SCIENCE STARS

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Lana Hiskey

On May 15 and 16, 17 stu­dents from Maple Moun­tain High School com­peted at the pres­ti­gious Na­tional Science Olympiad com­pe­ti­tion at the Uni­ver­sity of Ne­braska in Lin­coln. Maple Moun­tain proudly rep­re­sented Nebo School Dis­trict and the state of Utah as they faced off in events of science, tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing against 60 other schools from across the coun­try.

This is the first time a high school team from Nebo School Dis­trict has been se­lected to go to the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion and Maple Moun­tain put up an out­stand­ing per­for­mance, tak­ing 39th place over­all – the best a team from Utah has done in the last eight years.

The Science Olympiad con­sists of 24 events where mem­bers of the team com­pete as a pair in pre-built en­gi­neer­ing chal­lenges, lab­o­ra­tory skills and knowl­edge quizzes. A few mem­bers of our team achieved the dis­tinct honor of plac­ing in the top 20 for their events. John Baads­gaard and Hei­dyn von Bose placed 12th in two events – En­to­mol­ogy and Hy­dro­ge­ol­ogy.

Daniel Tol­ley and Michaela McCown placed 11th in Game On, an event where com­peti­tors make a com­puter game in less than an hour. Sa­muel Dal­lon and Rachel By­bee placed 20th in Dis­ease De­tec­tives, an event where you must solve a prob­lem us­ing epi­demi­ol­ogy and statis­tics.

Fi­nally, John Baads­gaard and Keith Hill placed 19th in the Fos­sils Event. To place in the top 20 at na­tion­als is a huge ac­com­plish­ment and rep­re­sents a huge in­vest­ment of prac­tice and study through­out the course of many school years. (Yes you read that cor­rectly – years!)

Mem­bers of the 2015 Utah State Na­tional Science Olympiad Team are: Rachel By­bee, John Baads­gaard, Sa­muel Dal­lon, Re­becca Bair, Scott Grif­fin, Tyler Mortensen, Robert Nay, Jon Smith, Ja­son Syn­der­gaard, Daniel Tol­ley, Keith Hill, Michaela McCown, Jonny Stites, Ryan Smith, Adam Syn­der­gaard, Hei­dyn von Bose and Shayla Niel­son.

Ad­vi­sor Kyle Miller said, “A huge thank you to par­ents, teach­ers, men­tors and mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who have sup­ported the Science Olympiad team and Maple Moun­tain in their quest for ex­cel­lence in the sciences. With­out this sup­port, we would never have reached this ac­com­plish­ment.”

While the team will be los­ing a core of se­niors next year, they are al­ready mak­ing plans for next year’s com­pe­ti­tion, which will have a whole new set of events. Next year, some of the new events will be fo­cused on sources of al­ter­na­tive en­ergy, build­ing a func­tion­ing wind tur­bine, mak­ing a model elec­tric car, iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and un­der­stand­ing of in­va­sive species, build­ing a robot and us­ing the in­ter­na­tional pro­tein data­base to make ac­cu­rate mod­els.

Th­ese events will fold in with the clas­sic yearly com­pe­ti­tion in events such as anatomy, as­tron­omy, bridge build­ing, cell bi­ol­ogy, chem­istry lab, dis­ease de­tec­tives and foren­sics.

Maple Moun­tain is al­ways look­ing for more stu­dents that want to par­tic­i­pate on the Science Olympiad team. The team meets through­out the year prac­tic­ing, designing, build­ing, testing and pre­par­ing for lo­cal, state and now the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. Please come be a part of the Science Olympiad team at Maple Moun­tain and be­come a part of es­tab­lish­ing a tra­di­tion of sci­en­tific ex­cel­lence.

If you are in­ter­ested in sup­port­ing the team in any way, please con­tact Coach Miller or Coach Ritchie at kyle.miller@ nebo.edu or em­ma­lyn.ritchie@nebo.edu.

Stu­dents from Maple Moun­tain High School com­peted in May at the pres­ti­gious Na­tional Science Olympiad com­pe­ti­tion. It is the first team from a Nebo School Dis­trict high school to be se­lected for the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

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