Fort High students top ‘Envirothon’

Five Fort Frances High School students had something to celebrate this Earth Day. They won the regional “Envirothon competition” last weekend and will be attending the provincial showdown next month.
“Envirothon” is a North American-wide competition in which teams of students apply knowledge of the environment to problems or issues raised before them.
The teams master binders filled with information on everything from forestry to wildlife, soil to aquatic life. They also give oral presentations on an issue, answer questions about problems raised, and in general apply knowledge to the real world.
“I’m just so excited for them. I’m so proud of them,” Scott Doherty, the environmental science teacher at Fort High, said Monday.
The team of five travelled to Kingfisher Lake just east of Thunder Bay for the regional event.
“We went down with the idea of participating and having fun and enjoying the experience, it’s just an added bonus that they won,” Doherty said.
The team will leave for the provincial competition in Lindsay on May 7. This is the second time in the five years that Fort High has participated in the competition that it has sent a team to the provincials.
Doherty said this competition is a great learning tool for students.
“It’s a co-operative learning process. They really learn teamwork and co-operation in solving problems and learning,” he explained.
He added it is also an opportunity for individuals, such as Abitibi-Consolidated renewal forester Dave Legg, to come into the classroom and share their knowledge.
“He’s been coming into the class almost every day for the last couple of weeks looking after special topics for us, and that’s the effort he puts in every year,” Doherty said.
Legg, who is a resource person for teams throughout the region, helped them make sense of the information they were provided. He also views “Envirothon” as a positive experience.
“The teams work well together and draw off each other for support,” he said. “My goal is to get as many teams involved as possible.”
Both Legg and Doherty said they’re excited the local team did so well.
“They were just so keen, so excited to be part of this. I am just so proud of them,” Doherty enthused.