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Long Lake Central School's Mitochondria#Powerhouse high five Aquatics exam writer and proctor Caitlin Stewart celebrate after receiving their award. Shown are (from left) Caitlin Stewart, Adviser Nicole Curtin, Austin Pierce, Leah Foster (front), Henry Sandiford, Lance Gocke, Curtis Seaman and Ethan Bush. (Photo submitted)

Long Lake Central School's Henry Sandiford, Lance Gocke and Curtis Seaman identify a benthic macroinvertebrate at the Aquatics station. (Photo submitted)

Wells Central School's Hawks were awarded second place at the Hamilton County Envirothon. Left to right: Andrew Horton, Samantha Zemken, Adviser Chris Young, Erika Foster, Adrian Collado, Sarah Darling, Maddy Brown, and Daniel O'Connor. (Photo submitted)


LLCS wins Envirothon

Friday, May 09, 2014 - Updated: 9:48 AM

LAKE PLEASANT -- The stakes were high for two local high school teams participating in the 22nd Annual Hamilton County Envirothon May 1.

Students battled for first place by taking tough exams in Aquatics, Soils, Forestry, Wildlife, and this year's Current Issue Locally Grown for the chance to compete at the New York State Envirothon.

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District has organized the Envirothon since 1993, offering students an outdoor, hands-on, environmental educational experience.

"Students are able to see a real life application to topics covered in the classroom," said Nicole Curtin, Long Lake Central School's adviser. "Envirothon exposes students to possible careers and allows hands-on experiences in a setting outside the classroom."

Teams hiked the district's nature trail to each testing station, where they completed exams and reviewed their answers with the presenter. Teamwork was essential when faced with tricky questions.

Chris Young, Wells Central School's adviser, used a multifaceted approach to prepare his team for the event. "I gave them a pep talk on the bus. I encouraged them to look up stuff online. And really, they have prepared their whole lives."

An awards ceremony concluded the event, and framed certificates were presented to the teams.

Long Lake's Mitochondria#Powerhouse placed first overall and received an engraved plaque. The team also received the highest scores in all five categories, although competition was steep. One question stood between tie scores for the two teams in the Current Issue and Soils exams.

Mitochondria#Powerhouse will have the opportunity to travel to Morrisville State College to compete in the New York State Envirothon May 21-22. Second place was awarded the Hawks of Wells Central School.

Visit the district's website for a slide show and photos at


This event would not be possible without partners and volunteers. Exams were written and proctored by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forestry Technician Christi Page (forestry), Trail Blazers' Prevention Educator Allison Gonyo (wildlife), Natural Resources Conservation Service's Soil Scientist Olga Vargas (soils), Lake Champlain - Lake George Regional Planning Board's Environmental Planning Assistant Beth Gilles (current issue) and the SWCD Educator Caitlin Stewart (aquatics).

Charlie Johns Store provided a donation towards the Presenters' Luncheon. Volunteers Mercedes Bledsoe, Amanda Seeley, Shirley Smith, Kathy Stewart and Ed Winchell graded exams, took photos, blew the air horn to signal travel time between stations, and assisted with last minute details.

 If a school or school district is interested in organizing a high school team for the 2015 event contact the district at (518) 548-3991 or


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