The Wellesley Middle School Science Olympiad team scored a top five finish — for the fourth year running — at the state competition on Saturday March 5 at Assumption College in Worcester. Individuals on the team had top three finishes in the Anatomy, Bio-Process Lab, Bottle Rocket, Disease Detectives, Fossils, Meteorology and Road Scholar events.
Started in 1974, Science Olympiad has divisions for American elementary, middle and high school teams, through which students compete in events pertaining to various scientific
Most of the 30 students on the WMS team participated in two or three of the twenty-three events at this year’s Olympiad. Events can be knowledge-based, hands-on, or engineering-related. Engineering, or “build events”, have students working for months in advance to design and build projects including a bottle rocket powered by compressed air and water, a balsa-wood bridge to support up to 30 pounds, and an egg-carrying cart powered by a falling weight.
Students on the Wellesley Middle School team met at least weekly since October, with extra practices on nights and weekends and several practice meets leading up to the state competition. For the first time this year, Wellesley Middle School also hosted a practice meet in January attended by eight other middle schools.
The culmination of the months of preparation is the state competition, followed by dinner out, where students, coaches, and parents celebrate the successes, failures, and hard work of the previous year. One of the lessons that many of the students learn is the value of persistence in the face of “failure”, or learning from mistakes. In fact, last year the team and Head Coach/grade 6 science teacher David Jackson started a tradition of the Board of Successful Failures – a board signed by each member of the team to commemorate their flops leading up to the state meet.
This report was shared by a parent/coach involved in the team, and team members’ names were not included out of privacy considerations. A meeting of interested parents to discuss next year’s Science Olympiad program will be held on March 30, 7:30pm in Room 111 of WMS. Interested members of the community are invited to attend.