Tomlinson Middle School seventh grade girls win Gold Medal at the Science Olympics.They are, from left, Corrine Wilklow, Ioanna Karageorge, Lindsey Downie and Kate Owens. (Photo submitted)
MILFORD – Teams of middle grade girls from schools throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties spent May 12 going for the gold at Lauralton Hall’s annual spring Science Olympics. With the help of Lauralton faculty and students, participants competed in fun, problem-solving events. They experimented with resistance and friction to change car crash situations; determined the amount of sugar in gum; conducted a genetic analysis to better understand and predict inheritance traits; and conducted a surface tension experiment to see how much water can be dropped onto a penny.
Lauralton science teacher Dr. Cavar feels the Science Olympics is extremely valuable for middle grade girls. "Studies show that girls have negative attitudes towards math and science," said Dr. Cavar. "This translates into reduced involvement in these fields in high school, college and career choice. Although performing better than middle school boys, they participate less, have high levels of anxiety and little confidence in their abilities. The Science Olympics is the perfect opportunity for girls to shine, increase their confidence and be around others that share their love of science."
One of the highlights of the day was the "magical physics" show presented by Bob Erickson from Demos-R-Us. Erickson, a retired physics professor from the University of Connecticut, combined the excitement of science with clear and simple explanations of the underlying concepts.
Following is a list of the champion Olympic teams:
Grade six: first place, the Catalysts, Maria Baver-Rowe, Julianna Gonzalez, Camryn Abbate and Kyle Hagan; second, Axons, Nadia Arhaout, Maya Genadi, Sera Thekur and Camilla Beeley; third, Neurons, Juliet Parker, Amanda Wilkins, Diana Pires, Sade Maignon and Hailey Antunes.
Grade seven: first, Men-deleevs, Corinne Wilklow, Ioanna Karageorge, Kate Owens and Lindsey Downie; second, Darwinians, Brittany LaChance, Brooke Seymour, Megan Meyer and Brianna Gee; third, Arteries, SiWon Kim, Diana Estephan, Ariana Morton and Sarah Powlishen.
Grade eight: first, Neons, Dora Vang and Jacqueline Anaeto; second, Fingerprint Experts, Shenille Moodie, Ayeisha Preston, Valerie Bien-Aime and Tatiana Tozzi; third: Apples: Maialani Tracy, Alba Turcios, Lakeisha Ferguson and Larisa Perez.
Mixed: first, Masses, Kaitlynn Jessop, Rachelle Ambroise, Samantha Anglih and Aalexia Bell; second, Nuclei, Isabella Thomas, Isabella Raffone and Bridget Gannon; third, Patellas, Caroline Sargent, Sophia Rodrigues, Allison Bourque, Lina Vivo and Amanda Gerstenfeld.