Posts Tagged “Science Olympiad”

Katie and Ana participated in the Science Olympiad at their schools before Christmas.  They both went to Bozeman, MT for the state finals.  Ana studied birds, and Katie made a mouse trap car.  Here are a couple of photos of the mouse trap car.  It had to go forward a certain distance, stop, and reverse the same distance, without any human intervention.  It took a lot of brain power trying to figure out how to make it all work, but we did it!  Good job Ana and Katie on your projects.  Click on the pictures to see larger views.

(UPDATE 3/17/10 – Due to the large response on searching for “Reversible Moustrap Cars”, I made a “How To” video showing how we made our Mousetrap Car reversible.   Check it out by clicking HERE. )

– John

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Yesterday, I posted a nice article from the Helena Independent Record about Clancy School winning the Science Olympiad.  Here is another nice article from Jefferson County’s small weekly newspaper.  Again, great job Desire’ and Ana!  John

Clancy students experiment their way to success.

by Jefferson County Courier.

Clancy Middle School student Ryan Olsen studies his competitors bridges while awaiting his turn in the elevated bridge event Tuesday at the Montana Science Olympiad at Montana State University. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

Clancy Middle School student Ryan Olsen studies his competitors' bridges while awaiting his turn in the elevated bridge event Tuesday at the Montana Science Olympiad at Montana State University. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

by Melynda Harrison, MSU News Service

and Jan Anderson, editor

Airplanes made of wood and mylar glided through the air in Montana State University’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Tennis balls, hacky sacks and ping pong balls were launched toward targets from catapults, trebuchets and ballistas. Middle and high school students, along with teachers, coaches and parents, discussed technique and cheered after each launch.

Roughly 900 students from more than 30 junior high and high schools around the state, including students from Clancy School, competed in this year’s Montana Science Olympiad at MSU. A variety of contests that included building bridges and model airplanes, solving

crimes, identifying fossils and interpreting maps determined which teams earned a chance to compete at the national tournament held in Augusta, Georgia, in May.

Clancy’s team, coached by Ted Polette and Daryl Mikesell, took top honors in the junior high/middle school category for small schools, amassing 173 points.

Two Clancy seventh graders, Nick Burkland and Abbie Caldwell, earned top honors to be the state champions in the Road Scholar event. It is the first time since 2004 that the school has captured an individual state title in Science Olympiad.

Team members were eighth graders Desiré McDougall, Rebecca Wacker, Ryan Olsen and Kayla Anderson, seventh graders Stephen Murphy, Austin Lindsay, Abbie Caldwell, Nick Burkland and Rebecca Mixan, and sixth graders Janessa Williams, Ryan Seyler, Ana McDougall, Kirsten Marble, Jonah Elston, Serena McDaniels and Darcie Caldwell.

The Science Olympiad was hosted by MSU’s Math Science Resource Center. About

120 students, staff and faculty from departments across MSU helped put on the tournament, acting as scorers and judges for the Olympiad’s 15 events, which were held in five buildings on campus.

“The Olympiad was originally designed to promote science education and recognize outstanding junior high and high school science students; but it also provides students with the opportunity to travel and compete on a team that’s not necessarily related to sports,” said Olympiad state coordinator Lisa Daly, who also works at MSU’s Math Science Resource Center.

Caleb Matthew, a senior at Noxon High School, participated in the Science Olympiad for the fourth year, but it was his first year in the trajectory contest. He built a Greek ballista, a slingshot-like device that propelled a tennis ball toward a target.

“Building the project was the most fun,” Matthew said. “I also like being on campus, hanging out with friends and missing school.”

John Onofrey, a seventh grader at Noxon, participated in the elevated bridget contest. The task was to design and build the lightest bridge that met size specifications and could hold 15 kg (33 pounds) of weight.

Onofrey spent two weeks drafting and building the prototype of his bridge, which was able to hold the full weight.

“I learned that the design was fine, but that I needed to make it lighter. So, I cut off some unnecessary parts,” Onofrey explained.

Elisabeth Swanson, director of the Science Math Resource Center, said MSU hopes the Olympiad will connect Montana math and science-minded junior high and high school students with like-minded faculty, undergraduates and graduate students. Swanson also said the Olympiad helps the visiting students learn more about the study and research opportunities available at MSU.

Perhaps most importantly, the Olympiad publicly recognizes students who are good at math and science, she said. “It lets students, especially girls, know that being smart in math and science is nothing to hide. It’s something to be proud of,” Swanson said.

Clancy students experiment their way to success

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Copyright The Jefferson County Courier, LLC, 2007. All rights reserved.

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This was in today’s paper. Desire’ attended the Science Olympiad on a team, and Ana attended as an alternate.  Great job girls, we are proud of you!

Clancy wins Science Olympiad for small schools

By Independent Record – 12/05/08

Chad Trettin IR staff photographer - Clancy Elementary students display their state championship trophies and some of their projects for the Science Olympiad.

Chad Trettin IR staff photographer - Clancy Elementary students display their state championship trophies and some of their projects for the Science Olympiad.

Clancy School middle school students captured first place for small schools at Montana State University’s annual Science Olympiad in November.

This was the fifth time the school has captured first place for small schools.

And the win was part of a sweep by Helena area schools of first place awards at the 24th annual Olympiad.

Helena High School took first place in the high school division and C.R. Anderson first in the middle school division.

From building catapults, bridges and gliders to testing their knowledge on astronomy and ecology — the Clancy School students excelled, garnering 173 points.

The Olympiad includes 15 different events, said Ted Polette, who teaches 8th grade science, chemistry and physics at Clancy. He’s taken a Clancy team to the event for the past 20 years.

Although Polette is also a sports coach at the school, the Science Olympiad “is the highlight of my school year, each year,” he said.

Assistant coach for the Clancy team, Daryl Mikesell, said the Olympiad gives students who are oriented toward science projects an opportunity to show their strengths. Mikesell assisted Polette with the coaching.

The event also gives students a chance to observe science students from around the state. Nearly 1,000 students participate.

“The future is bright with these students,” he said. “It’s electrifying.”


Event, team participants, place:

• Road Scholar, Abbie Caldwell and Nick Burkland, 1st

• Reach for the Stars, Desire’ McDougall and Kirsten Marble, 4th

• Fossils, Kirsten Marble and Darcie Caldwell, 4th

• Trajectory, Nick Burkland and Ryan Olsen, 6th

• Environmental Chemistry, Serena McDaniels and Kirsten Marble, 7th

• Amphibians and Reptiles, Stephen Murphy and Jennesa Williams, 8th

• Disease Detectives, Rebecca Mixan and Serena McDaniels, 8th

• Wright Stuff, Jonah Elston and Stephen Murphy, 9th

• Write it — Do it, Darcie Caldwell and Abbie Caldwell, 11th

• Dynamic Planet, Abbie Caldwell and Darcie Caldwell, 13th

• Experimental Design, Rebecca Wacker, Ryan Olsen and Desire McDougall, 15th

• Elevated Bridge, Ryan Olsen and Nick Burkland, 21st

• Ecology, Kayla Anderson Rebecca Wacker, 21st

• Pentathalon, Austin Lindsay, Ryan Seyler, Stephen Murphy, and Kayla Anderson, 21st

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