Tri-Village News

After great year, Science Olympiad team excited for next season

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The Edison Intermediate/Middle School Science Olympiad team wrapped up one of its most successful seasons Saturday, April 27, finishing 11th out of 40 teams in the state tournament at Ohio State University.

The squad medaled in sixth place in the Meteorology activity and earned a fourth-place finish in Reach for the Stars and third place in Metric Mastery.

"If a few things had gone a (bit) better, we would have cracked the Elite Six," head coach Leslie Howard said. "The kids worked hard and overall it was a successful season."

In March, the Edison team reclaimed the regional tournament it hosts each year, winning the event for the first time in four years.

"It was a great source of pride to win our regional tournament. When you host an event, you want to win it," Howard said. "New Albany has been our top competitor, and we beat them by 22 points, so it was fairly close."

The Edison team finished in first place in 11 events at the regional.

Science Olympiad competition has 23 events, with about a half-dozen involving building and design activities and the others being "more cerebral-type events -- not that you don't have to use your mind in the building events," Howard said.

Only 15 students from each school are able to compete in the regional and state tournaments, she said.

"That's a problem for us, because we had 37 students participating in Science Olympiad this year," Howard said.

The other 22 students took part in practice sessions and participated in invitational tournaments earlier this year, she said.

The team's success is even more impressive considering Grandview's size and the fact that no ninth-graders participated this year, although schools are able to have freshmen on their team, Howard said. At the middle school level, Science Olympiad is open to students in grades 6-9.

"We're a young team that's gaining experience that should help us in the next year or two," she said.

Seventh-grade twins Hunter and Dylan Fitch are among this year's Science Olympiad squad.

"It was great to win our regional tournament. You kind of expect to do that when you have home-field advantage," Hunter said. "New Albany beat us out last year, so it was really satisfying to beat them this year."

He said he likes the team aspect of Science Olympiad.

"We're all one big team and we each have a specific role in our assigned activities," Hunter said. "We have a lot of fun together."

Dylan said he has always enjoyed science, and being part of the Olympiad team allows him to explore different aspects of science than those he studies in the classroom.

"I've been able to learn about areas of science we haven't gotten to yet in school, so I think that's going to help me" in advancing to higher-level science courses, he said.

Seventh-grader Indigo London said he thinks the team is building up to even greater success in future competitions.

"We don't have any ninth-graders on the team this year and we've sort of had a plan to keeping people involved in the same events these past two years," he said.

That veteran experience should help next year, he said.

Indigo's favorite event is Mission Possible, in which students design and build a Rube Goldberg device to complete assigned simple tasks.

Howard said one of the most valuable benefits of Science Olympiad is that it provides academically oriented students a chance to participate on a team.

"I think it also helps instill a lifelong love of learning, because it's such a fun way to learn science," she said.

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