New Richmond Middle School’s Science Olympiad team finished 21st out of 42 schools in a national invitational tournament held at Wright State University in January.
“As Wright State will host the 2013 National Tournament, many top teams from around the country participated, making this one of the most competitive tournaments in the nation,” noted NRMS Science Olympiad advisor Josh Grischow.
7th graders Joey Hammil and Daniel Weiskittel relax after Geologic Mapping competition, not yet realizing they finished in 1st place
New Richmond competed in the 6th-9th grade division which was won by three-time defending Ohio and four-time defending national champion Solon Middle School with nine-time defending Georgia state champion J.C. Booth Middle School finishing second.
“I was extremely proud of our team,” said Grischow. “This was the first time we have entered an invitational tournament with most of our students being new to Science Olympiad.”
NRMS won awards in two scored events. Freshmen Marie Bezold and Jenny Roberts took 5th place in Microbe Mission and 8th graders Carter Light and Stile Sweet took 5th place in Keep the Heat.
Jade Kunz, Kaeley Fagan, Anna Heiden, Caitlyn Grooms, Teddy Mansfield, and Carter Light make their final preparations for Helicopter Egg Drop, presumably using their cell phones to calculate wind resistance.
The New Richmond team excelled in four trial events with Daniel Weiskittel and Joey Hammill taking 1st place in Geologic Mapping, Rachel Coons and Katie Schlaak finishing 3rd in 3rd place in Elastic Launch Gliders, Anna Heiden, Caitlyn Grooms, and Kaeley Fagan finishing 5th in Helicopter Egg Drop and Alex Gardner and Kaylin Hoffman taking 6th place in Neuroscience.
Other team members were freshmen Alex Grooms, Eric Williams, and Audrey Feiler, 8th graders Tim Hammer, Adrianna Flood, Evan Grippa, Cydney Stiles, Alicia Bailey, Joe Maxwell, Jade Kunz, and Lindsey Williams, and 7th graders Josh Clancy, Teddy Mansfield, and Luke Smiddy. Coaches were Tina Grippa, Pam Hughes, Doug Smiddy, and Grischow.
Science Olympiad teams are allowed to bring back five 9th graders from the previous year’s team.
“Our ten 8th graders and twelve 7th graders are new to this type of competition,” noted Grischow.
“Most of our students are heavily involved with other commitments including sports, performing arts, and other after-school activities, so to find time to practice for Science Olympiad, all while keeping up with schoolwork, has been a challenge to which our students have responded well.”
Next up for the NRMS team is the Ohio Regional Tournament in March.
“Our goal is to work hard and prepare well enough to qualify for the State Tournament for the second year in a row,” said Grischow.
Members of the New Richmond Middle School Science Olympiad team take a break from studying.