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Going for the gold

Middle and high school students from all across the state descended on Bossier Parish Community College this past weekend for the Louisiana Science Olympiad.

Over 200 students competed in the 2014 Louisiana Region III Science Olympiad

Last Saturday, March 15, over 200 middle and high school students competed in the 2014 Louisiana Region III Science Olympiad on the Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) campus.

Twenty-three challenging team events kept the students and spectators on their feet, as students put into action the devices and skills they developed in preparation for the competition. Teams brought up to 15 students who had cross-trained for the variety of events.

This year’s competition, cohosted and sponsored by BPCC and the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), was met with great excitement due to a doubled participation rate and the introduction of many new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) challenges.

Each year a portion of these challenges are rotated to reflect the “ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering, and technology.” Some of the new events this year included Geologic Mapping, Scrambler, the Bungee Drop, Compound Machines, Entomology, and Robo-Cross.

Tracy McGill, Director of Public Relations at BPCC, shared, “Hosting an event like this takes coordination on multiple levels and an investment of time and resources not only from BPCC faculty and students but also community volunteers and partner organizations.”

Paul Spivey, Deputy Director of the CIC’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center, added

“The coordinated efforts behind the scenes were met with an equally impressive level of preparation from the participating schools. Throughout the school year, students have prepared for the events and today were finally able to apply their knowledge alongside some of the brightest students in our region!”

First, second, and third place medals were awarded to students in each division while the top two teams from each division were awarded trophies. From Division B, St. John Berchman’s Alpha Team took home first place, followed by Evangel Christian Academy in second, and St. Mark’s Cathedral School in third. In

Division C, Caddo Magnet High School, Evangel Christian Academy, and Louisiana School for Math, Sciences, and the Arts came in first, second, and third place, respectively.

The following teams from the Louisiana Region III Science Olympiad will advance to the 2014 Louisiana State Science Olympiad: St. John Berchmans, Evangel Christian Academy Middle School, St. Mark’s Cathedral School, Benton Middle School, I.A. Lewis, Caddo Magnet High School, Evangel Christian Academy High School, Louisiana School for Math Sciences and the Arts, Parkway High School, and Neville High School. The Louisiana State Science Olympiad will be held on Saturday, March 29 at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.

To learn more about the Louisiana Region III Science Olympiad, visit www.nicerc.org.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.