Gov. Mifflin, Exeter, Fleetwood, Kutztown and Boyertown bring home first place wins at Berks Science Olympiad

Nearly 350 students from 19 different schools competed in the Berks County Science Olympiad at Kutztown University on Jan. 11. Some events included helicopters, hovercraft, mousetrap vehicle, rocks and minerals, and chemistry lab. Pictured are Justin Reeves and David Wentling from Antietam participating in the mousetrap car event.
Nearly 350 students from 19 different schools competed in the Berks County Science Olympiad at Kutztown University on Jan. 11. Some events included helicopters, hovercraft, mousetrap vehicle, rocks and minerals, and chemistry lab. Pictured are Justin Reeves and David Wentling from Antietam participating in the mousetrap car event. Brady Tucker - Digital First Media

Nearly 350 students from 19 different schools competed in the Berks County Science Olympiad at Kutztown University on Jan. 11 with winning first, Exeter second and Wyomissing third in Overall Team.

Governor Mifflin won first in Anatomy and Physiology.

Exeter won first in Astronomy, Fermi Questions, Herpetology, Microbe Mission, and in Mission Possible.

Fleetwood won first in Dynamic Planet and in Forensics.

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Kutztown won first in Experimental Design.

Boyertown won first in Rocks and Minerals and in Write It Do It.

Also participating were Twin Valley, Berks Catholic, Antietam, Wilson, Wyomissing, Conrad Weiser, Hamburg, and Reading.

The Science Olympiad, now in its 34th year, is “an international nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of K-12 science education, creating a passion for learning science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers”, according to the Kutztown University press release. This competition is held at the local, regional, state, and national levels. Students participated in multiple events throughout the day, and top competitors were awarded at a ceremony at the end of the day.

Lowell Keebler, an instructor of Earth Sciences and Astronomy at Exeter Township Senior High School, believes this competition helps students not only in science, but also in the real world.

“It also allows them to explore areas of science that may not be covered in a traditional science curriculum. Students hone their science skills through competition. Most students are participating because they have a thirst for knowledge. The competition gives them an edge in life and teaches them how to deal with setbacks.”

Some events available for students to participate in are helicopters, hovercraft, mousetrap vehicle, rocks and minerals, and chemistry lab.

Madison Keiser, a junior at Kutztown Area High School, participated in the chemistry lab competition. In this competition, students must construct a lab procedure based on the topic given. Although this was the first year Madison has participated in this specific event, she has been part of Kutztown’s Science Olympiad teams since middle school, and continues to enjoy and look forward to the competitions.

“I like the atmosphere and challenging myself and learning new things that I don’t have the opportunity to learn in school. One year, I learned about bugs and entomology, and I learned a lot about diseases, which is actually how I got into diseases, which is something I want to do for my career now.”

Andrew Ellis, a senior at Exeter, competed in optics, thermodynamics, and Fermi questions. He enjoys the benefits Science Olympiad gives him as a well-rounded student.

“It really helps with time management, because this is a lot of work. Especially with other clubs and school work along with it, it really prepares you to manage your time well so you still have that time to hang out with friends and be social but also make sure you are preparing for your events.”

Another senior from Exeter, Nils Rickard, says Science Olympiad “allows me to take what I learned and gathered from science and chemistry and figure out what it is actually used for and put it into real life scenarios.”

Ryan Thomas, a science teacher at Kutztown High, believes this competition is extremely beneficial for students and allows them to learn and do things they wouldn’t normally be able to do inside the classroom setting.

“It is a great program because Science Olympiad allows students to do things that wouldn’t normally be offered by the curriculum. This allows science students who normally do not have a competitive edge to get practice that gives them an edge and a little bit of competitiveness when it comes to academics which is what they really excel at to begin with. But, it is a nice thing to put them out of their comfort zone and give them a test that they have to spend a tremendous amount of time preparing for and things that they have to really think on the spot for and put information together and really challenge them as much as they can.”

The regional competition will take place at Kutztown University in March with more than 675 students from 41 schools competing.

2018 Berks County Science Olympiad Results

Anatomy and Physiology

1. Governor Mifflin

2. WC Bayard Rustin

3. Wilson

Astronomy

1. Exeter

2. WC Bayard Rustin

3. Central York

Chemistry Lab

1. Wilson

2. Schuylkill Valley

3. Central York

Disease Detectives

1. WC Bayard Rustin

2. Exeter

3. Wyomissing Area

Dynamic Planet

1. Fleetwood

2. Exeter

3. Boyertown

Ecology

1. WC Bayard Rustin

2. Wilson

3. Schuylkill Valley

Experimental Design

1. Kutztown

2. Wilson

3. WC Bayard Rustin

Fermi Questions

1. Exeter

2. Wilson

3. WC Bayard Rustin

Forensics

1. Fleetwood

2. Kutztown

3. WC East

Game On

1. Wyomissing Area

2. WC Bayard Rustin

3. Fleetwood

Helicopters

1. Central York

2. Sun Valley

3. Wyomissing Area

Herpetology

1. Exeter

2. WC Bayard Rustin

3. Fleetwood

Hovercraft

1. WC Bayard Rustin

2. WC East

3. Wyomissing Area

Materials Science

1. Wyomissing Area

2. Sun Valley

3. Schuylkill Valley

Microbe Mission

1. Exeter

2. WC Bayard Rustin

3. WC East

Mission Possible

1. Exeter

2. WC Bayard Rustin

3. Fleetwood

Mousetrap Vehicle

1. Wyomissing Area

2. WC Bayard Rustin

3. Exeter

Optics

1. WC Bayard Rustin

2. Governor Mifflin

3. Wilson

Remote Sensing

1. Sun Valley

2. Kutztown

3. WC Bayard Rustin

Rocks and Minerals

1. Boyertown

2. Fleetwood

3. WC Bayard Rustin

Thermodynamics

1. WC Bayard Rustin

2. Wyomissing Area

3. Wilson

Towers

1. WC Bayard Rustin

2. Sun Valley

3. Exeter

Write It Do It

1. Boyertown

2. Wyomissing Area

3. Conrad Weiser

Overall Team Results

1. WC Bayard Rustin

2. Exeter

3. Wyomissing Area