The “A” team from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School won the 2018 Kentucky Envirothon, held in mid-May at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Education and Leadership Center in Jabez. Seniors CiCi Mao, Zsombor Gal, Kelly Chen, Hannah Wang, and Jin Cho now qualify to compete in the North American Envirothon, set for July 22-28 at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho.
In the state contest, Dunbar A notably tallied the highest scores on the soils exam and the oral presentation. Meanwhile, Dunbar B – made up of underclassmen Shashank Bhatt, Katrina Baniak, Angie Xiao, Reka Gal, and Sydney Sun – placed third overall as the students demonstrated their knowledge of Kentucky’s natural resources at field stations covering aquatics, soils, forestry, and wildlife.
“The underclassmen team placed during their first year competing, and the seniors will represent Kentucky well at the national level. My first year of coaching is in the books, and I couldn’t be more proud of both teams. It was a pleasure and no surprise to see them excel in every area,” said Heather Noland, the district operations manager of the Fayette County Conservation District, who mentored both Dunbar teams.
With the support of natural resource professionals like Noland, the Envirothon program trains students in environmental problem solving through experiments, analysis, and critical thinking. For general questions, contact Johnna McHugh with the Kentucky Division of Conservation at (502) 782-6703.