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OHS Advances To State Science Contest
2013March 101
The OJHS Science Olympiad team, led by science teacher Mike Ruhland, back center, took sixth place, improving from last year, at the recent Regional Science Olympiad held at CSU Stanislaus. - photo by Photo Contributed


Oakdale High School’s “Gold” team recently captured a fourth place finish and secured its fifth consecutive trip to the Northern California (Nor Cal) Science Olympiad State Finals during the 27th Annual Stanislaus County Regional Science Olympiad held March 2 at CSU Stanislaus.

The team finished one point out of third place and was 19 points ahead of the fifth place competitor, reported team coach Cameron Nickerson.

More than 550 students represented area junior and senior high schools at the event. OHS sent a full team of 15 students, the “Gold” team, and a partial team of eight students, the “Red” team. OHS science teacher Phil Herrick also coaches the OHS contingent with Nickerson.

The OHS Gold team competed in all of the events and medaled in 14 events, including four gold medals, two silvers, and two bronze medals in the events. The Red team entered 13 events and won two medals, including a silver medal. The Gold team members competed in at least three events each and some competed in four events. Many of the Red team members also competed in three events. Medals were given through fifth place.

The top four teams advance to the Nor Cal Science Olympiad State Finals on Saturday, April 13 at Mission Oak High School in Tulare.

Oakdale Junior High School also sent a team of 12 students to the Regional Science Olympiad.

“All team members demonstrated outstanding academic skills as well as excellent team work and participation,” said OJHS team coach Mike Ruhland. “We beat out 15 teams throughout Stanislaus County and earned sixth place overall, moving up from seventh last year.”

The Regional Science Olympiad consists of individual and team events that require knowledge in biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, problem solving and technology. Some events require knowledge of scientific facts and concepts, while others rely on science processes, skills or application. Several events require students to build devices prior to the competition.

OJHS team members Taryn Lane and Garrett Paulus were the team’s top medal winners. Paulus competed in and medaled in four events. Lane competed in four events and medaled in three.

The OHS Gold team took medals in the events listed below.

Gold (first place): Experimental Design; Forensics; Water Quality and Write it-Do it.

Silver (second): Dynamic Planet; Forestry.

Bronze (third): Robot Arm; Technical Problem Solving.

Fourth: Elastic Launch Glider; Rocks and Minerals; Thermodynamics.

Fifth: Designer Genes; Material Science.

The OHS Red team took medals in the events listed below.

Silver: Fermi Questions.

Fourth: Disease Detectives.

The OJHS team took the individual medals listed below.

Gold: Taryn Lane and Savannah Larsen, Rocks and Minerals; Liz White and Hailey Brown, Write It-Do It;

Silver: Garrett Paulus and Taryn Lane, Water Quality.

Bronze: Alejandra Vargas and Emily Turner, Food Science; Taryn Lane and Garrett Paulus, Keep the Heat; Brian Anglim and Meghan Caron, Metric Mastery; Garrett Paulus and Hailey Brown, Road Scholar; Meghan Caron and Savannah Larsen, Sound of Music.

Fourth: Jude Markel and Arjun Dulai, Mission Possible.

Fifth: Garrett Paulus and Brian Anglim, Shock Value.