Education grant benefits Fleetwood M.S. Science Olympiad program

Patriot photo by Jake Austin Exon Owner Mike Shomper presents a grant check to Fleetwood Science Olympiad students Juliana Sanchez, Shelby Claytor, Shawn Fortna and Luke Strange, with Exon Mobil Representative Todd Wagner. They are standing in front of the Science Olympiad trophy case.

The Exon Mobil Educational Alliance Program awarded a $500 grant to Fleetwood Middle School on Friday, Jan. 24.

“[The grant] will directly benefit kids in [science and math] projects, and will also further strengthen the partnership between school and business,” said Exon Mobil representative, Todd Wagner.

According to Fleetwood Middle School Principal Chris Redding, the grant will be used to reinforce the school’s Science Olympiad Team, an after-school program that strives to educate students on various fields of scientific study.

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“The Olympiad has been going on for over 20 years,” said Redding. “The kids and staff are very dedicated. We thought this was a perfect place for the grant since there is currently no budget for [the Science Olympiad].”

“I have been studying water ecology, mainly life in the coral reefs,” said Fleetwood Middle School Science Olympiad student Shelby Claytor.

“I study boom leverage,” said Shawn Fortna, also a Fleetwood M.S. Science Olympiad student. “That is mainly just studying force and pressure with radio motors. It is interesting.”

Students eventually put their knowledge to the test in competitions held mainly at local colleges throughout the year. Events range from miniature bridge construction to the remote control of electronic devices.

“Our school competes on the regional level and we are consistently one of the top schools,” said Redding. “Our hope is to break into the top 10.”

“It is a lot of fun,” said Luke Strange, Fleetwood M.S. Science Olympiad student. “You really have to think a lot about what you are doing.”

“What the kids are doing here is pretty impressive,” said Exon owner Mike Shomper. “It just makes me wish we could have helped them out sooner.”