Science Olympiad top in state

Papermakers head to national competition next month

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The Camas High School Science Olympiad team members celebrate after earning their fourth consecutive state title on Saturday at Eastern Washington University.

Winning state once? Awesome. Twice? Fantastic. Three times? Almost never.

But Camas High School’s Science Olympiad teams hit a new record Saturday, taking first-place at the State Science Olympiad Tournament for the fourth year in a row.

This comes on the heels of third- and fourth-place state-level wins earlier in March for Liberty Middle School and Skyridge Middle School respectively.

The tournament was held at Eastern Washington University and featured 24 different science-related events in which students competed. Teams battled for event medals, with CHS taking home 17 and earning one of the best scores in tournament history.

However, not all was smooth sailing to the finish line. Two of the events, Bungee Drop and Scrambler, were ultimately dropped from scoring due to mishaps in event setup and scoring. However, this didn’t trip up the Papermakers.

“Perseverance and preparation really paid off for the team,” said team coach and CHS math teacher Matt Chase. “When adversity struck, our students knew how to handle themselves and refocus for the next event. They showed a remarkable level of maturity due, in part, to the overall experience of the team.”

Strong science programs are part of the district’s culture, according to Mike Nerland, superintendent.

“Thanks to leading, innovative teaching staff and the support of our community and parents, Camas enjoys very strong science programs from elementary through high school,” he said.

Team members and honors include the following:

Freshmen: Rachel Duquette, first-place in Disease Detectives; Melody Holler, Erik Johnson, Jason Kim and Bilal Manzer, first-place in Hydrogeology; Chemay Shola, first-place in Hydrogeology, Phebus Tsai.

Sophomores: Kurtis Shibata.

Juniors: Jon Bartlett and Jonathan Ho, first-place in Boomilever and Mission Possible; Levi Holscher, first-place in Compound Machines; Kevin Hsu, first-place in Compound Machines; Erica Lee, first-place in Technical Problem Solving; Isabel Lee, first-place in Technical Problem Solving; Arya Pathak and Reese Pathak, first-place in Disease Detectives, and Sophie Shoemaker and Yun Teng, first-place in Material Science.

Seniors: Parker Liebe and Yushuan Peng, first-place in Material Science.

The team is now setting their sights on the national title at the upcoming tournament in Orlando, Fla., on May 16 and 17. The trip will be funded by family contributions, donations and Associated Student Body funds.

Science Olympiad is an international, non-profit organization devoted to, “improving the quality of science education, creating a passion for learning science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers.”

These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, professional development workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state, national and international tournaments.