Eagle Valley students bring home silver at Science Olympiad | NevadaAppeal.com

Eagle Valley students bring home silver at Science Olympiad

Teri Vance

In their inaugural appearance at the state Science Olympiad competition, the Eagle Valley Middle School team took home second place.

“I think they did amazing, absolutely amazing,” said adviser Josh Billings. “For them to be able to do this well without having done it before is huge.”

Although the school once had a reputation in the state as being strong contenders in the competition – which features a series of competitions that range from written tests to engineering to chemistry experiments – it has not had a team in the last seven years.

Billings, who teaches eighth-grade science, has been trying to revive interest in the past couple of years.

“This year, we had some very dedicated students,” he said.

Lisarah Simonson, 13 and Alecia Ouellette, 14, teamed up for the tower-building event that had to meet specific requirements. The tower had to be 50 centimeters tall, the top of which could fit through an 8 centimeter hole, and had to be able to support 30 pounds.

It proved to be a challenge, and they had to rebuild it several times. Yet they persevered.

“We had the passion to do it,” Simonson said. “We wanted to do our best at it.”

Ouellette’s aim was more specific, “We wanted to win.”

Trevor Sollberger’s favorite event was the junkyard challenge where teams are given a set of random items from which they have to build a certain object.

“You learn on the spot what you had to make, which turned out to be a catapult,” explained Sollberger, 14. “It was fun. You have to be creative.”

Along with new experiences, Wyatt Law, 11, also was excited for the new knowledge.

“You just get to learn a bunch of things you didn’t know,” he said. “Like in solar system, you learn about planets and different types of meteors.”

The competitors are eager to continue next year as well.

“I loved it,” said Danny Dudley.

Students will showcase their projects at the District Science Night at Western Nevada College on Wednesday.