The Camas High School Science Olympiad team showed they could compete with the best in the nation at a recent tournament in Orlando.
On Saturday, May 19, the team placed 11th in the competition, the highest in school history.
There are no school classifications, so the Papermakers’ win was against schools of all sizes, both public and private. Students medalled in five events. The most notable was Marcus Bintz and Rachel Fadlovich, who were named national champions in the “Disease Detectives” portion of the competition. They will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta for themselves and two coaches.
Bintz was also crowned a national champion in the “Sounds of Music” event, with his partner Yun Teng.
Other honors include third place in Optics, Tim Grote and Bintz; third-place in Protein Modeling, Joanna Liao, Brie Ilarde and Grote; and sixth-place in Trial Event: MagLev Vehicle, Shicon Wen and Eric Kuhta.
In addition, Ron Wright, the team’s head coach, was selected for one of four Lockeed Martin 2012 Coaching Excellence awards. This includes an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Science Olympiad Summer Institute at the Pointe Hilton Tapito Cliffs Resort in Phoenix.
Science Olympiad is described as a track meet for the mind. The 15 members on the team compete in 23 different events in pairs. For some events, participants study and then take a test. During other events, they practice and then try to solve a problem. Lastly, there are events where participants build a device at home, then take it in to compare how well it works with other participants’ creations.
Out of the 60 high school teams at the national tournament, 22 did not earn any medals, only nine teams earned more than Camas High School, and only one team earned more first-place medals, according to Wright.
“The competition at the national level is very tough,” he said. “We are very pleased to have done as well as we did.”