A team of five students from North Carroll High School took two top awards in the state Envirothon competition over the weekend in Prince George's County, and placed fifth overall among the 13 schools participating.
"It's neat to test our knowledge and skills, and it's fun," said Carrie Seigman, captain of the team and a senior at North Carroll.
"It's not just competition; the day before is classes. We heard a guest speaker on Indian folklore," she said. "You get to learn a lot about the environment while you're there."
The Envirothon is sponsored nationwide by local Soil Conservation Districts, which work with local and state agencies to conserve soil and water. The Carroll County office raised more than $2,000 through local businesses and organizations to have a county contest and send the winning team to state competition.
Other agencies involved include the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The North Carroll team won the county competition last month for the second year in a row. In addition to Carrie, members are seniors Aaron Geiman, James Ballard and Cliff Rineheart and junior Ben Fair.
Also attending was alternate Megan Raub, a North Carroll senior.
The North Carroll team won first place in two categories: wildlife and nonpoint-source pollution. The latter category refers to pollution that does not come from one large identifiable pipe or discharge but rather is scattered, such as leaks from car fluids and runoff from farmland that accumulate in water, soil or air.
In each category, students take a test and solve problems at a station set up by experts in that field.
Agriculture teacher Sarah Osborn said the North Carroll team was the only one to win top awards in more than one category.
Science teacher Kelly Baxter accompanied the students. They all stayed at the Schmidt Center, Prince George's County's nature-education camp, from Thursday evening through Saturday afternoon. Thursday and Friday were for training, classes and social activities, and Saturday was competition day.