ELKIN — On Saturday, the Yadkin Valley Community School students competed in the NC Science Olympiad in Cabarrus County. Ten of the school’s students in grades first through sixth competed in six events. This was their second year competing.
Students placed in four of the six events in which they competed. The Super Sleuths team, consisting of Isaac Libbert (fifth grade) and Maia Cook (fifth grade), brought home first place medals. The Super Sleuth competitors were given a scenario and a list of possible suspects. The teams performed a series of physical and chemical tests. These test results, along with other evidence, were used to solve a crime and identify the suspect. The 2017 crime scenario focused on chemical powders, fingerprints, and tool marks.
The Bottle Rocket team, which included Eli Fultz (first grade) and Caroline Macy (fifth grade) won second place in their event. The school’s youngest team, Eli Seipel-Parks (first grade) and June White (first grade), won second place in the Egg Drop competition. Bringing home third place medals was the Marshmallow Catapult team made up of Elijah Jeroslow (second grade) and Tate Sartain (sixth grade).
Parent Stacey Libbert said, “Isaac and Maia did the same event last year but did not place; this year, they decided to give it another try and worked hard for several weeks researching and preparing for the event. I was impressed with the way they took what they learned last year and fine-tuned their skills for a first-place win this year.
“I was also impressed that all Yadkin Valley Community School students were able to not only hold their own against much larger STEM schools with far more students, but they also took home four top-three finishes. Not bad for a small school that isn’t designated as STEM-focused. It’s just one of the many reasons I love our little school. The curriculum is all-encompassing, and there is an emphasis on all disciplines. These kids are inquisitive and talented; Yadkin Valley Community School gives them the opportunity to compete with the very best, and they have risen to the occasion.”
The Yadkin Valley Community School received a lot of community support in this effort. Several people volunteered to help the students prepare for the competition including employs from Prism Medical Products. The school’s team was sponsored by Speedy Chef, Dr. Steve and Linda Erlandson, and Cooks Sporting Goods of North Wilkesboro.
According to the NC Science Olympiad, “The goal is to enrich and enhance the opportunities in STEM education for elementary school students. The elementary years are important for influencing young students’ perceptions about science and math. It is during these years that students, if taught science in a hands-on, problem-based manner, begin to develop important lifelong science literacy skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, self-regulated learning and team work.”