Keller Ford, a Cottonwood Valley Charter School eighth grader, looks on as teammate Niki Planck prepares to trigger the trebuchet, which is a type of catapult that uses a long arm to throw a projectile. The “Storm the Castle” event was part of the Science Olympiad state championship.
Courtesy photo

Showing off what they’ve learned in the classroom and after-school programs, students from across the state had the opportunity to collect awards for their scientific knowledge and engineering skills at the Annual State Championship for the Science Olympiad Friday.

More than 1,000 people participated in, volunteered for, and cheered on their teams at the annual competition conducted at New Mexico Tech.

Students from sixth through 12th grade on 58 teams competed in 23 different events, including written competitions showcasing students’ knowledge of science topics, and build events exhibiting participants’ mechanical engineering and technical skills creating aircraft and sensing devices.

“My deepest and sincerest appreciation goes out to the students who have spent countless hours studying, building, and working with their teams, teachers, and coaches to prepare for these events,” said Sharon Sessions, Tech’s director of STEM Outreach. “It takes persistence and patience, and what you get is so much more than a medal and a chance to compete at the state competition here at New Mexico Tech. You develop the skills that will help solve many of the challenges we face in the world.”

Reggie Bourgeois, an environmental scientist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Albuquerque, served as event supervisor for the flight competition held in the university’s gymnasium. He checked in teams for their gliders’ weight and dimension specs. Bourgeois has volunteered at the Science Olympiad since 2001 and is always impressed with the students’ talent and ingenuity.

“This really is the future,” he said.

Katie Bauer, NMT Communications