Science Olympiad team finishes third at regional competition

Third place finish ensures a spot at the state competition in April

While+showing+the+specifications+of+her+tower%2C+sophomore+Eva+Burke+competes+in+the+Tower+event+at+the+Science+Olympiad+regional+competition+at+Johnson+County+Community+College+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+24.
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Science Olympiad team finishes third at regional competition

While showing the specifications of her tower, sophomore Eva Burke competes in the Tower event at the Science Olympiad regional competition at Johnson County Community College on Saturday, Feb. 24.

While showing the specifications of her tower, sophomore Eva Burke competes in the Tower event at the Science Olympiad regional competition at Johnson County Community College on Saturday, Feb. 24.

By Carter Lawson

While showing the specifications of her tower, sophomore Eva Burke competes in the Tower event at the Science Olympiad regional competition at Johnson County Community College on Saturday, Feb. 24.

By Carter Lawson

By Carter Lawson

While showing the specifications of her tower, sophomore Eva Burke competes in the Tower event at the Science Olympiad regional competition at Johnson County Community College on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Abby Layton, JagWire A&E editor

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By Carter Lawson
After receiving their prompt, freshman Hannah Chern and juniors Liz Fraka and Sydney Clarkin begin to plan out their experiment.

The Science Olympiad team competed at Johnson County Community College on Saturday, Feb. 24 with a third place finish, guaranteeing them a spot at the state competition.

The team competes in three categories of competition: test events, lab events and build events. Students may compete in multiple events from different categories.

Sophomore Eva Burke was pleasantly surprised by the high finish due to the teams past tendency to place in a lower bracket.

“We were shooting for a high score like we got, but usually we’re in the top six or the top ten, so  I was really excited about the top three finish,” Burke said.

By Carter Lawson
Prior to testing their tower, sophomores Joan Downey and Eva Burke have their tower weighed.

According to sophomore Noah Hookstra, the team overall felt confident in their abilities to succeed due to their experience with competitions in the past.

“We felt really confident because we’d gone to more regionals this year than we had last year,” Hookstra said. “We were able to round off the rough edges of the team.”

While the team’s practice was disrupted by the four snow days the week before the competition, according to Burke they were still able to complete rigorous preparation on their own and together.

“Usually we stay after school everyday the week before the competition, but this time we had all of those snow days,” Burke said. “On Friday, we had a practice that was several hours long and … had dinner [at the school].”

Hookstra believes that while the team was able to make up the lost practice time in the end, he still made sure to prepare for the competition independently.

“I’d like to say [the snow days] didn’t affect us at all, but it probably did,” Hookstra said. “A lot of us tried to practice independently while we were at home, even though we had the snow days.”

While it wasn’t an issue for Burke, studying at home wasn’t as beneficial for some competitors since practicing required their partner to be with them.

By Carter Lawson
During the Mousetrap Vehicle competition, junior Julie Brown and sophomore Alex Whipple make adjustments to their vehicle.

“I usually do most of my practice at home, so I was still studying during the snow days,” Burke said. “[However] I was worried about some of the other build events, because some people have to work with their teammates more.”

While Hookstra was confident in the team’s abilities going into the competition, he still recognizes the significance of the team’s third place finish.

“[The competition] was huge,” Hookstra said. “It was probably the most important competition that we’d been to in a couple years. It was really a matter of getting there and getting it done.”

The Science Olympiad team will compete at the state tournament on Saturday, April 7 at Wichita State University.

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