Local students fare well at Science Olympiad regional tourney

Students from Polk County Middle School and Polk County High School enjoyed another successful day Saturday at the North Carolina Science Olmypiad Asheville Regional, bringing home a number of individual and team medals.

Twelve high schools and sixteen middle schools fielded varsity and junior varsity teams at the annual competition, held on the campus of UNC Asheville. Science Olympiad offers students a chance to compete in 23 team events, some involving subject tests, some involving building devices, some involving both.

In North Carolina, more than 500 schools and 12,000 students take part in Science Olympiad competition each year, beginning with regional tournaments from which qualifiers advance to the state tourney, held in April at North Carolina State University.

Polk County Middle School, the defending regional champion, placed fourth in this year’s middle school varsity competition, with the Polk County Middle School junior varsity winning its division. Polk County High School placed fifth in the high school varsity competition and second in the high school junior varsity event.

The top three teams in each varsity competition qualified for the state tournament.

The Polk Middle varsity brought home three gold medals, winning the Dynamic Planet, Mission Possible and Scrambler events. The Polk Middle junior varsity won seven events, those including Anatomy and Physiology, Bio Process Lab, Bridge Building, Green Generation, Invasive Species, Meteorology and Reach for the Stars.

The three varsity gold medal teams are eligible to compete in the state tournament on an individual basis.

The Polk County High varsity won two events – Invasive Species and Write It, Do It. The Polk County High junior varsity won five events – Anatomy and Physiology, Duct Tape Challenge, Hyrdogeology, Invasive Species and Wright Stuff.

Three high school teams qualified for state competition – the Invasive Species and Write It, Do It teams and the junior varsity Duct Tape Challenge team, which had the highest score of any varsity or junior varsity team present.

Final results in the tourney aren’t official until Wednesday, and Polk County’s varsity score is expected to change slightly due to a scoring error in one event. Here are the unofficial team scores:

Middle School Varsity
1. Fairview School 67; 2. Evergreen Community School 95; 3. West McDowell 123; 4. Polk County Middle 127; 5. East McDowell Middle 150; 6. Flat Rock Middle 155; 7. Avery Middle 158; 8. Bethel Middle 214; 9. Ranger Elementary/Middle 226; 10. Rugby Middle 228; 11. Martins Creek Middle 247; 12. Madison Middle 263; 13. A.C. Reynolds Middle 281; 14. Robbinsville Middle 305; 15. Waynesville Middle 307; 16. Owen Middle 312.

Middle School Junior Varsity
1. Polk County Middle 64; 2. West McDowell Middle 83; 3. Fairview School 2 110; 4. Ranger Elementary/Middle 115; 5. Evergreen Community 119; 6. Fairview School 1 127; 7. Rugby Middle 134; 8. Martins Creek Middle 190.

High School Varsity
1. Asheville 67; 2. McDowell 93; 3. Smoky Mountain 96; 4. West Henderson 115; 5. Polk County 127; 6. Henderson County Early College 144; 7. Owen 156; 8. T.C. Roberson 186; 9. East Henderson 190; 10. Madison 250; 11. North Buncombe 261; 12. Tuscola 265.

High School Junior Varsity
1. Asheville 67; 2. Polk County 69; 3. McDowell 73; 4. Henderson County Early College 78; 5. West Henderson 92.