The New Richmond Middle School Science Olympiad team is going back to the state finals at Ohio State University in April, this time as champions of the Cincinnati Regional Science Olympiad held March 3 at UC Blue Ash College.
In defeating teams from Loveland, Wyoming, Ross, Twin Valley and Kings and six private schools including Summit Country Day, the New Richmond Middle School team won six of the 23 events and finished in the top five in 11 other events. The second NRMS team made up of seventh grade students finished ninth with a first place in one event and top five finishes in six other events.
“When we started the Science Olympiad team in 2009 we had to beg students to be on the team and we ended up finishing tenth at Regionals,” head coach Josh Grischow said. “In 2010 we earned a trophy for finishing in sixth place. In 2011 we used our allowed five ninth graders for the first time to great results, finishing in third place and qualifying for state. This year, we brought two teams and practiced more than any year before. The results speak for themselves.”
Science Olympiad teams compete individually or in groups in a series of 23 events which test 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 had high expectations for our eighth/ninth grade team,” said Grischow. “We brought back five of our best students from last year’s team who are now freshmen. Their leadership and work ethic were great examples for our younger students.”
The ninth grade MVP was Audrey Feiler, who won two first place and one second place medals. The eighth grade MVP was Evan Grippa, who won two first place medals.
Grischow was a little concerned about his seventh graders after giving them only a month notice that they would be competing in the tournament.
“But every seventh grader earned at least one medal,” noted Grischow. “We are confident that this experience will pay off next year.”
Luke Smdidy and Kaeley Fagan, the only seventh graders to each earn two top-two place medals, were named the co-MVPs on the seventh grade team. Daniel Weiskittel and Joey Hammill were the only seventh graders to win a first place medal.
“It’s gratifying to see our hard work pay off, as our students have been building, studying, and practicing multiple times per week for months,” said Grischow. “Our students are also very involved in other activities like the school musical, sports, and Future Cities, so to see them balance their commitments and still come out on top is amazing.”
The state finals will be held April 28 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, where 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 the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida on May 18-19, 2012.
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 269 teams competing in eight regional tournaments in 2011. Nationally, over 350,000 students are involved in the Science Olympiad program. In Ohio, the program is sponsored by The Ohio State University, the Ohio Department of Education, and the Science Education Council of Ohio.
The eighth/ninth grade team included Alex Grooms, Eric Williams, Jenny Roberts, Audrey Feiler, Marie Bezold, Tim Hammer, Stile Sweet, Adrianna Flood, Evan Grippa, Cydney Stiles, Carter Light, Alicia Bailey, Joe Maxwell, Jade Kunz, Lindsey Williams
The seventh grade team consisted of Daniel Weiskittel, Joey Hammill, Josh Clancy, Alex Gardner, Teddy Mansfield, Luke Smiddy, Kaylin Hoffman, Rachel Coons, Katie Schlaak, Caitlyn Grooms, Anna Heiden and Kaeley Fagan.
They were coached by Grischow and New Richmond Middle School science teachers Tina Grippa, Pam Hughes, and Doug Smiddy.
Medal winners were: Placing first in Anatomy were Evan Grippa and Jenny Roberts; placing first in Experimental Design were Audrey Feiler, Jenny Roberts, and Marie Bezold; placing first in Disease Detectives were Audrey Feiler and Marie Bezold; placing first in Bottle Rockets were Evan Grippa and Carter Light;
placing first in Dynamic Planet were Joey Hammill and Daniel Weiskittel; placing first in Optics were Jade Kunz and Joe Maxwell; placing first in Rocks and Minerals were Cydney Stiles and Lindsey Williams; placing second in Crime Busters were Tim Hammer and Carter Light; placing second in Optics were Kaeley Fagan and Luke Smiddy; placing second in Reach for the Stars was Stile Sweet; placing second in Rocks and Minerals were Kaylin Hoffman and Katie Schlaak; placing second in Write It, Do It were Kaeley Fagan and Luke Smiddy.