Polk Middle wins Science Olympiad regional tournament

Saturday proved a day of good returns for Polk County Middle School’s Science Olympiad team.

PCMS returned to in-person regional competition for the first time since 2020, competing in the Science Olympiad Asheville Regional on the campus of UNC Asheville.

And the Wolverine students returned to the top of the regional event for the first time since 2015, defeating a field of 12 other Western North Carolina public, private and charter schools.

With the regional victory, Polk County Middle qualifies for the Science Olympiad State Tournament, set for April 21-22 at North Carolina State University. It is the fifth straight state tournament for which Polk Middle has qualified (no in-person tournaments were held the past two years).

A field of 40-plus schools will await in Raleigh.

“I am so proud of the team, they have worked hard and deserve this win,” said Polk Middle science teacher Elisa Flynn, the team’s head coach. “The effort they put into this never ceases to amaze me.”

Allie Lewis and Nathan LeCompte work on their entry in the Wheeled Vehicle competition

Science Olympiad offers students a chance to compete in 18 team events, some involving subject tests, some involving building devices, some involving both. Polk Middle students won five of the 18 events Saturday and took second in two others.

Montford North Star Academy placed second, with Foothills Community School, Thomas Jefferson Classical Middle School and Waynesville Middle School rounding out the top five.

The vast science knowledge required showed in the events that Polk Middle won – Anatomy and Physiology, Crime Busters (students are given clues to run tests and solve a crime), Dynamic Planet (students solve hydrology problems), Foresty and Wheeled Vehicle (students build a vehicle that must use a non-metallic, elastic material as its sole means of propulsion and are scored based on distance and accuracy).

Polk Middle students have been preparing for the regional tournament since late last year, with science teachers throughout the school helping prepare students for competition.

“Polk is excited to be back in the Science Olympiad game,” Flynn said. “Also, I want to thank the science teachers at PCMS for all their hard work as well.”

Daniel Griffin talks with judges about Polk Middle’s entry in the Storm the Castle event.
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