Nova Scotia Envirothon a Huge Success

Sarah Hines, Coordinator, Arthur Irving Scholars & Research

The Nova Scotia Provincial Envirothon Competition was held May 12 and 13 at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre, Acadia University. This is the first time the provincial Envirothon was held since pre-pandemic. Four teams of high school students attended the competition. The focus was on having a small, positive event to build the excitement for growth in 2023. The goal was certainly achieved with many students asking for a longer event because they had so much fun they didn’t want to leave!

At Envirothon, students in grades 9-12 compete in teams of 5-6 to show the knowledge they’ve gained in core environmental topics: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and a current issue. The learning focuses on hands-on skills and often involves connecting students to local environmental professionals.

Each year, the international NCF-Envirothon board sets a current issue for students to focus their learning on. The 2022 issue is Waste to Resources. It is focused on encouraging students to understand the complexities of lowering our waste production and improving recycling.

The students had a full agenda that included tours of Acadia’s waste management system and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens. There was a presentation and Q&A from Doug Hickman, an accomplished waste consultant who was instrumental in designing Canada’s first municipal recycling program. Mr. Hickman volunteered to develop a waste management scenario for the students to solve and share with a panel of judges through an oral presentation.

The first day then ended with a campfire and s’mores. Day two was field testing day, each team completed hands on tests in the core topics of aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife. The Acadia woodland trails were the perfect location for test stations. The tests were prepared and administered by a wonderful team of volunteers that work in the respective fields.

Congratulations to Cobequid Education Centre’s team for winning the title of 2022 Provincial Envirothon Champions. The team was comprised of: Megan, Abby, Katie, Madeleine and Emma, and under the direction of teacher Aaron Elser.

We are proud that with careful consideration of COVID-19 we were able to host an in-person event. Nova Scotia is the first Maritime province to return to in-person Envirothon competitions since 2019.

Envirothon has a 30+ year history in Nova Scotia, in 2022 Acadia University become the official sponsor of the provincial program. To learn more about Envirothon visit this page. If you are a teacher of grade 9-12 students and would like to learn more about participating in the program please email

Photo: Envirothon students on their tour of the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens