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Mill Creek students shine in Science Olympiad contest

MADISON – Students from Mill Creek Elementary School used their technical understanding to win top spots in the State Science Olympiad recently at Jacksonville High School.

Mill Creek had two teams that earned first place. In addition, one team placed second in the competition. Mill Creek faced about 200 students in 11 teams.

Team members are Shravan Balaji, Kayden Barbour, Ananya Bhovi, Caroline Dervan, Eiliyah Hafiez, John Kawamoto, Ashlynn Langston, Joseph Lee, Rhyan Quansah, Avery Seaton and Erasmus Tettey.

“Founded in 1984, Science Olympiad is one of the premier science competitions in the nation, providing standards-based challenges to 5,500 teams at 400 tournaments in all 50 states,” Jacqueline K. Smith said. Smith, a National Board Certified Teacher, sponsors Science Olympiad. She is Mill Creek’s fifth-grade STEM teacher and is Director of the Extended Day Program .

Volunteers for Science Olympiad volunteers judged the events. At the beginning of the season, students select events of interest and either study or prepare for engineering/task-based challenges.

Students can compete in up to five events (one event each hour). “Since our team was so small, many students competed all day to help earn points for our team. We came in second place in the overall team competition,” Smith said.

“Students learn to sharpen their study skills and critical thinking skills because they do not know exactly what the questions or tasks will be until they enter the competition room,” Smith said. “Students prepare by learning everything they can about their topic . . . it takes a lot of time and effort.”

The Mill Creek Science Olympiad team met weekly on Saturday for several months to prepare for the competition. Students worked on the group events and studied for individual events.

Mill Creek students chose diverse topics:

* Aerodynamics — Avery Seaton, Kayden Barbour, second.

* Barge Building — Joseph Lee, Kayden Barbour, first.

* Food For Thought — Kayden Barbour, Erasmus Tettey, second.

* Geometrics — Caroline Dervan, Rhyan Quansah, third.

* How Do You Spell Science? — Erasmus Tettey, Ashlynn Langston, first.

* In Bloom — Eiliyah Hafiez, Shravan Balaji, first.

* Infographics — Caroline Dervan, Erasmus Tettey, second.

* It’s Elemental — Eiliyah Hafiez, Shravan Balaji, second.

* Quick Sketch — Avery Seaton, Ananya Bhovi, third.

* Starry, Starry Night — Avery Seaton, Kayden Barbour, first.

* Third Rock from the Sun — Caroline Dervan, Ashlynn Langston, second.

* Triple Play — Joseph Lee, Ananya Bhovi, second.

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