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Science Olympiad students prepare projects for regional competition

Coupeville High School ninth-grader Nick Dion fine-tunes his mag-lev project that will be entered in the regional Science Olympiad competition. The regional competition takes place this weekend.  - Nathan Whalen photo
Coupeville High School ninth-grader Nick Dion fine-tunes his mag-lev project that will be entered in the regional Science Olympiad competition. The regional competition takes place this weekend.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen photo

A small group of students are spending their afternoons rebuilding and tweaking science projects in preparation for competition.

The regional Science Olympiad competition takes place this weekend at Seattle Central Community College. Fourteen students at Coupeville High School are competing in this year’s series of events. Students participated in an invitational tournament earlier in the month to see how their projects stack up. After the invitational, the Olympiads have been scrambling to rebuild and improve their machines.

Sophomores Sam Wynn and Shane Squire are participating in Mission Possible, in which they have to build a Rube Goldberg-like contraption that completes an activity in as many steps as possible.

“You just have as many different kinds of energy transfer,” Wynn said. “It was a cool machine and the judges liked it.”

After attending the regional competition, Wynn and Squire are rebuilding their machine, which among other things, includes Legos. Wynn said he hopes to add more steps to the machine, which will improve its performance at the regional competition.

Other students were busy working on a magnetic levitation project while other students were busy pouring through notes in preparation of a disease detective competition.

This year’s Science Olympiad group is a bit younger than previous years — consisting of mostly freshman and sophomores. Categories include the Boomilever,  where students create a cantilevered wooden structure and then see how much weight it could hold, and the elastic launched glider, where students design and build a glider which is judged by length aloft.

To help students hone their projects, community volunteers chip in to help.

Advisor Terry Welch noted that Community Foundation for Coupeville Public Schools provided $500 to help pay for materials and other costs associated with the competition.

Welch is currently in her first year as advisor for the Science Olympiad. She replaced Dan d’Almeida, who left Coupeville last year to work abroad.

If the students win their respective competitions this weekend, they then head to the state competition that takes place April 12 at Eastern Washington University. Nationals take place the following month at University of Central Florida.

 

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