COLUMBUS — The Northmont Middle School and High School Science Olympiad teams both placed among the top teams in our region during Regional Competitions in March; and both went on to participate in the Science Olympiad State Championship Tournament last Saturday, April 9, at The Ohio State University in Columbus.
At the State Tournament, the middle school finished 14th out of the 40 middle school teams in competition; and the high school finished 30th out of 40.
More than 280 teams, made up of over 4,000 students, compete across Ohio during the season, which starts in September. Of those 280 teams, only 40 in each division, high school or middle school, qualify for the State Tournament. The top two high school and middle school teams in the State advance to the National Tournament, which will be held this year on May 21 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
From each of the Northmont schools, 15 team members competed in a variety of science-based events. Team members built rockets or bridges, ran vehicles or gliders, took tests, worked experiments, and used deductive reasoning. At the State Tournament, 23 events were held, plus two trial events. Medals were awarded to finishers up to sixth place.
Northmont High School brought home two regular season event medals, going to seniors Emily Hamant and Emily Kuehl for a sixth place finish in ‘Dynamic Planet.’ In addition, Hannah Deitering and James Bousquette also finished sixth in ‘Optics,’ a trial event which they had only four weeks to prepare for.
“I am so proud of this team!” states Northmont High School Coach MaryAnn McInnes. “This year, they went beyond their specialty events, and stepped up to cover numerous other events to fill the voids. All season we have competed short-handed, trying to spread one team over two. Because of our Spring Break, we went to State down five team members, with some students entering events for the very first time. Most team members had personal bests in each of their events, and James Bousquette, Hannah Deitering, Emily Hamant, and Emily Kuehl all came home with a State Medal.”
At the Middle School level, four regular season event medals were won. The top individual winners were Alex Polivka and Ian Underburger, with a third place finish in ‘Bridge Building.’ In addition, Riya Dalal and Christian Hinegardner placed sixth in ‘Anatomy and Physiology.’ In the trial event ‘Hovercraft,’ Northmont students Parker Anderson and Kenneth Vallie won first place, while Tim Lambert and Connor Zechar placed fifth.
“This was a fantastic weekend at the State Tournament,” said Jim Witters, Northmont Middle School head coach. “The team came together, had a great bonding time, and created some everlasting memories. I am so proud of each and every one of the students for the time and dedication and commitment that they have put in through this entire season. No matter what place they finished this weekend, they will always be Number One with me!”
Science Olympiad is an extra-curricular program open to students from sixth through twelfth grade. Students attend meetings twice per week to study the science behind their events. Ohio has been part of the National Science Olympiad program since its inception, and state participation ranks in the top seven of the 48 states currently involved in this program.
The Northmont Science Olympiad teams are partially funded through support of the Northmont Education Foundation, the Northmont Optimist Club, and the Northmont Rotary Club. Students interested in any of the STEM programs are encouraged to contact their school office for information regarding how to join the Science Olympiad teams next year.