Mount Hebron Middle School had its best-ever showing at the 20th New Jersey Science Olympiad state finals tournament on the campus of Middlesex County College, Tues., March 13. The Science Olympiad is the largest multi-discipline team science competition in the nation, having members in all 50 states, Mexico and Canada, totaling more than 14,000 actively participating schools. More than 1,100 students from about 52 middle and high schools around the state competed.
Led by science teachers, Nino LaStella and Jacqueline Brower, Mount Hebron medaled in nine of the official 23 events (there were an additional two experimental events); inclusive of winning the First Place State Championship in one event. This was quite an accomplishment in light of the fact that 66 teams competed at the statewide regional Tournament level. Mount Hebron emerged from the north regional tournament held at NJIT to become one of only 26 teams in the state to advance the state finals.
The Mount Hebron team, which consists of 18 students plus four alternates, competed against 25 other teams in each of the 23 official events. Only the top eight finalists for each event received medals. The Mount Hebron individual medalists along with their respective grade and events are as follows:
First Place (State Champions): Write It/Do It
Stephanie Fox (7th) and Grace Gorant (7th)
Third Place: Storm the Castle
Kaitlin Griffin (7th) and Jason Enright (6th)
Fourth Place: Awesome Aquifers
Sam Rosen (8th) and Corinna Davis (6th)
Fifth Place: Dynamic Planet
Nathaniel Hickok (8th) and Stephanie Fox (7th)
Fifth Place: Road Scholar
Emma Wallace (8th) and Christine Deep (8th)
Fifth Place: Towers
Emma Wallace (8th) and Nathaniel Hickok (8th)
Sixth Place: Experimental Design
Elizabeth Laverty-Smith (7th) and Katherine Brown (8th)
Sixth Place: Mission Possible
Katherine Brown (8th) and Sanjay Mukherjee (8th)
Seventh Place: Food Science
Lucy Aley (7th) and Kaitlin Griffin (7th)
Principal Guy Whitlock proudly cheered his students on as they so admirably represented Montclair’s Mount Hebron Middle School, The University STEM Magnet. "As a first year principal last year, my vision was to transform Mount Hebron into a STEM magnet,” said Whitlock. “It gives me great joy to see the accomplishments of our students at the #1 STEM competition in the state. It really puts a punctuation mark on what Mount Hebron is doing and where we are going.”
The Science Olympiad tournaments are inter-scholastic competitions that consist of a series of individual and team events that encourage learning in biology, earth science, chemistry, mathematics, physics, problem solving and technology.