Middle School Science Olympiad trophy will inscribe a new winner

For the first time since 2003, the SC Middle School Science Olympiad trophy will have a new winning team inscribed. Bell Street Middle School junior scientists won the prestigious title from 2003 to 2015, and won two earlier state events, 1986 and 1987. On Saturday, Clinton Middle School will attempt to carry on the Bell Street tradition. CMS, in the former Clinton High School, building became District 56’s middle school in August, and the Bell Street building transitioned to the district’s transportation center. Science Olympiad practices are being held in the Bell Street building, but Friday’s ice and the threat of hazardous roads cancelled Saturday morning practices. That, plus the fact that this year’s SC Middle School Science Olympiad is being held about a month earlier than normal, pose a challenge for the Clinton Middle junior scientists. They will be competing for the right to represent South Carolina at the Science Olympiad National Tournament, May 18-21, at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. This will be the 32nd national tournament. Bell Street’s remarkable 13-year win streak, plus the two earlier state wins, meant the Clinton school represented SC at nearly half the national tournaments. For this Saturday’s SC Science Olympiad, an opening ceremony will be held about 9 a.m., and the closing awards ceremony will be about 4 p.m., at Newberry College’s Wiles Chapel. At on-campus venues throughout the day, middle school scientists will compete in these events: --Air Trajectory, --Food Science, --Anatomy & Physiology, --Fossils, --Bio-Process Lab, --Green Generation, --Bridge Building, --Invasive Species, --Crave the Wave, --Meteorology, --Crime Busters, --Picture This, --Disease Detectives, --Reach for the Stars, --Dynamic Planet, --Road Scholar, --Elastic Launched Glider, --Scrambler, --Experimental Design, --Write It, Do It. In the 2015 state tournament, Bell Street’s team captured 11 first place wins. This tournament is classified as Division B for grades 6-9 (Division C for grades 9-12 will be Feb. 27, also at Newberry College). For last year’s state win, Bell Street Middle School registered 41 points (low-point team wins) compared to McCracken 92 points, Banks Trail 120, PALS (Piedmont Academy of Learning and Success) 133 and Gold Trail 141. Bell Street, and now Clinton Middle School, has so much interest in Science Olympiad that for all events it is able to field an A team and a B team for the competitions. Some events are viewable by the public in Newberry College’s Eleazer Arena and MacLean Gym (example, bridge building, elastic launched glider). Others are classroom, test-taking type events, not open to spectators in the classrooms. The junior scientists generally work in pairs for the competitions. All schools entered have a classroom “home base” for their teams.

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