Home News Local News Local schools score high in some events at state Science Olympiad

Local schools score high in some events at state Science Olympiad

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The New Mexico Military Institute team finished eighth overall among 24 high schools at the Feb. 24 New Mexico Science Olympiads. They are shown after their first place finish at the Feb. 3 regional competition. Team coaches include Frank Kimbler, at left kneeling; John Surgett, back row on left; and Cheryl Martinez, back row at right. (Submitted Photo)

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Three Roswell teams placed among the top 10 in the New Mexico Science Olympiads tournament, including Sierra Middle School in its first time in the competition.

“I am really, really proud of our kids,” said Sierra Middle science teacher and coach Eric Cannon. “We placed the highest of any team that was new to the competition.”

In addition, some local students won recognition for scoring in the top 10 in specific events.

At the state tournament Feb. 24 at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, 24 teams received rankings in the high school, or Division C, category, and 24 teams were ranked for the middle school, or Division B, category. The top team in each division is eligible to compete at the national tournament.

New Mexico Military Institute earned an eighth-place overall finish. The team placed first at the Feb. 3 southeast regional tournament held at NMMI.

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Their results included three second-place finishes for some of the 23 individual events in the competition. Those top finishes were for the “Fermi Question,” an event named after Enrico Fermi that involves calculating estimates to questions for which no exact number can be determined; “Game On,” entailing the creation of a computer game; and “Towers,” which had teams building a tower according to given specifications and within a specified timeframe.

Sidney Gutierrez Middle School finished eighth among middle schools, while Sierra Middle School placed ninth in Division B in its first year at regionals or state.

In regionals, Sierra placed sixth, while Sidney Gutierrez placed first.

“We did really well. Our kids are rock stars,” said Sierra Middle’s Cannon. “A lot of the other teams have been competing for five years and began preparing in September. Our kids started about two-and-a-half months ago.”

He noted that the Sierra team had top 10 finishes in 13 of the 23 tournament events and placed in the top five for seven events. Their highest finish was second place in meteorology.

Sidney Gutierrez science teacher and coach Jessica McGuire said her students took home 29 medals for their efforts in various categories. Medals are given to middle school students with top 10 finishes in events.

“I had a great group of kids that worked very hard from the start of our season in September through February,” she said. “We are already looking forward to next season and discussing what we can do to improve in the future.”

Sidney Gutierrez students scored in the top five in five events and among the top 10 in 14 events. The top finish was a second place in the “Towers” event.

Gateway Christian School also had a team in the middle school division, after finishing third at regionals.

Gateway finished 12th in its division at the state tournament, with six finishes in the top five and one sixth-place finish.

The group’s results included two first-place finishes in “Microbe Mission” and “Herpetology.”

Teams were eligible to compete at the state tournament if they finished sixth or above at the regional competition.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.