Teams from St. Rose of Lima School in Murfreesboro and Ravenwood High School in Franklin captured their respective middle-school and high-school Regional Science Olympiad championships on Feb. 25 at MTSU, said Dr. Pat Patterson, coordinator of the event.
St. Rose, coached by Lori Klukowski, finished ahead of St. Henry School of Nashville in the middle-school category. Smyrna’s Stewarts Creek Middle School placed third, Spring Hill Middle fourth and Winfree Bryant Middle School of Lebanon placed fifth.
Earning an alternate spot was St. Andrew’s-Sewanee. It will advance if one of the top five teams cannot attend the State Science Olympiad Saturday, April 14, at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Ravenwood, coached by Avrill Buerstetta, finished ahead of Central Magnet School of Murfreesboro and the rest of the high-school field. Placing third was Spring Hill, La Vergne fourth and Blackman earned the alternate spot. Blackman will advance to the state competition only if one of the top four teams is unable to attend.
More than 400 middle- and high-school students participated in the annual event, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“Science Olympiad is STEM,” said Patterson, who coordinates the annual event along with fellow chemistry-department faculty member Dr. Amy Phelps.
“Kids get real-world experience. It makes a difference in how kids understand STEM concepts.”
Sixteen middle-school teams and 13 high-school teams participated, Patterson said, adding that some schools had two teams entered. Each team has up to 15 members.
Patterson said MTSU faculty members comprised about 95 percent of the event coordinators for the combined 46 competition categories. Employees from General Mills and Murfreesboro Water and Sewer also coordinated events.
Among the 23 Division B, or middle-school, events were “Disease Detectives,” “Keep the Heat,” “Mousetrap Vehicle” and “Reach for the Stars.” Division C high-school events will include “Dynamic Planet,” “Gravity Vehicle,” “Microbe Mission” and “Remote Sensing.”
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)