OSWEGO, NY – Oswego High School seniors Sean Benjamin, Lainey Celeste, Bri Lane, Ben McCrobie, and Mark Taormina took third place out of 43 schools recently at the New York State Envirothon competition held at Hobart/William and Smith College in Geneva.
The members of the OHS Environmental Club had won the Oswego County Envirothon competition on May 7 for the first time in school’s history.
In addition to qualifying for the state competition in May, each student won a $100 scholarship from NRG, a $100 scholarship from the Sportsmen Federation, medals, trophy, and an engraved plaque that will be displayed at the Oswego High School for a year.
Envirothon is a nation-wide environment educational competition where teams of five high school students collaborate and compete in the environmental categories of soils, aquatics, forestry, wildlife, and a current environmental issue.
Participants must also research and create a 10-minute video presentation of a solution to a current environmental issue.
This year’s competition focused on the invasion of the emerald ash borer.
In preparation for the state competition, the OHS team spent dozens of hours studying and improving their oral presentation, as well as meeting with experts in the field categories to gain further insight.
Erica Schreiner from the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District was instrumental in securing experts to teach the Oswego team.
“After watching these kids present their solution to a panel of judges, and confidently answer questions posted by them, I knew they were in the running,” co-advisor Catherine Celeste said. “I knew how hard these kids worked and I knew they were as prepared as they could be, never having been to the state level before. I knew they worked well as a team and when it was announced that they won third place in the state, I couldn’t have been more proud to see their hard work pay off.”
Celeste and Billie Joe Peterson are co-advisors of the OHS Environmental Club.