to introduce the Florida Envirothon and invite other agencies, groups and individuals to participate.

INVITATIONS

    Invitations to potential Planning Committee members may be accomplished by phone calls and letters. Many agencies or groups require a written request or letter in order to participate in programs. However, contacting people by phone will allow you to market the Envirothon concept to individuals who may not be familiar with the program. All phone calls should be followed up by a letter stating the purpose of the meeting, date, place, time and, if possible, a proposed agenda. People to consider for your Planning Committee are area/district representatives of agencies that have an vested interest in environmental issues. See listing provided under VOLUNTEERS for people to consider for the Planning Committee.

THE FIRST MEETING

An agenda should be developed for this crucial meeting.

    Welcome and introductions

    History, purpose and objectives of the Envirothon, viewing of state or national video if

    available

    Envirothon rules and regulations

    Identification of other natural resource professionals or interested parties to include on

    committee

    Establishment of committees and due dates for assignments

    Test Sections

     Set current issue

     Establish test question format and criteria

     Solicit judges

     Develop testing questions

     Compile needed study materials for each section and develop resource packets 4 Revised 2/18/09

     Establish test question review committee, which will review all test questions

    Judging

     Establish judging criteria

     Establish grievance procedures and hearing committee

    Funding and media

     Solicit funding from a variety of sources

     Develop funding request package

     Coordinate media coverage

     Provide clipping of news articles, etc.

     Provide photo coverage of event

    Logistics

     Establish site criteria

     Locate site (see Field Site section)

     Develop and distribute needed forms and materials

     Organize registration, sign-in, meals, etc.

    Volunteers

     Solicit and organize volunteers for before, during and after the event

     Provide support for all volunteers and thank you at conclusion of event

    Review Planning Committee responsibilities

    Distribute Florida State Envirothon information

    Establish time line and deliverable dates

    Next meeting date, time and location

RESPONSIBILITIES OF PLANNING COMMITTEE

The Planning Committee responsibilities are as follows:

    1. To endorse and sponsor the regional competition within regional boundaries as established by

    the State Committee

    2. To plan a year-round, school program that not only gets high school students and teachers

    informed about natural resources, but also emphasizes team building, problem solving and

    communications skills

    3. To work with local school boards, teachers, 4-H, FFA, Project WILD, Project Learning Tree,

    Home School students, etc., to identify students and teachers interested in forming Envirothon

    teams

    4. To identify natural resource professionals within the region who would like to work with the

    Envirothon teams as part of their outreach efforts toward high school students 5. To coordinate training between interested students, teachers and professionals through field

    trips, nature hikes, night hikes or presentations/demonstrations

    6. To develop resource training packets for each station and distribute to each interested team

    and to continually update and revise packets

    7. To hold regional competition in the spring that will identify a team of five students with an

    alternate to represent the region at the state competition

    8. To raise the money necessary to accomplish the following

    Hold the regional Envirothon competition

    Revised 8/29/2011 -- 5

    (Expenses may include money for food and snacks, Tshirts with Envirothon logo,

    awards, facilities, substitute teachers, transportation, overhead costs such as mailings,

    printing, etc.)

    Send winning team or teams to state competition (optional)

    9. To evaluate current competition and make meaningful adjustment in future competition

RESPONSIBILITY OF ENVIROTHON COORDINATOR

    The coordinator or program manager is responsible for the following:

    1. Arrange for meetings and appoint chairperson of the Planning Committee. 2. Notify participants of meetings.

    3. Write and distribute meeting summaries.

    4. Draft letters to schools/teachers inviting them to participate.

    5. Present Envirothon to the School Board if required by your school district. 6. Apply for School Board approval.

    7. Gather all resource materials (in quantities if possible) from Planning Committee members for

    teachers.

    8. Proofread all materials.

    9. Copy all materials for distribution to schools that register for the Envirothon. 10. Write and distribute news releases through Logistics Committee.

    11. Arrange for a field trip to the site; prep site.

    12. Schedule volunteers for the day of the event through the Logistics Committee. 13. Develop operations budget.

    14. Seek local sponsors through Funding Committee.

    15. Send thank-you letters to all participants/sponsors on behalf of the Planning Committee.

RESPONSIBILITY OF OTHER PARTICIPATING AGENCIES

Distribute the workload to ensure the Envirothon is a success.

    These are the items other Planning Committee members must do:

    Test Development - questions; determination of correct answers; scoring systems

    Test Administration - test site setup; staffing the testing stations; adequate staffing and volunteers to score test

    Technical Expertise - available to answer teachers’/team advisors questions; available to visit schools

    Resource Study Packet - writing sample test questions; providing a reference book list and glossary; provide sample materials in quantity and good quality photocopies of hard-to-find articles

    Administration - site inspection/field trip; site map/signs; attendance at meetings; volunteers for 6 Revised 2/18/09

day of event to assist with setup/cleanup and other tasks

    Sponsors - local sponsorships of lunches, T-shirts for participating teams, score sheets, etc.

SCHEDULING MEETINGS

    Schedule a second meeting. Establish a convenient day and time for all subsequent meetings. Mail meeting reminders, along with items due, one week in advance of a meeting. Make a reminder call the day before a meeting.

    Provide a sign-in sheet and mail a copy to all Planning Committee members along with meeting minutes and committee reports. The committee reports should include accomplishments by the committee to date, outline the next steps of action with a clear notation of who is responsible and due date for each step. Mail minutes and reports as soon as possible after the meeting.

