CG Students in Science Olympiad
Sporting black t-shirts with red and white symbols from the periodic table, nine Center Grove Middle School Central students enthusiastically competed in the Butler University Regional Science Olympiad held on Saturday, March 23. Science Olympiad is a national team competition comprised of 23 different events that range from Disease Detective to Dynamic Planet. Center Grove team members, led by eighth grade science teacher, Elizabeth Molnar, have been meeting weekly since November to prepare for this fun, but sometimes grueling, daylong contest. Two students go to each event; one is usually the “expert” and the other goes along as a “second” to lend support. Students choose which events they will participate in by seniority of Science Olympiad experience, since some events such as Anatomy and Crime Busters are the most sought after. Points are awarded to each school according to how they place in each event. For example, first place would be awarded one point. At the end of the day, the school with the fewest overall points is the winner. Team sponsor Molnar explains that since the science curriculum at Center Grove is inquiry based, the team does well. “These are extremely bright students and while some schools actually offer a class dedicated to this competition, this provides another opportunity for our students use their science knowledge.”
The brother and sister team of Akhil and Tara Isanaka participated in the Food Science portion of the Olympiad. Akhil admitted, “It was a lot harder than I expected.” The pair was required to make and bring a viscosity-testing device, timer, goggles, lab coat, and calculator. They rotated around timed stations that besides testing the speed of movement of liquids (viscosity), also required them to measure the density of a baked good, use Benedict’s solution to test for sugar content, and list the ingredients of a recipe in order by the greatest mass. However, when asked what the most difficult station was, Tara stated, “I wasn’t sure what ingredient was in the wrong proportion in the muffin we had to look at!”
Despite being under pressure to perform well in each challenging venue, the Center Grove team was in good spirits and shared a lot of laughter throughout the day. Evidence of their collective good humor could be seen on the shirts the students designed for the day. The three elements represented: barium, zinc, and gallium, have the symbols Ba, Zn, and Ga. When said together they create the expression “basing!” often said by the fictional nerdy but lovable character “Sheldon” from the popular television series The Big Bang Theory.
Julie Yates is a former teacher and current food blogger. She enjoys sharing quick, easy, and healthy recipes with people who love to cook. Visit her blog at www.yatesyummies.blogspot.com.