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SEMS teams advance to state Olympiad competition
2.28 Science Olympiad
South Effingham Middle School science olympiad members placed first in the regional competition and will now compete at the state level. - photo by Photo submitted

The South Effingham Middle School Mustangs competed in the Science Olympiad regional tournament at South Georgia College in Douglas on Feb. 9.

The Mustangs fielded two teams, an A team and a B team, consisting of 29 students. The Mustangs A team took first place, clinching the school’s seventh straight invitation to compete in the State Science Olympiad competition on March 29 at Augusta State University.

The Mustangs B team, made up of many students who filled positions with less than two weeks of practice, took sixth place overall out of nine teams.  

Members of the A team are: ninth graders, Robbie McLaughlin, Kendall Ehret; eighth graders, Shelby Smith, Cliff Brown, Selina Jonas, Michael Edwards, Joey Newman, Ashley Sapp, Jordan Jackson, David Broom; seventh graders, Christian Cremo, Justin Wilson, Mallory Adams, Rebekah Wetmore; sixth grader, Hillary Jeffers.

Members of the B team are: eighth graders, Will Hobbs, Danielle Hightower, Kandice Nelson, Ricky Reese, Riley Dockree; seventh graders, Seth Penney, Mack Randle, Donald Quinones, Karle Lockhart, Emily Ehret, Kyle Hackworth, Branden Ray; sixth graders, Paige McFarland and Jennifer Edwards.  

Science Olympiad teams are comprised of a maximum of 15 students from grades sixth through ninth for competition in 23 events. The events fall under three main categories:  science concepts and knowledge, science processes and thinking skills, and science applications and technology. Events are either knowledge-based (i.e. written tests or laboratory tasks in earth science, physics, biology and chemistry) or engineering-based (i.e. participants construct a device to do specific tasks).  

Of the 23 events, the Mustangs medaled in all but two. First place medals were received in: robo-cross, simple machines, amphibians and reptiles, reach for the stars, towers, rocks and minerals, mystery architecture, write it do it, oceanography, meteorology and scrambler.

Second place medals were received in: robo-cross, simple machines, reach for the stars, science word, crime busters, road scholar, towers and balloon launch glider.

Third place medals were received in: ecology, road scholar, bio-process lab, balloon launch glider, scrambler and metric mastery.

Fourth place medals were received in: ecology, food science, anatomy and trajectory.

Ribbons were awarded for fifth through ninth places.    

Science Olympiad is a national organization dedicated to improving education by fostering a passion for science among students.  Its success is dependent on creating links between community resources, parents and the school. Goals of the program are to improve curriculum, generate interest in and provide recognition for achievement in science. Locally, Georgia Pacific Corporation is a major supporter of the program by providing coaches and funding.