MMI Preparatory School captured first place and had a total of six teams finish in the top 25 during the recent regional Luzerne County Envirothon competition.
Five of MMI’s six teams placed in the top 10. The winning team of Lois Polashenski, Joshua Kalada-Kania, Samuel Sessock, Alexander Sessock and Lauren Babinetz recorded a score of 432 points out of a possible 500 points and will advance to the state competition, which will be held May 23-24 at the University of Pittsburgh campus in Johnstown.
MMI’s freshman team of Grant Warren, Kai Mele, Elias Bachman, Benjamin Putnam and Adam Tron placed fourth. The team of Garrett Kost, Kayla Leonard, Bailey Slusser, Kaitlyn McGeehan and Christine Park finished fifth. Stephanie Zellner, Gabriella DeMelfi, Daniel DeMelfi, Dana Carrato and Coleman Smith combined to place sixth. The team of Mahum Ahmed, Amanda Kalada-Kania, Elise Hreha, Kelisa Hysenbegasi and Alexander Jordan came in ninth. Summer Evancho, Maya Rizkalla, Lindsey Baloga, Ayla Cooper and Catrina Havrilla teamed up to finish 21st out of 30 teams.
MMI Science Department Chair and Envirothon adviser Michael Mele said, “I am very proud of all of our students for their dedication to the Envirothon competition. These students spent a great deal of time after school for more than a month preparing for this and it really paid off.”
During the Envirothon, teams of five high school students compete in field testing using their knowledge in the topics of soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and environmental issues. MMI’s winning team posted the highest overall score in four of those five categories (forestry, wildlife, aquatics, and soils and land use). Additionally, a current environmental issue is chosen each year as the “hot topic” and is used as the oral presentation component. This year’s current topic is Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship.
Hundreds of teachers and professionals throughout Pennsylvania guide high school students through this natural resource environmental education program that combines classroom learning and outdoor activities. This exposure to nature and seeing how humans impact the natural world provide invaluable lessons to the students in understanding ecosystems and our environment.