The Science Olympiad team at Ozark Junior High school wants to get back to rare ground.
Last year, the team qualified for the state championships, and this year the teams are seeking to surpass last year’s performance. Their first step? The qualifying competition at Missouri State University on February 22nd.
“The kids are a force to be reckoned with,” OJH teacher and Science Olympiad coach Carrie Woods said in a statement. “They are all so smart and dedicated. They work hard on their own time.”
This year, the focus of the Olympiad is epidemiology, the study of diseases and how to control, prevent, and diagnose them. The school has two squads…an 8th grade squad and a 9th grade squad…and each student chooses four events to compete in with a partner.
“I really enjoy it. I didn’t think I would have thought about that as a career path, but after doing the event, I’ve discovered I really like the investigation portion of it,” 9th grader Griffin Shaw said.
The 2019 team was the first time OJH qualified an all-boys team for state in Woods’ 10 years of coaching the team.
Woods said that even though the team is looking to repeat their trip to the state championships, the camaraderie of the team is more important than wins or medals.
“We build a family, rely on one another, work through our differences and come out better people. The program doesn’t just help them grow, it helps me grow too,” Woods said. “Junior high can be very difficult and I am happy we’re able to offer something that allows them to be themselves, build relationships and be successful.”