BRAIN POWER: Student scientists win top honors at Regional Science Olympiad

McDowell County School Science Olympiad participants won high honors at the Regional Science Olympiad at UNCA.

McDowell High School won first place overall in their jayvee and varsity divisions at the Regional Science Olympiad hosted and staged by UNC Asheville.

Many students from East and West middle schools and Foothills Community School also placed high in the competition. (See the full list of winners from each McDowell school on Page 4)

The competition brought young scientists from 24 middle and high schools across western North Carolina together to compete in 46 events on Saturday, March 25.

The top three high school varsity and top two middle school varsity teams move on to the statewide tournament later this month, according to a press release from UNCA.

Jo Le Weaver is one of the coaches at MHS, and said all of the students did an excellent job.

“Varsity placed first in their division and are advancing to the state competition. Jayvee also placed first in their division,” Weaver said by email. “We start the season in mid-October, so these students have worked hard. If you see them, please congratulate them!”

Other MHS coaches involved were Joe Le Weaver, Jim Rideout, Luanne Graham, Becky Rideout, Angela Autrey, Todd Buckner, Kristen Lewis, Bryan Harris and Elaine Ferguson.

High schools represented in the Science Olympiad were Ashe County High School, Charles D. Owen High, Chase High School, East Henderson High School, Hayesville High School, Henderson County Early College, Madison Early College High School, Madison High School, McDowell High School, North Buncombe High, North Henderson High School, Polk County High School, Robbinsville High School, Tuscola High School and West Henderson High School.

The participating middle schools were Bethel Middle School, East McDowell Middle School, Fairview School, Flat Rock Middle School, Foothills Community School, Madison Middle School, Polk County Middle School, Rugby Middle School and West McDowell Middle School.

Organization and judging for the Science Olympiad was provided by UNC Asheville faculty, students, alumni and staff, and by volunteers from many other schools, businesses and organizations including the NC State University Engineering Program, North Carolina BioNetwork, Sud Associates, P.A. Consulting Engineers, A.C. Reynolds High, BorgWarner Thermal Systems and the American Cryptogram Association.

The state competition will be April 28 and 29 at NC State.



1st place in Codebusters --Chris Boyette, Alexis Sweazy

1st place in Dynamic Planet--Kimber Burleson, River Price

1st place in Helicopters--Jacob Whitson, Luke Sheaffer

1st place in Invasive Species--Allyson Rideout, Chris Boyette

1st place in Rocks and Minerals--Kimber Burleson, Kaleigh Jordan

2nd place in Ecology--Allyson Rideout, Pankti Sheth

3rd place in Amazing Mechatronics--Josh Jones, Paul Sheaffer

3rd place in Disease Detectives--Roger Moomaw, Chris Boyette

3rd place in Duct Tape Challenge--River Price, Alexis Sweazy

3rd place in Electric Vehicle--Paul Sheaffer, Josh Jones

3rd place in Forensics--Bea Sewell, Kaitlin Mathison

3rd place in Hovercraft--Luke Sheaffer, Jacob Whitson

3rd place in Material Science--River Price, Roger Moomaw

4th place in Astronomy--Kaleigh Jordan, Brittany Hartwell

4th place in Microbe Mission--Pankti Sheth, Tyler Young

4th place in Write it, Do it--Allyson Rideout, Luke Sheaffer

5th place in Towers--Josh Jones, Paul Sheaffer


1st place in Amazing Mechatronics--Channing Wellman, Katlyn Davis

1st place in Helicopters--Destinee Terry, Kyle Cox

1st place in Hovercraft--Destinee Terry, Olivia Bell

1st place in Remote Sensing--Katlyn Davis, Channing Wellman

1st place in Write it, Do it--Autumn Boyles, Sydney McEntire

2nd place in Astronomy--Channing Wellman, Katlyn Davis

2nd place in Chem Lab 2nd--Channing Wellman, Jarrett Cothran

2nd place in Codebusters--Maggie Buckner, Kyle Cox

2nd place in Disease Detectives--Katlyn Davis, Maggie Buckner

2nd place in Duct Tape Challenge--Lydia Hartwell, Elizabeth Curley

2nd place in Dynamic Planet--Morgan Whittemore, Charlie Moore

2nd place in Ecology--Autumn Boyles, Sydney McEntire

2nd place in Electric Vehicle--Morgan Vess, Dixon Cline

2nd place in Material Science--Turner Cline, Lydia Hartwell

2nd place in Microbe Mission--Charlie Moore, Elizabeth Curley

2nd place in Wind Power--Turner Cline, Jarrett Cothran

BOX: Foothills Community School Winners

1st place--Abigail Williams

1st place--Saige Patterson

2nd place--Cari Orr

2nd place--Claudia Taylor

2nd place--Grant Widmann

2nd place--Gretta Lamb

3rd place Chloe Phillips

3rd place--Graham Daniels

3rd place--Jesse Rodriquez

3rd place--Josh Corpening

3rd place--Kaden Elkins

3rd place--Peyton Nickleson

3rd place--Xander Gouge

BOX: West McDowell Middle School Winners

1st place in Write it Do it--Bonnie and Holly Marlowe

2nd place in Anatomy and Physiology--Nellie Rice and Avari Rector

3rd place in Fast Facts--Samantha Robinson and Avery Taylor

3rd place in Invasive Species--Avari Rector and Nellie Rice

BOX: East McDowell Middle School Winners

3rd place in Crimebusters--Hannah Laws and Haley Keseker

3rd place in Meterology--Ben Lee and Cade Jones

3rd place in Reach for the Stars--Hannah Laws and Abigail Deyton