Over the weekend, fourteen Talkeetna Elementary students competed in the district-wide Science Olympiad. Karen Mannix, coach for the team, says that students spent three months preparing for eleven events. The team’s many hours of preparation paid off as they brought home a total of fifteen medals from Saturday’s competition.
Some of the events tested the engineering skills of the students. The team of Cy Jolley and Luke Graupmann won third place in Tower Building, where students built a tower out of fifty straws and twenty straight pins. The towers were scored on ability to bear weight as well as height. The team also took third in the Rock Hounds competition.
Finn Benischek and Bryson Jolley placed third in the potentially messy Straw Egg Drop. In that event, students were instructed to build device using only masking tape and straws that would keep an egg intact when dropped from more than three meters. The Talkeetna team was one of only four that successfully kept their egg in one piece.
Rounding out the engineering feats were Angelo Mangione and Bryson Jolley, who claimed first place in the bridge-building competition. Students were allowed to use fifty straws and six inches of tape. The resulting bridge had to support weight in its center without collapsing. Talkeetna’s wining bridge was more than four feet long.
Two Talkeetna Elementary teams brought home medals in the Pentathlon, an event that combines physical activity and knowledge of anatomy. The boys team of Cy Jolley, Finn Benischek, and Theo Carbone brought home the gold, and the girls team of Indigo Moren, Maya Mossannen, Kenzy Keller, and Katelyn Hicks took third.
Coach Karen Mannix says that the help of parents both on competition day and throughout the season was a critical part of the team’s success. She also thanked Principal Carol Wadman for her support and the celebratory ice cream.
Science Olympiad coach Karen Mannix supplied the press release for this story.