LONG BRANCH, – After honing STEAM (science, technology, engnineering, art and math) skills for four months at The Seashore School in Long Branch, fourth grade Audrey Franco, Holmdel, and sixth grade Olivia Conner, Oceanport, medaled in Mystery Powders at Science Olympiad 2018 at West Amwell Elementary School February 23. With the clock running, the duo was challenged to identify specific powders using only a flame, hand lens, vinegar, iodine and water – and score the greatest number of correct answers in the shortest amount of time.
Franco and Conner were part of Seashore’s team of fourth to sixth graders, who mastered the chemistry, physics, aerodynamics, engineerng, pitch and frequency properties to compete in 12 different events against 12 other schools. According to Science Teacher Bob Burt, this was the first time any of the students participated in the daylong timed trial competition that required quick thinking, strategic planning and teamwork.
“Kudos and congratulations to Audrey and Olivia, who earned a bronze medal in what was considered to be the most challenging event of the day!” Burt said. “We are very proud of all Seashore students who competed.”
History Teacher Chris Stone, who partnered with Burt to prepare students for the Olympiad agreed. “I was extremely pleased to see how well our students worked as a team, thought on their feet and executed tasks with precision,” he said.
According to Burt, to prepare for the Olympiad, students spent months researching, designing, testing and modifying thermal insulators, rubber band catapults, balloon powered cars, roller coasters, load-bearing barges, paper airplanes and helicopters.
As part of the event, teams were required to devise a container that would keep an egg from breaking when dropped from a 14 foot ladder onto a prescribed target, develop a sustainable, recyclable container that would keep an ice cube from melting, design a balloon powered car that would beat the competition and build a newspaper tower that was not only the tallest, but strong enough to withstand an air stream from a blow dryer.
In addition, they had to configure levels of water in a set of bottles to play songs such as My Country Tis Of Thee and build a tower using 100 toothpicks and marshmallows that would stand for at least 60 seconds.
One of the premiere science competitions in the country, the Science Olympiad consists of district, regional, state and national tournaments that require a knowledge of science facts, concepts, processes, skills and applications.
"It is important to spark an interest in science early," Burt said. "Students learned a lot, had fun and can’t wait to enter again next year.”
The Seashore School, known for progressive award-winning programs that give students a competitive edge has been putting young people ahead of the game for 44 years. Starting with preschool and going through middle school, the curriculum includes foreign language, technology, science lab, physical education and swimming lessons, along with specialized training in drama, dance, music and art. The approach to education is so successful that students perform a grade above their peers, score in the top percentile in standardized exams, are recognized nationally for academic achievement and have gained acceptance into the high schools of their choice including the selective magnet academies. For more information, please call 732-222-6464 or visit www.seashorecampandschool.com.