RESOURCE STUDY PACKETS

    The Florida Envirothon Committee has developed a Resource Study Guide that can be used by Regional Envirothon Committees. Regional Envirothon committees may also develop their own Guide tailored to their own region. Resource Guide materials may include: a description of each agency or organization participating in the competition, a glossary of terms relevant to your area of expertise, a reference list of publications that would be easily accessible to teachers and their students. If overheads, booklets and other items in quantity are to be used, they can be included in the resource guide sample test questions.

    Many agencies or organizations have publications that would be applicable for the resource packets. Remember, enough copies will be required for each team to receive one. If enough copies of a publication are not available, photocopies could be used for material that is not copyrighted.

The Florida Envirothon Resource Study Guide is available at www.flenvirothon.com and other

    materials are available at www.envirothon.org

BUDGET

    Develop a potential budget for the competition that could include the following:

Costs for mailings

     Photocopying

     T-shirts for participants and advisors

     Certificates for all participants

     Plaques for top three high school teams

     Monetary award for each member of top team (optional)

     Lunches for all participating Planning Committee members, advisors, and other helpers at the

    competition site

     Signs for each station table

    Revised 8/29/2011 -- 7

Two-way radios; water/refreshments at stations

     Lunches for participants

     Staging area with a microphone and sound system

Some of these materials could be funded through inkind services or contributions, but should still

    be listed on your budget for grant purposes.

SPONSORS

    Sponsors can be solicited by the Funding Committee for the items above. For example, the local fast-food franchise may provide box lunches and drinks for the day of competition. Be sure all sponsors are recognized for their assistance both during the event and after the event. Sponsors may be listed in the program guide, acknowledged before distributing prizes, and/or sent letters of appreciation.

TIME SCHEDULE OR TIME LINE

    Draft a time line or schedule with deadlines for the Planning Committee to review and revise. Items to include on this time line include the following:

School Board approval requests

     Letter soliciting school participation

     Deadline for schools to sign up for event

     Date resource materials are due to committee organizing packets

     Mailout date for packets

     Due date for test questions

     Due date for completion of test questions review

     Due date for volunteer sign up

     Date for final site selection (this item may be needed before School Board approval can be

    granted or information mailed to schools)

     Final registration deadline

     Date of contest (needed for School Board approval)

     Final mailing of site information, rules, etc., to schools

     Day of event timetable finalized

SCHOOL CONTACTS

    If you have an opportunity to address a group of science or agriculture teachers before the mailing to teachers, please use it to tell them about the Envirothon. Pre-service (teacher planning time before school starts) Environmental Education workshops and Superintendent/Principals meetings are good places to start.

    Request a listing of schools from your local Regional Service Project for Environmental Education or the Department of Education in Tallahassee. A listing of teachers in the areas of agriculture or FFA, science, environmental science and ecology is usually available. Advisors of 8 Revised 2/18/09

    environmental, ecology and/or science clubs should also be included. Send letters to teachers and principals for each school, and include background material on the Florida Envirothon and its objectives and a registration form and competition timetable.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE

    Allow enough time between the registration cutoff date and the actual competition date to seek more entries, volunteers and staffing, if neccessary.

SITE INSPECTION

    The Planning Committee should tour the selected site to plan the layout of the event. This could be in conjunction with a planning meeting, but be sure to allow time for all committee members to thoroughly become familiar with the site and location of stations.

    Communications between test stations and resource people should be planned. They can be maintained with two-–way radios and volunteer “runners.” Small canopy tents for shade purposes may be needed along with tables or chairs for materials and judges. All of these needed equipment items should be planned during the site visit.

    MEDIA RELATIONS

    Revised 8/29/2011 -- 9

NOTIFY MEDIA OF THE EVENT

    Once you know that you have high schools signed up, write a news release announcing the competition and the date, including a brief explanation of the Envirothon competition. Be sure to include a contact name and phone number for the reporter to use if they need additional information.

Send this basic release to the following individuals in your community:

environmental reporters and broadcasters;

     directors at TV, cable and radio; and

     public service columns at newspapers.

    Several weeks later, you may want to send out a second news release announcing the high school teams that will be competing. This release should be sent to the lifestyle editors and city desk editors at the newspapers. Also, send it to each of the high schools participating for inclusion in their school newspaper.

    Two weeks before your Envirothon, send out a one-page information sheet to the photo desk and city desk editors at the newspapers and TV news assignment editors. Be sure to tell them about the visual hands-on elements of your Envirothon competition, and stress aspects that will translate to an interesting video story or make a striking photograph.

    If you can get a volunteer to take black and white photos of your Envirothon, have some prints made and send them with a short description, or cut line, of who, what, when and where. It might also be valuable to have a volunteer take slide or color photos of the event for future slide shows or presentations.

    These photos and descriptions can be sent to each newspaper in your community and can be used in the high school newspapers. They can also be used by Envirothon sponsors in their company newsletters and publications to show community involvement.

ANNOUNCE THE STATE FINALS

    The Florida Envirothon state competition will provide another opportunity to contact your local media. In this news release, mention which high school(s) from the community will be going to the state finals, along with the date and location of the finals.

FINAL COUNTDOWN

    10 Revised 2/18/09

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