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Liberty Science Olympiad takes state title, ready for nationals

MADISON – Facing categories ranging from ‘Anatomy’ to ‘Roller Coaster,’ the Science Olympiad Team at Liberty Middle School exerted superior knowledge to win the Alabama state tournament and qualify for nationals in Kansas.

Auburn University hosted the event on April 22 with 12 schools vying for wins. “Science Olympiad is a competition with 23 events that cover a myriad of science specialties,” Liberty Olympiad Coach Karen Price said.

Price teaches sixth- and eighth-grade science and serves as Space Camp Coordinator.

Liberty students compiled a long string of successes, as this list shows (with students’ place win at the end):

* Chandana Suru and Heidi Leonard — Anatomy/Physiology, first.

* Amaan Musani and Heidi Leonard — BioProcess Lab, first.

* Joel Yang and Jonah Yang – Bridge, second.

* Harshtha Chander and Heidi Leonard – Can’t Judge a Powder, second.

* Harshtha Chander, Nikhita Katragadda and Hudson Waider – Code busters, first.

* Praneel Avula and Joel Yang — Crave the Wave, first.

* Harshtha Chander and Nikhita Katragadda — Crime Busters, first.

* Amaan Musani and Anna Ai Disease – Detectives, first.

* Praneel Avula and Aneesh Maruvada — Dynamic Planet, first.

* Harshtha Chander, Amaan Musani and Prakya Velagapudi — Experimental Design, first.

* Praneel Avula and Anna Ai — Fast Facts, first.

* Prakya Velagapudi and Arya Bellamkonda – Flight.

* Joel Yang and Chandana Suru – Forestry, first.

* Nikhita Katragadda and Aneesh Maruvada — Green Generation, first.

* Hudson Waider and Aneesh Maruvada – Meteorology, first.

* Jonah Yang and Sarvani Maruvada — Road Scholar, first.

* Arya Bellamkonda and Jonah Yang — Rocks & Minerals, second.

* Saqib Baig and Nikhita Katragadda — Roller Coaster.

* Praneel Avula and Hudson Waider — Solar System, first.

* Sarvani Maruvada and Hudson Waider — Sounds of Music, first.

* Saqib Baig and Joel Yang — Storm the Castle.

* Amaan Musani — Wheeled Vehicle.

* Prakya Velagapudi and Saqib Baig — Write It/Do It, second.

“We placed first place in 15 of the 23 events and second place in four events,” Price said.

Currently, the Liberty Science Olympiad Team is preparing to go to the national tournament in Wichita, Kan. on May 19-20. If administrators approve the idea, Liberty’s Olympiad coaches will start a GoFundMe account to help parents and students travel to Kansas. They also will ask local businesses for donations.

Parents of Olympiad students have been instrumental with their support and encouragement for the Science Olympiad program. Parents had to travel to Georgia twice and to Tennessee for invitational tournaments, which required overnight trips. (Alabama doesn’t offer invitationals so the team had to travel out of state to compete.)

Student families “have gone to the University of Alabama for regionals and then to Auburn University for the state tournament. We couldn’t do the program without them,” Price said.

James Clemens High School also won their division’s first place for Science Olympiad and will go to nationals, which is also at the same Wichita campus. “We have Madison City Schools representing our state for the tournament,” Price said.

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