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Westminster Academy Science Olympiad participants proved themselves as some of the best in the city during their first year of competition. Many of the Westminster students placed in the top 5 of their individual events, going up against seasoned competitors on 11 other teams representing 8 local schools. The competition, which was held at Christian Brothers University, places an emphasis on hands-on learning and group participation. “Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in a middle school and a high school division,” said Sarah Dormois, one of the Westminster Academy coaches. The events cover a broad range of topics including: earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, engineering, forensics; and they fall into one of three categories: knowledge based, lab based, or testing of prebuilt models (such as towers or hovercrafts).

In addition to proving their knowledge, Westminster competitors also showed grit and willingness to adapt under pressure. Many of the students entered their events with little notice or preparation in order to give the team a better understanding of each category for next year. Also, as Daniel Rhodes and Isaac Hopkins were completing their hovercraft, they accidentally melted the base of their model with gold spray paint. They had to quickly rebuild the model the night before the competition and still managed to come in first place in the event!

“This is a great first year showing! The students should be very satisfied in their accomplishments,” said Headmaster Janikowsky. “I was so pleased with the attitude and demeanor of all the students on Saturday. They represented themselves and Westminster Academy really well.”

The individual and team results were as follows:
Middle School Division
Rachel Taylor
2nd place – Rocks and Minerals

Camille Smith
4th place – Herpetology
4th place – Ecology

Daniel Rhodes
3rd place – Meterology

Camille Smith and Rachel Taylor
6th place – Write It Do It

Sam Besh and Eliot Walker
3rd place – Fast Facts
4th place – Microbe Mission
3rd place – Road Scholar
3rd place – Thermodynamics
4th place – Towers

Daniel Rhodes and Isaac Hopkins
1st place – Hovercraft
5th place – Optics

High School Division
Mae Mae Reneau and Ginny Fisher
3rd place – Rocks and Minerals

Mae Mae Reneau and Gibby Fakes
2nd place – Write It Do It

William Tusant, Grayson Nelms, and Ben Nelms
5th place – Helicopter

Coaches
Sarah Dormois
Christopher Marino
Mary Cocke Read

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