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Congratulations to our 2014 Science Olympiad Team

Mission Possible North Tonawanda competed in the 2014 Science Olympiad contest held on February 1st. The purpose of this non-profit organization is dedicated to encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and math. Canisius College sponsored the event for the third time for Regional Competition. Each team is limited to fifteen students and must enter twenty events out of a possible twenty-five offered. The types of contests include building projects constructed before arriving at the event, laboratory contests done on site, and study matches performed at the contest. All events are made up of 2 or 3 students working together and include all sciences.

We were up against thirty-five other teams this year. Due to a considerable interest in this club, we took two teams including all grades but the largest group was the 10th graders. Seven of our teams medaled and we finished in the middle of the pack overall. It is very competitive with many private schools and top Western New York schools involved. The one lab event that we received a medal in was called “Circuits Lab”. Two Academy of Engineering and Architecture students that competed in that event were Matthew Slominski and Tyler Slominski.

The rest of our medals were won in building events. James Conti and Isaac Gifford entered the “Compound Machines” event where they had to build a structure that contained different class levers and then tested them with masses. They were also required to take a test. Michael Carroll and Nathan Proefrock created a “Scrambler”. This pre-built car had to travel down a ramp and transport an egg along at track for a specific distance. The challenge was to have a mechanical stop on the car where it would come as close as possible to a wall without breaking the egg.

Another event that required careful testing with an egg was the “Bungee Drop”. Jarod Harack and Destiny Steele constructed an elastic cord to drop the egg as close as possible, but without touching, a landing service. Our best event was the “Elastic Launch Glider”. Kyle Bortz and Isaac Gifford built an elastic launched glider that needed to achieve the maximum time aloft. It was especially difficult because the room where this event was held had many beams running throughout the middle of the room, both vertically and horizontally. Last year these two team members also medaled in this contest.

The most interesting and complicated building project is called “Mission Possible”. Remember the board game Mousetrap? It is that type of scenario. In this Rube Goldberg contest, you must start with a pint container including golf tees, paperclips and marbles which are poured into another device initiating a sequence of scientific functions and ending with a light fixture being turned on. There are other energy transfers including electronics, pneumatics, and magnetism that must happen somewhere in the middle. Both of our teams medaled in this contest which is definitely the most difficult competition. Kyle Bortz and Steven Sass were on the Red Team and Marissa Mattice and Jeslyn Zakes were on the Blue Team.

The Science Olympiad is an amazing opportunity for students to do research, learn, and problem solve in all areas of science. It is much more than what is taught in the classroom and those students involved in it see the value of what they are trying to accomplish. We are very proud of our North Tonawanda Science Olympiad teams!