On May 9 and 10 the Nova Scotia Envirothon took place at Acadia University. The K.C. Irving Centre is thrilled to have hosted a successful event this year. 

10 teams of high school students participated. A huge congratulations to this year’s provincial champions: North Queens Community School, from Caledonia, Nova Scotia! Teacher Phil Prendergast says he is incredibly proud of his students, for the work they put into preparation and the initiative they took in learning about the program. This is the first time North Queens has participated in the Envirothon Competition. It is an impressive showing for a new school to claim the champion title. The winning team from North Queens will travel to the international competition in New York State this summer to represent Nova Scotia at the international NCF-Envirothon.

During the competition students worked in teams to complete hands on field tests in the key subject areas: aquatics, forestry, soils, and wildlife. Each hands on test is an hour in length and includes equipment that would be used by those working in their respective fields. For example, students learn how to find tree heights using a clinometer and take the pH of a water sample as a water quality determinant. 

Quick Facts:
An Envirothon team is 5 or 6 students
Students must be in grade 9-12
Any school in Nova Scotia can register a team

Nova Scotia Envirothon would not be possible without a strong team of volunteers. We had 33 volunteers contribute to the success of the event this year. Our volunteers write and administer the hands on tests based on the NCF Envirothon Learning Guidelines. Thank you to our volunteer experts from Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Perennia, and Acadia University for dedicating time to creating the tests and supporting the students as they prepare and participate in the tests. 

Each year Envirothon has a current topic exploring intersections of science and policy in Environment. This year’s current topic is Renewable Energy. To encourage learning about this topic teams are presented a scenario with a Nova Scotian context which they need to act as consultants to come up with a solution. Their solutions are presented to a panel of judges in 10 minute oral presentations. We are grateful to Net Zero Atlantic for volunteering time to create a scenario, pull together information sources, speak to our students and aid as judges for the oral presentations. This year’s scenario required students to create a plan for a fictional town in Hants County to become net zero by 2030. The students had a menu of options to move the town from their current energy production portfolio to a net zero future, with consideration for finances, emissions, jobs and social license. 

The Envirothon program aims to inspire students to explore how they can contribute to the Environment as they progress through their studies and begin careers. This program aims to provide an introduction to science, policy and interactions with all aspects of society. We are proud to administer Nova Scotia Envirothon at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre.