EPHRAIM—The Science Olympiad team from Ephraim Middle School placed second overall in trial events and fourth place overall in the standard events this year at the state competition in Cedar City.
“The Science Olympiad was amazing. This year we set new records with the highest rank achieved and the most medals earned,” said Linda Flitton, the school’s faculty advisor for the event.
Students prepare all year for the competition and work with different “coaches” at their school to learn how to compete in different events within the competition, such as the bio process lab, computer code busters, cybersecurity, experimental design, food science, meteorology, mousetrap vehicle and many others. In some cases, students have been attending after school meetings each weekday from October to April, said student Karla Tanner, who said she also participates in soccer this season.
Ben Steinfeldt, who competed in the bridge building event, said the competition started on the computer and involved a lot of math. Then he and his partner, Matthew Gankhuyag, physically built the bridge with nothing but wood and adhesive. The goal was to make the bridge as light as possible but still able to hold a set amount of weight. They placed third in the Cedar City competition.
Some of the students said that participating in the Science Olympiad has encouraged them to pursue a science-related field in their careers someday. Student Evelyn Olsen said she would like to be an engineer, and Gankhuyag said he would like to pursue computer science. Nonetheless, some students who participated are still more interested in pursuing the arts. Natalie Dowding said that she is considering a career as a teacher or artist.
“This is so special for them,” Flitton said.