Students showcase talent at regional science olympiad
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Science savvy middle and high school students competed in a wide range of science disciplines at the Gulf South Science Olympiad competition on Saturday, Feb. 21 at Pearl River Community College.
An estimated 300 students from across southern Mississippi participated in various scientific categories, including astronomy, Earth and space science, and engineering and technology, Event Director Robert Maynard said.
“This event is happening across different regions of the state and it’s truly great because this competition shows students how to work as a team in all areas of science,” Maynard said.
He also said nine middle school teams and 11 high school teams participated in the competition at PRCC and the winners will advance to the state competition.
Several contestants represented Pearl River County, including sophomores Hunter Davis and Tyler Hartman from Pearl River Central High School.
They competed in the bridge building competition, where they poured sand into a bucket suspended from a wooden bridge to determine how much weight their bridge could support.
“This is our first time competing, but we’re feeling pretty good since our bridge didn’t collapse,” Davis said. Davis and Hartman went on to place third in the high school division and will go on to compete at the state competition.
In the elastic launched glider competition, Pearl River Central Middle School student Caitlin Jordan said she practiced for over a month in preparation for the olympiad.
“Every time I threw the glider during the competition, it hit the ceiling, but it was fun and I encourage students to try it out,” Jordan said.
In the high school division, first place went to the Oak Grove High School team; second place went to West Jones High School team; and third place went to Pearl River Central High School team.
In the middle school division, first place went to St. Patrick Catholic High School team; second place went to the North Woolmarket Middle School team; and third place went to Pearl River Central Middle School team.
Also advancing to the state competition are teams from D’Iberville High School, St. Patrick Catholic High School, West Harrison High School, Petal Middle School, Seminary Middle School, Petal Upper Elementary and Stone Middle School.
Vice President for PRCC’s General Education and Technology Services Martha Lou Smith said this was the school’s first time to host the event and hopes it won’t be the last.
“We didn’t expect such a large turnout, but it’s truly a great event that brings students to our campus and is a great opportunity for us as well,” Smith said.
Maynard said the winning teams will advance to the Science Olympiad state competition at the University of Southern Mississippi on March 27.