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Students to compete in regional Envirothon

Students from 11 Onondaga County schools will join hundreds of high school students from Cayuga, Chenango, Madison and Wayne counties for the 2008 Central New York Regional Envirothon competition on April 29 and 30 at Baltimore Woods Nature Center in Marcellus.

Onondaga County schools include Syracuse City, Baldwinsville, Bishop Ludden, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fabius Pompey, Jordan Elbridge, Marcellus, Onondaga Central, Skaneateles, West Genesee and Westhill high schools.

The winning teams from each county will qualify to compete in the New York State Envirothon hosted by Keuka College on May 27 and 28.

The Envirothon is a series of hands-on contests in which teams of five students compete to solve environmental problems in five subject areas including aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and a current issue.

Each team is also required to give an oral presentation based on the current issue, which for this year is "Biodiversity in a Changing World."

The Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District coordinates a Regional Envirothon with schools annually to incorporate environmental studies into the curriculum and expose students to career options in conservation. The New York state competition is coordinated by Soil and Water Conservation Districts statewide.

Beyond motivating students to learn more about the environment, the Envirothon emphasizes the development of practical skills such as research, teamwork and public speaking.

Whether it's participating, coaching, sponsoring or volunteering at the event, the Envirothon represents a great opportunity for those involved. Now held in most states and Canadian provinces, these programs reach more than 500,000 students every year.

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