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Science Olympiad team advances to state finals

posted: Sat, Feb 24th, 2018

Victoria Tang and Henita Lawrence earned second-place in the Science Olympiad area tournament

Imagine playing a Pictionary-type game and having to draw/guess the term “endoplasmic reticulum.” 

That very activity helped Henita Lawrence and Victoria Tang win a second-place award in the “Picture This” category at a recent Science Olympiad area tournament. Henita and Victoria led the MOMS team to a 9th place overall finish against other middle school teams from northern New Jersey. For its top finish, MOMS earned an invitation to the state finals.

At the area tournament held at Union County College in Cranford, Henita served as the artist and helped Victoria correctly guess other scientific terms including “greenhouse effect” and “omnivore/herbivore.” The two eighth-graders studied hundreds of scientific terms and engaged in many practice sessions to prepare for the competition.

MOMS students also had notable performances in two other categories:

Shana Soyfer and Melissa Patten finished sixth in Microbe Mission, a multi-faceted competition in which they had to solve problems and analyze data pertaining to microbes. As part of their activities, the students were presented with microscope views of microbes and were tasked with estimating their sizes.

Katie Keegan and Aveena Khanderia earned seventh-place in Optics. In addition to a written test, Katie and Aveena completed an assignment in which they had to set-up a series of mirrors that would direct a laser beam around barriers and hit a target. Since the laser wasn’t on, the students had to rely on their extensive math skills and knowledge of the reflecting capabilities of different shaped mirrors to set up the experiment. 

Katie and Aveena studied reference materials, watched videos on the physics of light, including those from the Khan Academy, and also had the help of a college physics professor to assist them in preparation. The partners were so accurate in their calculations, moving a single mirror just one centimeter would have allowed the laser to hit the target dead-on.

The state finals will be held at Middlesex County College in Edison in mid-March. Teacher Beth Cohen is the team’s adviser.

 

Mount Olive Middle School
160 Wolfe Road Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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