It was a big day for the Wellesley Middle School Science Olympiad team last week at the State Science Olympiad Competition. Not only did the team travel to Worcester to compete, but they took home the third place trophy at the Assumption College event. It was an impressive finish as every member on the WMS main team received a medal or ribbon in at least one event.
Here’s the medal count: 3- first place medals; 2- second place medals; 5-third place finishes; and numerous fourth through sixth place finishes. Although the WMS team has placed in the top six in Massachusetts for seven years in a row, this is the first time they’ve vaulted into third place. Most of the 41 students on the WMS team competed in three or four of the twenty- three events at this year’s Olympiad.
The Science Olympiad events are STEM based and can involve tests, experiments and hands-on engineering events where students build various projects. This year the students started in October designing and building hovercraft, balsa-wood towers which support over 30 pounds, battery powered vehicles, airplanes, Rube Goldberg-like machines and insulating devices to test thermodynamic principles. The culmination of the months of preparation and multiple practices a week was the State competition, followed by a celebratory dinner where students, coaches, and parents celebrated the successes, failures, and hard work of the year.
Started in 1974, Science Olympiad is a national organization which promotes STEM. It has divisions for elementary, middle and high school teams, through which students compete in events in a range of STEM subjects. There were approximately thirty middle schools competing this year in Massachusetts and nationally there were over 7,300 teams from all fifty states.