|GHMS student Taidyme Routh studies a rock sample in the Rocks and Minerals portion of the Northern Arizona Invitational Science Olympiad competition this past Saturday at Glassford Hill Middle School.|
Courtesy Photo/Cheryl Taylor
|Gilbert Frederico, left, and Christina Williams, from Academy of Math and Science in Tucson, have eight minutes to prepare and send off their Mouse Trap Vehicle, one of 10 events in Saturday’s Northern Arizona Invitational Science Olympiad at Glassford Hill Middle School.|
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
The first Northern Arizona Invitational Science Olympiad competition of the school year took place Saturday at Glassford Hill Middle School, attracting about 160 middle school students from nine schools as far south as Tucson.
GHMS students placed in the top ten in six out of ten events.
Science Olympiad is set up for students to take their own initiative and work on projects at home, said Chris Dalpiaz, GHMS eighth-grade science teacher.
"This is all extra-curricular for the students. We have one practice a week after school where kids come in to test what they built, do research, or build their projects. Most of the preparation is at home on their own time. Science Olympiad is set up to be student driven," Dalpiaz said.
Since this first invitational meet is early in the school year, many students have not had enough time to build their helicopters, rotor egg drops, or mousetrap machines. Most students participated in at least one of the written tests that include Anatomy and Physiology, Forestry, Meteorology, Astronomy, Rocks and Minerals, Experimental Design, and a team-of-two event called Write It, Do It.
Three students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University helped in several events: Dillon Aerick, Justin Baird, and Nic Nagy. Three airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson assisted in the Mouse Trap event: Austin Bassett, A1C; Timothy Matteson, A1C; and Nicholas Turley, Sr. Airman.
The Mouse Trap team from Mountainside Middle School in Scottsdale had two "did not starts," but the airman had the youngsters try again after the competition ended. The problem? Not enough torque, according to Matteson, who went on to explain what torque is and how to adjust the vehicle so it could make its way down the 10-meter straight-away in the school's gym.
The next competition takes place in Goodyear in January. Dalpiaz said students should be participating in more of the built project events by then.
"And by the end of the school year, students will have those machines much more perfected," he said.
Earning first place in the Write It, Do It event were Amber Weaver and Taidyme Routh. Isabella Bielfuss and Stef Arellano took first place in the Anatomy and Physiology event. Mikaela Rouse and Bethanie Gribbin finished second in Reach for the Stars; Amber Weaver, Routh and Bethany Clesari earned fourth place in Experimental Design, with Bielfuss and Gribbin taking eighth place. Gribbin and Arellano also achieved a third place finish in Meteorology. Rouse and Bielfuss took sixth place in Write It, Do It, and Gribbin and Arellano came in tenth. Rouse and Bielfuss also earned seventh place in Forestry.