Five students from Oxford Academy participated recently in the 2021 San Bernardino Forestry Challenge, one group of a total of 64 high school students from 10 schools from the Southern California area. The event was November 10 to 13 at Hume SoCal near Green Valley Lake, California. The Oxford team placed fourth overall with a score of 198.5 out of a possible 250 points.
One of the highlights for the students this year was the opportunity to conduct a forest inventory of the 21.5-acre Camp Hinckley in Running Springs. Students proposed a reforestation plan in the wake of the Slide Fire of 2007 that includes fuel treatment and tree planting and identified funding sources to cover the anticipated cost of the project. During the Challenge, teams of students also completed a field test to assess their technical forestry knowledge and data collecting skills.
“Forestry Challenge is a great opportunity for students to apply STEM skills learned in the classroom to solve ‘real-world’ issues and at the same time provide Camp Hinckley with a valuable service,” said Oxford Academy teacher Robert Nguyen. Alexsandra Abrantes, a junior at Oxford Academy, summed it up as follows: “There was a lot of work to complete, but I found it enjoyable. I like to be outdoors, so forestry is a career path I’d consider.”