The New Richmond Middle School eighth and ninnth grade Science Olympiad team placed second in the Cincinnati Regional Science Olympiad tournament held at UC Blue Ash College on March 2 to qualify for the state finals 40 middle school and 40 senior high school teams will compete. The winner in each division will compete in the National Science Olympiad Tournament which will be held at Wright State University near Dayton, Ohio on May 17-18.
“I was really proud of our team this year because we battled a lot of adversity and managed to overcome it,” said New Richmond coach Josh Grischow. “For instance, we really got clobbered at the Wright State Invitational in February, but the students knew they needed to step it up and did. We had a lot of roster fluctuations and changes in who was doing which event, but we were able to prepare adequately enough.”
The team of 15 students included Carter Light, Kelsey Nichols, Stile Sweet, Tim Hammer, Daniel Weiskittel, Anna Heiden, Travis Justice, Teddy Mansfield, Joey Hammill, Kaeley Fagan, Luke Smiddy, Shelbi Simpson, Alex Gardner, Katie Schlaak and Rachel Coons and was coached by Grischow and NRMS science teachers Tina Grippa, Pam Hughes, and Doug Smiddy.
In order to win, the team competed individually or in groups in a series of 23 events which tested their knowledge of science skills, processes, and applications in a wide range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, physics, technology, earth science, and mathematics.
“We actually did better than we did last year when we won the Regional Tournament, but Wyoming just had an amazing day,” said Grischow. “We are now focusing on the State Tournament. We are working hard to improve upon our State finish from last year and hopefully reach our goal of finishing in the top 20 at State this year.”
Regional highlights included:
• NRMS 8th and 9th graders finished with 90 points (lower is better), a school record.
• NRMS 8th and 9th graders shattered our regional-winning score last year (101).
• NRMS 8th and 9th graders’ score of 90 would have won regionals at least three times…in 2012, 2005, and 2004.
• NRMS 8th and 9th graders earned medals in 19 events, a school record.
• NRMS 8th and 9th graders did not place in the double digits in any event for the first time ever.
• NRMS 7th graders lowered their score from last year’s 7th graders by 23 points.
• NRMS 7th graders medaled in 11 events, two more than last year.
Medal winners included:
First place in Crime Busters were Katie Schlaak and Rachel Coons
First place in Disease Detectives were Anna Heiden and Kelsey Nichols
First Place in Mission Possible were Carter Light, Stile Sweet and Travis Justice
First Place in Reach for the Stars were Joey Hammill and Teddy Mansfield
First Place in Sounds of Music were Katie Schlaak and Rachel Coons
First Place in Write It-Do It were Kaeley Fagan and Luke Smiddy
Second Place Dynamic Planet were Daniel Weiskittel and Joey Hammill
Second Place in Road Scholar were Kaeley Fagan and Kelsey Nichols
Second Place in Water Quality were Kaleigh Pratt and Zach Wuest
Third Place in Food Science were Carter Light and Tim Hammer
Third Place in Shock Value were Joshua Biren and Michael Nichols
Third Place in Water Quality were Alex Gardner and Teddy Mansfield
Fourth Place in Anatomy were Daniel Weiskittel and Joey Hammill
Fourth Place in Dynamic Planet were Katie Huss and Nick Swisher
Fourth Place in Experimental Design were Jazmyn Hinkston, Jordyn Torrens and Natalie Holdsworth
Fourth Place in Food Science were Elise Bezold and Kiae Marshall
Fourth Place in Heredity were Carter Light and Tim Hammer
Fourth Place in Meteorology were Daniel Weiskittel and Travis Justice
Fourth Place in Metric Mastery were Luke Smiddy and Stile Sweet
Fifth Place in Experimental Design were Luke Smiddy, Stile Sweet and Travis Justice
Fifth Place in Forestry were Anna Heiden and Shelbi Simpson
Fifth Place in Keep the Heat were Luke Smiddy and Stile Sweet
Fifth Place in Mission Possible were Joshua Biren, Kelly Schmidt and Nick Swisher
Fifth Place in Rocks and Minerals were Jordyn Torrens and Natalie Holdsworth
Fifth Place in Rotor Egg Drop were Kaleigh Pratt and Kiae Marshall
Fifth Place in Sounds of Music were Elise Bezold and Katie Huss
Sixth Place in Helicopters were Jordyn Torrens and Liz Shinkle
Sixth Place in Road Scholar were Joshua Biren and Nick Swisher
Sixth Place in Rocks in Minerals were Shelbi Simpson and Kelsey Nichols
Sixth Place in Shock Value were Katie Schlaak and Rachel Coons
“Seventh grade MVP, Joshua Biren, had the lowest average score amongst 7th graders and spent by far the most time on all his events of all our members,” said Grischow. “Our 8th grade co-MVPs, Katie Schlaak and Rachel Coons, worked together on all three of their events and were our only competitors to earn two First Place medals.”
The Ohio Science Olympiad is an academic, interscholastic competition designed to increase student interest in science and to improve the quality of science education. It has grown from just 23 teams competing in state competition in 1985 to 271 teams competing in seven regional tournaments in 2012. In Ohio, the program is sponsored by The Ohio State University, the Ohio Department of Education, and the Science Education Council of Ohio.