Envirothon team wins first at state competition

Sonika Khosla, Staff Writer

Manhattan High School’s Envirothon team took first at the state competition and will be continuing on to the national competition which will take place July 25 – 28. The team — comprised of juniors Chase Glasscock and Eszter Chikan; sophomore Ameerah Alfailakawi; and freshmen Allie Cloyd and Kate Anderson — started their virtual competition at 7:30 am, and finished at 12:30 pm. The competition consisted of five tests about aquatics, wildlife, forestry, soils, and groundwater.

“State was a whirlwind,” Cloyd said. “Aquatics feels like it went really well. We could probably improve on wildlife, but it is a really broad topic. Soils and the current issue were pretty tough tests, but we will just have to see where we stand in the end,”.

The team was also required to complete a 10-minute oral presentation on water conservation specifically in the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.

“The team had to develop a management plan for the landowners and the refuge, and they had to take all of the interested parties into account to develop a plan,” science teacher Noah Busch said.

The team needed to record a video of this oral presentation to submit online for the judges to grade; however this virtual process came with some challenges.

“It was very stressful. The oral presentation was due at 12:30 and we got it in at 12:29. We also had technology issues,” Chikan said. “We got everything done, we were very tired at the end, but thankfully we were able to finish,”.

The scores were released five days after the competition and the team rejoiced after taking first place in four events; aquatics, forestry, water resource management, and orals. The team’s overall score was a shocking 40.7 points higher than Clay Center, the second place winner.

Manhattan’s Envirothon team will now focus on studiously preparing for their virtual national competition against 49 other teams from the United States and potential teams from other countries.