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UNC Asheville’s Regional Science Olympiad 2018 Winners Announced

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Trinity Powell and Harrison Waddell, eight-graders at Polk County Middle School, tested their tower for its strength-to-weight ratio in the Regional Science Olympiad at UNC Asheville. Photo courtesy of UNCA.

The Regional Science Olympiad, hosted and staged by UNC Asheville, brought young scientists from 23 middle and high schools across Western North Carolina together to compete in 46 events on Saturday, March 3. The top three high school varsity and top two middle school varsity teams move on to the statewide tournament, held April 20-21 at NC State

High schools represented in the Science Olympiad were Charles D. Owen High, Chase High School, East Henderson High School, Henderson County Early College, Madison High School, McDowell High School, Nesbitt Discovery Academy, North Henderson High School, Piedmont High School, Polk County High School, Robbinsville High School, Tuscola High School, and West Henderson High School.

The participating middle schools were Avery Middle School, East McDowell Middle School, Fairview School, Flat Rock Middle School, Foothills Community School, Madison Middle School, Polk County Middle School, Rugby Middle School, Valley Springs Middle School and West McDowell Middle School.

You can see a list of all the events here – for middle school and here – for high school. Some of the events were open to the public…

UNCA Chemistry Professor Dr. George heard commented, “ In “Towers” (both high school and middle school event) the participants design and construct a tower out of only glue and wood, within specified parameters. A loading block is then balanced on the tower and sand is added until the tower breaks, or 15kg of sand has been added. Towers is scored based on the ratio of the mass of the tower to the weight of sand it can support. This event took place in a large lecture hall, where the public could see the towers being set up and loaded.

In “Ping-pong parachute” (both high school and middle school event), the participants bring a rocket that after launching, will separate and release a ping-pong ball with a parachute. Each team gets two launches. Teams are scored based on the amount of time the ping-pong ball is in the air following the separation from the rocket. This event was held in the Student Rec Center gym (rockets were restricted so that no rocket would reach the roof).”

Organization and judging for the Science Olympiad was provided by UNC Asheville faculty, students, alumni and staff, and by volunteers from many other schools, businesses and organizations including the NC State University Engineering Program, Asheville Museum of Science, and the American Cryptogram Association.


High School Varsity

1. Henderson County Early College

2. Polk County High School

3. West Henderson High School

High School Junior Varsity

1. West Henderson High School JV1

2. West Henderson High School JV2

Middle School Varsity

1. Fairview School

2. Polk County Middle School

3. Avery Middle School

Middle School Junior Varsity

1. Polk County Middle School JV

2. Fairview School JV2

Spirit awards were given to West McDowell Middle School Varsity and McDowell High School JV for best embodying the spirit of the Science Olympiad.

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