MHS takes sixth place at Science Olympiad Regionals

Laneya Christian, Staff Writer

Science teachers Craig Ackerman and Doug Andresan coached Manhattan High’s Science Olympiad team to sixth place last Saturday at Johnson County Community College.

“Normally we go to Salina for the regional competition,” Ackerman said. “In the state of Kansas there used to be four competitions but this year Salina dropped their competition leaving three.”

MHS chose to go to the Kansas City regional where they were up against schools they go against at state.

“It was a much stiffer competition than Salina’s,” Ackerman said. “The competition there wasn’t nearly as difficult as this one was.”

The teams who finished the top six are almost guaranteed to be in the top 16 at the state competition.  

“We saw the main competition that we will have at state in about a month,” senior Eszter Chikan said.

The format was 23 events that consisted of the four major fields of science including life science, chemistry, physics and earth science events.

“In those categories for some of them we would sit down and take a written test,” Chikan said. “For other categories we would have to build a bridge and see how much weight your bridge can hold versus how much your bridge weighs. It was very in-between.”

The team placed six out of  20 schools and made it to state regionals. 

“I have done the Science Olympiad for three years and learned that it’s great to learn from mistakes,” Chikan said. 

After the 23 events were finished each event had announced the top six teams. They weren’t told at all beforehand where they were as a team until the very end of the award ceremony. 

“We really didn’t know where we would stack up with this high level of competition,” senior Akira Culbertson said. “We were hoping to qualify for state. We haven’t received official confirmation yet but we are assuming that the top twelve will get into state.” 

The team understood how much harder they need to work to win at state.

“We want to win the state competition,” Culbertson said. “It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. After seeing where we placed I am a lot more motivated and my goal for state is to place in the top three in events that I struggled the most in.”