On Saturday, March 31, the Grand County High School Science Olympiad Team competed in the state competition, held on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City.
Fourteen students and two coaches had spent the previous week preparing vigorously for the competition, coming in on spring break to do so. In the end, the team walked away with five medals and a fifth-place victory out of more than 30 Utah teams in all divisions, 1A-6A.
Seniors Hannah Stripeika and Ryan Lewis placed second in the forensics competition, in which students are given a crime that they have to solve.
Lewis also placed first in material science, where he had to make Orbeez beads from scratch. Lewis teamed up with fellow senior Ryan Reed to place third in “Mission Possible,” an event where students have to re-create a variation of a Rube Goldberg machine.
Reed also took second in the astronomy event. Reed was required to identify and interpret different deep space objects, such as Super Red Giant Alpha Orionis.
Senior Grace Osusky and freshman Gillian Windsor placed second in “Disease Detectives,” which focused on the history of foodborne illnesses, modes of transmission and criteria for investigating outbreaks.
The team placed in the top 10 in 15 of the 24 events, and missed placing fourth by one point.
Maple Mountain High School won this year’s competition for the fourth year in a row.
Coaches Laura Reed and Mary Walker-Irvin said they are proud of the students and anticipate next year’s season.