Roxboro team wins trip to state Science Olympiad

Grace Peppler and Graham Ball (Wright Stuff)

On March 6, at the University of Akron, 15 students from Roxboro Middle School demonstrated that, when it comes to science education, the CH-UH City School District really rocks!

It was Roxboro’s second appearance in the regional Science Olympiad, and the school’s teams earned a fifth place finish out of 25 schools, and a trip to the statewide competition on April 17 at Ohio State University.

This year, Roxboro sent two teams to compete against 24 other schools. Going into the competition, participants believed it would be a long shot to place in the tournament. Roxboro's advisors, teachers Janet Lechleitner and Kathy Pahys, built their teams based on student interest, resulting in equal numbers of sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

Team A consisted of Steve Bell, Garth Bennett, Miriam Bennett, Isaac Brown, Victoria Cikanek, Casandra Espenschied, Nathan Friel, Max Janssen, Charlotte Jones, James Johnson, Phoebe Lammert, Tommy Pharis, Grace Phillips, Ellen Posch and Mason Spencer. Olivia Webster was the alternate.

Team B members were Cooper Andrews, Graham Ball, Orion Brock, Chawakorn Chaichanawirote, Amber Jackson, Charles Meriweather, Arianna Murray, David Pecoraro, Grace Peppler, Michelle Posch, Evan Radivoyevitch, Abbey Rinaldi, Maddie Shutt, Terry Wheeler and Emma Whiting. Griffin Shutt was the alternate.

Each team member competed individually or in groups in a series of 23 events, testing science skills and knowledge of scientific processes and applications in a variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, technology, earth science, and math. Only the top six teams move on to the state finals.

Among the Roxboro winners were:

First place, Victoria Cikanek and Ellen Posch (Can’t Judge a Powder); second place Nathan Friel and Ellen Posch (Elevated Bridge); third place, Max Janssen and Miriam Bennett (Ornithology), Grace Peppler and Graham Ball (Wright Stuff), Chawakorn Chaichanawirote and Michelle Posch (Shock Value); fourth place, Tommy Pharis and Steve Bell (Trajectory); fifth place, Victoria Cikanek and Ellen Posch (Science Crime Busters); sixth place, Arianna Murray and Terry Wheeler (Can’t Judge a Powder), Garth Bennett and Grace Phillips (Disease Detectives), Victoria Cikanek, Tommy Pharis and Miriam Bennett (Experimental Design).

Showing team spirit, the Roxboro students huddled together, held hands and sang "We will, we will Rox you!"

Jim Posch, whose daughters participated in the Science Olympiad, is copresident of the CH-UH PTA Council. Jacalyn Elfvin also contributed to this story.

Photos by Kathy Pahys and Janet Lechleitner

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 5:43 PM, 03.13.2010