Maui Prep team wins state title at Hawaii Science Olympiad
NAPILI — For the second year in a row, the Maui Preparatory Academy Middle School Science Olympiad Team won the state title and the right to represent Hawaii at the national competition at the University of Wisconsin in May.
After winning the Maui Regional Tournament in January at the University of Hawaii Maui College, Maui Prep’s team of 12 students advanced to compete against ten other teams from around the state — all from significantly larger schools.
In teams of twos and threes, the MPA students were challenged in 12 events ranging from written tests on anatomy, fossils and the solar system to hands-on chemistry, electricity and bottle rocket events at the seventh annual Statewide Science Olympiad Tournament at Leeward Community College on Oahu on March 5.
By the end of the competition, the Maui Prep team had accumulated 19 medals and placed first in the state, five points ahead of second place finisher Punahou.
Maui Prep Headmaster George Baker said, “The Science Olympiad is a perfect fit for Maui Prep’s educational emphasis on collaborative, project and inquiry-based learning.
“We are proud of what our Middle School team has accomplished and honored to represent our island and our state at the national competition again this year.”
Middle School science teacher Carrie DeMott started the program at Maui Prep last year.
This year, Upper School science teacher Chris Border joined her in coaching the students. A Maui Prep parent, Krishna Narayan, also served as a coach.
The state championship team includes sixth-graders Coleman Kingwell, Lexi Leon and Alexa Narayan; seventh-graders Emma Archambeau and Samantha Shoemaker; and eighth-graders Tomas Dreibelbis, Sydney Gilbert, Julia-Addie Goldblatt, Stephan Foster, James Foster, Joshua Ancheta and Leiana Beyer.
Beginning right after Christmas break, the students started to practice after school, three or four days per week, for about an hour each session.
Practices intensified after the students won the regional contest and prepared for states.
All of the events require teamwork, group planning and collaboration.
The school is currently working with the families to help raise funds for the trip. Community support would be greatly appreciated.
Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the Science Olympiad Team should contact Peggy Harmon at firstname.lastname@example.org. or go to the school website at www.mauiprep.org and click on the “Donate” button on the bottom of the page.
This year, 48 schools in Hawaii competed in Science Olympiad Regional Tournaments to qualify for the statewide tournament.
The first statewide tournament in Hawaii was held in 2005 at Leeward Community College. Since then, participation in the Science Olympiad program has increased dramatically to include more than 450 middle and high school students throughout the State of Hawaii.