In an effort to increase knowledge about soils, water, and ecosystems, each year the North Carolina Soil & Water Conservation Districts host Conservation Education Contests that are judged at the district, area, and state levels. In Union County, we host three competitions for students in 3rd through 8th grades. These include a poster contest for 3rd-6th grades, an essay contest for 6th grade, and a public speaking contest for 7th and 8th grades. These contests are a great way to incorporate science education into art, literature, and public speaking classes. This year, all entries must showcase the 2021 theme: We All Live in a Watershed. While students increase their knowledge of watersheds, they also build on communication skills, creativity, and syntax.
Once submitted, the posters, essays, and speeches will be judged by the Union County Soil & Water Conservation Board, as well as other individuals from the local agricultural and environmental education community. After the district has selected winners, the students will be notified and their work will be submitted to the area competition. Furthermore, students who place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the district competitions will receive a certificate, as well as a monetary reward.
To incorporate younger grade levels in our contests, Union County offers a bookmark contest to students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade. This contest is just at the district level; however, one winner will be chosen from each grade level. The winning bookmarks will be reproduced for each winner’s class and will also be available at Union County Soil & Water events and festivals. The education contests are open to all students within the county, including homeschool, private school, and public school students.
All contest entries must be submitted no later than January 29, 2021. For more information on the contest rules and guidelines, visit the state website and view the 2020–2021 Contest, Awards, Workshops & Grants Handbook. To enter a contest, or for further information, please email Breanna Walker, Education Specialist, or call 704-324-9217.