What is the Envirthon?

NC Envirothon Logo

The Envirothon is a five-member team, hands on, environmental science education program.  It is a fun filled, back to nature, competitive event where the team members learn about their environment and associated environmental problems. 

The Envirothon is the largest high school environmental competition in the US.  It is geared to make the students aware of environmental conditions and to get them started thinking responsibly about their environment.

Picture of students sitting in a fieldNorth Carolina has started a Middle School Envirothon Program to go with our High School Envirothon. At the national level, only the high school participates.

At the start of the school year, teachers get a copy of the resources that will be used that year.  They then advise and/or train their team.  Teams can go on field trips; have resource people come and give presentations; go to museums, state parks and educational state forests; search the web and study the resource materials. Many training opportunities are held through local soil and water conservation districts.

In the spring qualifying Area Envirothons are held where the teams take written tests on subject resources.  The seven highest scoring teams in each Area get an opportunity to advance to the State Envirothon competition that is held near Burlington in April.  Teams have the choice to camp out at the state event and have fun while learning. 

The highest scoring high school team at the state event goes on to the international Envirothon competition.  This event is held in different states and Canadian provinces.  The top scoring high school FFA team competes at a national FFA event.  There is $125,000 dollars in scholarships given out to winners at the international Envirothon.


Photo of a Soil Scientist in a soil pit

How to Help the Teams with Soils!

Many of the Envirothon teams need help with studying soils.  They need to know the different types of soils, how soils are formed, soil usage, soil BMPs, how to read a soil survey, etc.  Many teachers are not comfortable with this and do not have the knowledge to teach their students about soils.  Most do not even know how to go about finding someone who can help them.  To help them we have suggested that they approach their local Soil & water Conservation Districts to get help in teaching their students.

You can search out these teams or offer your services through your local Soil & Water Conservation District Office.  The District offices are trying to find the resources that their teams need to compete at the Area Envirothons and the State Envirothon.  To find the district office and contact for your area, simply click here: Envirothon Contacts

The Area Envirothons and the State Envirothon also use soil scientists to serve as important subject-area resources at both levels.  There they teach about soils to several groups of students a day and give and/or grade written tests.  You may also want to help develop some soil educational materials (such as presentations or practice tests) for your local teams to use in learning about soils.  If you’d like to volunteer to help, please register here: Register to Volunteer