Hamburg senior Elizabeth Brown and sophomore Grace Kutz placed 3rd in the Hydrogeology event at the Berks County Science Olympiad competition Jan. 7 at Kutztown University.

“Give all the Science Olympiad participates from yesterday’s competition a pat on the back for their hard work. They did a fine job representing Hamburg High School yesterday,” said Hamburg science teacher Melissa Farina, a first-year coach for the Hamburg Science Olympiad Club. “Time to take lessons learned from yesterday and work to improve as we prepare for our regional competition in March.”

A biology teacher at the high school, Farina said she serves as the Science Olympiad’s coach, though the entire science and engineering departments help mentor the club’s participants in preparing for their events.

Elizabeth and Grace placed 3rd in the Hydrogeology event during which, according to Science Olympiad event description, students manipulated a groundwater computer model, answered questions about groundwater concepts, and evaluated solutions, based on hydrogeological evidence, to reduce anthropocentric effects on groundwater.

Both girls have participated in Science Olympiad in the past, she said.

“The students who participate in this competition have the opportunity to stretch their scientific understanding beyond what they are typically exposed to within the normal high school science curriculum,” said Farina. “I hope that they continue to nurture their innate curiosity in science, and perhaps discover a field that could lead to a rewarding career in their future.”

About 27 students participate in the Science Olympiad Club at Hamburg High School helping the team prepare for the events. However, only 15 students were actually able to travel and compete in the county competition due to other school obligations that conflicted with this event, said Farina.

“The county competition is really run with the intention of providing students the opportunity to practice the events in an atmosphere that mimics the regional competition. Only 15 students from each school may participate in the regional competition. Given that only 15 student went this year to the county competition, all 15 will be allowed to participate in the regional competition as well,” said Farina. “In the past, we typically take all the students to the county competition, and then their performance at this competition was used to determine who participated at the regional competition.”

The Central East Regional Science Olympiad competition will be held at Kutztown University on March 9.

For more information about Science Olympiad, visit https://www.soinc.org/.

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