Forests Ontario

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A Unanimous Passion: Environmental Sciences

Posted: August 16, 2017

by Michelle Han

From July 23-29, University of Toronto Schools (UTS), along with 53 other groups, were awarded with the fantastic opportunity to launch ourselves into a week-long journey all the way to Maryland for the North American Envirothon. From the moment we boarded the plane to the final ceremonies and dance, we had the pleasure of spending hours and hours outdoors and indoors, in sun and rain.

We bonded as a team, learned more fully of the importance of environmental stewardship, and best of all, met various like-minded individuals from all over North America who loved enviro-sci.

Perhaps if you had only glimpsed at the textbooks we were required to know, the guides  we were supposed to master, and the presentation preparatory materials provided, one would assume that this was no more than your regular nerve-inducing academic competition.

While our team, or at least I, definitely had some nervous moments, it was more significantly a trip that let us explore another geographic region and enjoy some great times at the beaches. We also debated and discussed important environmental issues, and strengthened our ability to know and recognize the importance of environmental science within a great atmosphere of people who were genuinely interested in this topic.

What I loved most about this competition was exactly the aforementioned atmosphere and chance to congregate in such a large group with those who shared our passion. I cannot emphasize enough how amazing it was to feel like I was among a group of accepting people who would also appreciate and discuss my values in a valid ways.

To see a group of so many individuals who were very diverse in terms of other hobbies and personal lives so like-minded in this one subject  made me so happy and grateful to be there. It was not just the fact that everybody was so diligent in their studies- it was all the debates, discussions, understandings, knowledge, and recognition that came from these various talks, events, meetings, and interactions.

All I can say is to conclude is that the North American Envirothon was a great experience for me, and I know my teammates and various others across the world appreciated it just as much. I am so glad I was fortunate enough to attend and am looking with excitement toward another year of Envirothon!

Michelle Han is just another Envirothon lover and participant who was so lucky to be able to spend time at the 2017 North American Envirothon and a student at University of Toronto Secondary Schools.