In photo: Science scholars and first-place Science Olympiad finishers Ernest Protas'20 (left) and Marcus Valenta'19.
Thirty Taft students recently traveled to the University of Connecticut (UCONN) to compete in the Connecticut Science Olympiad. They came home with eight medals, including a first-place win for Marcus Valenta '19 and Ernest Protas '20 in the Chemistry Lab event, which required them to solve problems using scientific process skills in physical properties, and acids and bases.
"Ernest Protas '20 did a fantastic job as team captain," notes Science Teacher Jim Mooney, "and also gets a shout-out for winning three medals."
The weekend event brought 48 teams from across the state to the UCONN campus. Each team was allowed a maximum of 15 members who competed in 23 different Science Olympiad events. The events challenged competitors to apply their knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Some events required students to construct projects in advance, while others involved on-the-spot problem solving. Students competed in pairs for most events; most students entered three events during the competition.
Congratulations to all of Taft's Science Olympiad team members and to the following 2019 medal winners:
First Place, Chemistry Lab: Ernest Protas '20 and Marcus Valenta'19
Second Place, Circuit Lab: First Yinyord '19 and Carolyn Yow '19
Third Place, Astronomy: Stefan Kim '20 and Ernest Protas '20
Third Place: Fermi Questions: Peter Yu '20 and Bill Lu '19
Third Place: Sounds of Music: Ernest Protas '20 and Coco Zhang '21
Third Place, Mission Possible: Chris Pellegrini '20
Fourth Place, Chemistry Lab: Anna Serbina '21 and Ben Le '21
Fourth Place, Wright Stuff: Theo Norledge '21 and Eli Juvan '22
Special thanks to team coaches David Hostage, Brian Norledge, and Jim Lehner, and to mentors Shannon Guidotti, Parker Washburn, Mike McAloon, and Dan Calore.
The Science Olympiad is a nationwide organization dedicated to promoting science education through competitive science tournaments. About 15,000 schools nationwide participate each year. The Science Olympiad is specifically cited in the National Science Standards as a model science activity.