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Three students in Minuteman's Environmental Science program won gold medals at the 2022 national SkillsUSA competition
Daniel O`Brien
Three students in Minuteman's Environmental Science program won gold medals at the 2022 national SkillsUSA competition

From left, front: Abigail Bayer of Acton, Cameron French of Arlington, and Kevin Mukherjee of Arlington, rising juniors in Minuteman's Environmental Science career major, who won gold medals at the 2022 national SkillsUSA competition. Back row: SkillsUSA Massachusetts board members Pamela Stanley and Brian Bentley.

LEXINGTON – Monday, July 11, 2022 – A team of three Environmental Science students from Minuteman High School won gold medals at the national SkillsUSA competition in Atlanta for their work certifying a vernal pool in the town of Bolton.

Abigail Bayer of Acton, Cameron French of Arlington, and Kevin Mukherjee of Arlington, who will be juniors in Minuteman’s Environmental Science career major this fall, received the medals in the category of, “Career Pathways: Natural Resources: Agriculture and Food,” at the national competition, which was held in late June. The team previously won a gold medal at the SkillsUSA Massachusetts state competition in April.

The students’ work certifying vernal pools was done at the request of the town of Bolton’s Conservation Commission. It required the students to collect data from the pool at a specific time of year for submission into a statewide database. Vernal pools are protected habitats in Massachusetts.

SkillsUSA is a national organization that strives to teach workplace, personal, and technical skills to high school and post-secondary students in career technical education schools, such as Minuteman. More than 12,000 students and teachers attended this year’s competition, along with representatives from 650 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions.

More than 300,000 students participate in SkillsUSA programming nationally each year. At regional, state, and national competitions, students present or engage in projects that demonstrate the core SkillsUSA framework.

Additional Minuteman High School students participated in the national competition and conference:

Arlington brothers Dean, Gavin, and John O’Brien, who will be seniors in the fall, conducted a water quality study on bodies of water in Arlington and surrounding towns. Dean and Gavin are in the Environmental Science career major and John is in the Biotechnology career major at Minuteman. The trio received a gold medal for their work at the SkillsUSA Massachusetts state competition in April and placed at the national level.

Rising sophomore Felix Nelson of Arlington, who is in the Environmental Science career major, served as a national voting delegate, taking part in the process to elect new national SkillsUSA officers. He was awarded for outstanding participation as a Massachusetts delegate. Nelson received a gold medal at the Massachusetts state competition for his project in which he engineered a plastics extractor, a mechanism for removing microplastics from the ocean.

Rising sophomore Felix Nelson at the national 2022 SkillsUSA competition

Felix Nelson of Arlington, a rising sophomore in Minuteman's Environmental Science career major, with Katelyn Roberts, SkillsUSA Massachusetts student leadership specialist.