Tonganoxie Science Olympiad teams place well at state
The Tonganoxie Science Olympiad teams had a banner day earlier this month in Wichita.
The high school and middle school squads competed April 5 at the state championships on the Wichita State University campus.
THS finished second in the small school division, its highest finish in school history.
TMS, meanwhile, placed eighth out of 17 large schools and 10th out of 28 teams overall.
“We decided at regionals that we wanted the gold at state,” said senior Katelyn Waldeier. “We all studied and because of our dedication, as a team, we medaled in 13 of the 22 events.”
Waldeier, who won gold in anatomy and water quality, has competed in Science Olympiad all four years. She’s also been the team captain the past two years.
“While Science Olympiad takes a lot of work on your own time, the rewards are definitely worth it,” she said.
Waldeier was one of seven seniors on this year’s squad. Celeste Bartels, Austin Harris, Jon Irwin, Ben Jacobs, Evan Stilgenbauer and Indah Zatadini were this year’s other seniors. Juniors were Brad Andrews, Makayla Dajani, Garrett Frnech and Danielle Irwin. Sophomores were Spencer Finkbiner, Jake Griffin and Jake Tollefson. This year’s freshmen were Jack Crow and Nick French.
Andrews actually was a first-year science Olympian as a senior on this year’s squad.
“I liked how Science Olympiad brought connections to the real world and its applications could be used outside of school,” Andrews said. “I was grateful to be a part of such a monumental program, and such wonderful seniors.”
Andrews and Tollefson spent hours testing their bungee drop entry in the THS gymnasium. At regionals, judges said their their entry was one of the best design concepts in the field.
They finished third in that competition at state.
Stilgenbauer has been on the Mag-Lev team for two years. Both years, he came home with the top entry.
“Being a two-time gold medalist in the Mag-Lev event at the state competition is awesome,” he said. “We put at least 30 hours into building and testing this design.” Even though they won gold last year, the requirements changed this year, so Stilgenbauer and Harris had to adjust their track and car.
Individual medalists were:
• Rocks and minerals, Andrews and Harris
• Compound machines, Crow and Zatadini
• Water quality, Waldeier and Jacobs
• Anatomy, Waldeier and Irwin
• Geologic mapping, Tollefson and French
• Designer genes, Finkbiner and Bartels
• Circuit lab, French and Zatadini
• Boomilever, Crow and Andrews
• Astronomy, Finkbiner and French
• Elastic launch glider, Tollefson and Crow
• Disease detectives, Finkbiner and Dajani
• Bungee drop, Andrews and Tollefson
Christine Biel and Tracey Waldeier are the high school coaches.
TMS brings home medals
Several students medaled in their individual events for the TMS team.
Ahren Gann and Alex Tucker placed second in simple mechanics, while Sierra Staatz and Maureen Wetta placed second in the solar system competition. Sierra Staatz and Allison Williams also placed second in the road scholar competition and Alex Tucker and Maureen Wetta finished third in sounds of music.
Several other TMS students competed in the state competition:
• Anatomy, sixth place, Harrison York and Bryn Reed
• Boomilever, 11th place, Ethan Sandburg and Carmen Snyder
• Can't Judge a Powder, fifth place, Bryn Reed and Mathia Slinkard
• Crime Busters, 12th place, Ethan Sandburg and Shelby Lynne
• Disease Detectives, seventh place, Bryn Reed and Jose Monarrez
• Dynamic Planet, 13th place, Ahren Gann and Salem Clemens
• Entomology, 17th place, Ahren Gann and Jose Monarrez
• Experimental Design, ninth place, Salem Clemens, Maureen Wetta and Blake Phillips
• Helicopters, 11th place, Harrison York and Blake Phillips
• Heredity, 10th place, Adam DeMaranville and Carmen Snyder
• Meteorology, eighth place, Sierra Staatz and Shelby Lynne
• Metric Mastery, 12th place, Sierra Staatz and Ethan Sandburg
• Robo Cross, 12th place, Harrison York and Adam DeMaranville
• Rocks and Minerals, eighth place, Allison Williams and Alex Tucker
• Rotor Egg Drop, 13th place, Mathia Slinkard and Allison Williams
• Shock Value, 12th place, Blake Phillips and Jose Monarrez
• Water Quality, eighth place, Salem Clemens and Shelby Lynne
• Wheeled Vehicle, 12th place, Mathia Slinkard and Allison Williams
• Write It Do It, 12th place, Carmen Snyder and Adam DeMaranville
Mike Bush, Dave Wahlgren and Amber York are the middle school coaches.