Friday, May 19, 2006
CCHS Science Olympiad places sixth at state meet
On Saturday, March 18, the Concord-Carlisle High School Science Olympiad took sixth place while competing against 36 other Massachusetts schools at Framingham State College. The team began weekly practice in the fall, getting together with teachers, studying for upcoming events, or practicing building events. Once a month, local league meets are held in which about 10 schools compete. Dr. Michael Vela, a chemistry teacher at CCHS, is in his second year of coaching the high school's Science Olympiad team. This year's team captains were juniors Leigh Davis, Emily Yu and Katey Lesneski, and sophomore Brittany Fay.
Event types include engineering, earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and math-related categories like Fermi questions (estimating quantities) and cryptography. Competitors work together in groups of four at league meets and two at state meets to answer questions on a test related to specific topics in an area of science, or to test the effectiveness of a carefully built/calibrated object, such as a trebuchet.
Many of the team members took home medals and ribbons at the state meet. Sophomore Fiona Masland and junior Becky Kung won a gold medal in the event Dynamic Planet, about glaciers. Sophomore Chloé Fandel and junior Katey Lesneski won gold in Rocks and Minerals. Fandel and Lesneski were also awarderd silver in Remote Sensing: Mars. Sophomore Keen Xu and junior Oliver Bojanic won silver in their event Water Bug, in which participants must build a carbon-dioxide propelled water-bottle boat. Junior Pami Anderson and senior Sarah Franklin placed fourth in Forensics and juniors Rebecca Powell and Emily Yu placed fifth in the Physics Lab event. Junior Oliver Bojanic won a sixth place ribbon in the tower building event, and sophomore Brittany Fay and junior Leigh Davis placed sixth in Health Science. Leigh Davis and junior Emily Fritz-Endres placed seventh in an entomology event called "Don't Bug Me." Stephan Wu and Priya Rajgopal also placed 10th in Designer Genes, a biology event.
Teachers who helped the students to prepare include Anthony Beckwith (cryptography and robot), Ray Pavlik (earth science), Jennifer Benson and Matt Goldberg (biology), Rebecca Mahoney (anatomy/food science), Kevin Pennucci (physics/astronomy) and Michael Vela (chemistry).
© 2006 The