MMI Preparatory School captured first and third place in the Luzerne County Envirothon competition. The first-place team of, from left, Jessica Zheng, Connor Spencer, Rachael Betz, Olivia Bartholomew, and Sandra Abdulrahman will advance to the state competition. Also pictured is Michael Mele, MMI Science Department Chair and Envirothon Advisor.
(Freeland, PA – April 28, 2022) – MMI Preparatory School captured first and third in the Luzerne County Envirothon competition.
MMI’s first-place team of Jessica Zheng, Connor Spencer, Oliva Bartholomew, Rachael Betz, and Sandra Abdulrahman, will advance to the state competition which will be held at Camp Mount Luther on May 25. This team also won the high score award in wildlife. The state Envirothon will be a one-day event which includes an “oral component” test along with the other stations.
The team of Kathryn Sissick, Nathan Sissick, Nathaniel Neidlinger, Blake Warren and Diane Arias-Tejeda placed third. MMI had a total of 11 teams compete in this year’s event. The rest of the teams placed 6th, 8th, 10th, 16th 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22st.
MMI science instructor and Envirothon advisor Michael Mele said, “Over 60 students voluntarily take on extra studies outside of the normal curriculum to compete in the Envirothon competition. Each year, I am amazed at their performance. I appreciate the fact that our students had this opportunity and look forward to the future of the Envirothon program at MMI.”
The Pennsylvania Envirothon is one of the state’s largest natural resource education competitions. It provides thousands of students with the knowledge and tools necessary to address the natural resource challenges facing today’s world.
During the competition, five-member teams participate in a series of field station tests that focus on five topic areas – soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and environmental issues. Additionally, the teams complete an oral presentation that provides them with the experience of developing a presentation from start to finish that is based on a written scenario. The testing station and oral presentation scores are combined to determine the winning team.
The first Envirothon competition was held in 1979 by the Fulton, Luzerne, and Schuylkill conservation districts and by 1984, the program expanded to a statewide competition and then nationally and internationally. Now, more than 15,000 high school students across the state compete in 67 county Envirothons.
Jessica Zheng is the son of Hongzhi and De Zheng of Jim Thorpe, Connor Spencer is the son of Christine and Christopher Spencer of Mountain Top, Olivia Bartholomew is the daughter of Dean Bartholomew and Cheryl Serafin-Bartholomew of Jim Thorpe, Rachael Betz is the daughter of Dr. Amy Houm of Tamaqua and Richard Betz of Honesdale, Sandra Abdulrahman is the daughter of Jijad and Besema Abdulrahman of Hazleton, Kathryn Sissick is the daughter of Michele Mendofik and Thomas Edwards of Drums and Jeffrey Sissick of McAdoo, Nathan Sissick is the son of Michele Mendofik and Thomas Edwards of Drums and Jeffrey Sissick of McAdoo, Nathaniel Neidlinger is the son of Amanda Neidlinger of weatherly, Blake Warren is the son of Attorney Rebecca Warren of Beavermeadows and Richard Warren of Danville, and Diane Arias-Tejeda is the daughter of Angela Tejeda of Hazleton.