Two teams of Sachem High School North student-scientists recently showcased their scientific prowess as they secured top finishes at the 21st Annual Long Island Envirothon on April 30.
Out of 32 teams participating in the regional competition, Sachem North Team-1 earned a first place finish in oral presentation and first place overall for both Nassau and Suffolk counties. The winning team featured senior Emily Gelardi, juniors Kaya Monolt, Alena Thotam and Caitlin Tucker, and sophomore Catalina Vera, who navigated hands-on tests in five environmental science categories which included aquatics, forestry, wildlife, soils and this year’s current issue, “Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge and Technology to Feed the World.”
Additionally, Sachem North Team-2, composed of juniors Anika Banerjee, Miranda Garcia-Cassani and Madison Tutone paired with sophomores Grace McGowan and Andzelika Tislenko, earned second place in Suffolk County.
Also included in the challenging competition is an oral presentation for which students are given an environmental problem and are required to research the issue, prepare a solution and orally present their results to a panel of judges. The reference materials that students must master for each content area are extensive, and the preparation for the 10-minute, project-based-learning style presentation requires an enormous amount of extracurricular time and commitment.
As first place winners, each team member received $500 and a local field guide and was awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the New York State Envirothon in Geneva, New York, on May 22 and 23.