Polk County Middle School’s Science Olympiad team is once again bound for state tournament competition.

PCMS placed second Saturday in the North Carolina Science Olympiad’s Asheville Regional at UNC Asheville, earning a berth in the state tournament set for April 24-25 at North Carolina State University.

It marks the fourth consecutive year that PCMS has qualified for state competition. Science Olympiad offers students a chance to compete in 23 team events, some involving subject tests, some involving building devices, some involving both.

Polk County Middle’s junior varsity team took top honors in the JV competition. There is no state-level competition for junior varsity teams.

“The kids did awesome and we are so proud of all the hard work,” said PCMS science teacher Elisa Flynn, who leads the Science Olympiad team. “They put in countless hours to become the ‘expert’ and it showed today.”

Fairview School took first place in the middle school tournament, with Avery Middle School, Foothills Community School and Montford North Star Academy rounding out the top five.

Polk Middle took top honors in three events – Elastic-Launched Glider, Game On and Ping Pong Parachute. The glider event challenges competitors to build a glider that can stay aloft the longest while the parachute event involves launching a rocket with a ping pong ball atop, the challenge being how long it takes the ball to detach from the rocket and float to the ground attached to a parachute. Game On involves creating a science-based computer game with the program Scratch.

PCMS had the best score of any middle school varsity or junior varsity team in the glider competition.

Polk County High School took eighth in the high school competition, earning top-five finishes in Chem Lab, Forensics, Fossils and Geologic Mapping.

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy won the high school team title, followed by West Henderson, Smoky Mountain, Martin L. Nesbitt Discovery Academy and Henderson County Early College.