St. Al. Science Olympiads grab state honors

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Eighth- and ninth-grade science students at St. Aloysius High School won top awards at the 2010 Mississippi Science Olympiad competition.

On the team

The St. Al Science Olympiad team, coached by Suzie Channel and Brian Blanche:

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• Peter Cauthen, ninth grade, the son of Jim and Logan Peay

• Alexa Engel, ninth grade, the daughter of Richard and Dr. Odalis Sijin Engel

• Anna Grant, ninth grade, the daughter of Thomas Grant and Rosemary Haggard

• Lara Lamanilao, eighth grade, the daughter of Robert and Evelyn Lamanilao

• Amanda Paris, eighth grade, the daughter of John and Jane Paris

• Stephanie Riveros, ninth grade, the daughter of Dr. Guillermo and Evelyn Riveros

• Wally Wibowo, eighth grade, the son of Johannes and Christine Wibowo

“We worked daily for six weeks,” said St. Al science teacher and Science Olympiad coach Suzie Channell. “It was our first time competing, and it was interesting. We were very excited to win in the categories we did.”

The team of seven science and math students competed against 24 other teams in the sixth- to ninth-grades division to prove scientific theories in chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, computers and astronomy.

Members placed first in the Egg-O-Naut exercise in the technology and engineering division and first in Trajectory in the physical science and chemistry division. For Trajectory, members built a catapult to shoot a little ball at a target between 2 and 8 meters wide.

“We had to be prepared to shoot whatever distance they told us to,” Channell said. “We hit the target four times.”

They came in second in Wright Stuff and We’ve Got Your Number, in technology and engineering; and third in Solar System, in Earth and space science.

The team was chosen for the Spirit Award, an overall sportsmanship award based on our timeliness, our cooperation (and) how we work with one another,” Channell said.

Science Olympiad is a national nonprofit that promotes science and math education through student competitions and teacher training. The state contest was March 26 at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at