PLATTSBURGH — Area students made a big showing at the recent middle-school-level Adirondack Regional Science Olympiad.
For the third consecutive year, Stafford Middle School placed first in the competition, which comprises 20 events dealing with multiple areas of science and technology.
Success in the contest requires students to possess knowledge of topics such as living, earth and physical sciences, typically learned in high school and even college.
The Plattsburgh team beat Chateaugay Central’s middle school group by just 2 points at the regional tournament; however, both teams will advance to the State Science Olympiad at Greece Arcadia High School in Rochester on April 4 and 5.
“I’m a little bit nervous because we didn’t do the best last year, but I’m hoping we do better this year,” said Stafford Middle School student Chet Guenther.
The eighth-grader earned a gold medal in Metric Mastery at this year’s regional contest. The event requires participants to estimate the weight and length of objects.
Guenther also took home bronze in Helicopters, for which, he explained, “you have to build a wooden helicopter and wind it with a rubber band and have it fly for a long period of time.”
He is looking forward to competing in the event at the state level.
Teammate Abiageal Barton won several medals at the Adirondack contest this year, including a gold in Dynamic Planet, an event where students are tested on their knowledge of glaciers and other landforms.
While the Plattsburgh team meets once a week as a group, students also stay after school individually to work on their events and prepare for competition, according to Stafford Middle School Olympiad coach Sonal Patel-Dame.
“It definitely takes a lot of time,” she said.
“And we’re stepping it up also because state competition is more rigorous ... so it just requires that much more work,” added fellow Plattsburgh Olympiad coach Wendy DeMane.