HARDIN VALLEY — The day turned out well for 30 FHS students who put their scientific knowledge and even their writing styles on the line at the Science Olympiad 2017 Regional Tour-nament Feb. 25 at Pellissippi State Community College.
By the time the awards ceremony came around that afternoon, the students from the school’s science club sponsored by teacher Matthew Milligan fared well. Farragut’s Team A had placed first and Team B had placed fourth.
The team took home five gold medals: Lily Gao and Jerry Zhou, ecology; Elliot Feng and Michelle He, remote sensing; Abe Joo and Wyatt Smith, dynamic planet; Gab Kim and Rachel Margulies, helicopter, and Luke Kronzer and Ronan Hix, astronomy. Also earned were eight silver and 10 bronze medals in addition to eight fourth-place and three fifth-place medals.
“I am super-proud of our students for both their performances in the various events and the respectful and mature way that they handled themselves,” Milli-gan said. “They deserve all the credit. I see how much they study and prepare and I see them working on their balsa structures and electronic devices. I’m happy for them that it pays off in the end. We are all looking forward to the state level competition!”
There were 18 teams competing from area high school and home school groups, said volunteer Andy Milligan, an engineer in Oak Ridge. (Some schools sent more than one team.)
“The morning was really wild,” said Margulies, a junior who was waiting with teammate Kim, a senior, to show judges what their helicopter could do.
Margulies also was participating in the technical writing and robotic arm competitions. “It takes a lot of work and there’s a lot of trial and error. So many things go wrong, but in the end so many things go right that it’s worth it. It’s good preparation for later in life because if you make a mistake the only consequence is that you’ll learn from it.”
This was Kim’s third year to compete in the Olympiad.
“There may be a thousand failures, but there will be one success,” he said. “That success will justify everything. The feeling you get after working hard is priceless.”
Kim also participated in the electric vehicle and the robotic arm competitions and said that in college he plans to major in neuroscience.
Margulies said she is considering physics and maybe astrophysics in college.
Milligan said the next stop for Team A will be the state tournament at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, March 25.