Waynflete competed in the State Science Olympiad Tournament, hosted by the University of Southern Maine, on Saturday, March 26. In the tournament, teams of 15 students compete in 23 engineering and science events. Waynflete Upper School fielded two teams, for a total of 30 students in the competition, and the Middle School also brought a team of 15 students to the Middle School tournament. Waynflete Middle School placed 1st out of the 8 teams in their competition and the Upper School teams took home both the 2nd place trophy (“White” team) and the 3rd place trophy (“Green” team) in their competition among 17 teams from across the state. The White team was just two points shy of winning the overall high school competition and continuing our three-year-long streak as State Champions.
The success of all three teams in this type of competition is great evidence of the depth of the talent at Waynflete. The “Green” team was captained by seniors Esme Benson and Elly Shivel, and the “White” team was captained by seniors Arianna Giguere and Gail Johnson. Notable finishes included both first place (Arianna Giguere ‘16, Alwyn Ecker ‘16) and second place (Peter Michalakes ‘16 and Esme Benson ‘16) finishes in the Astronomy event, first place finishes in Hydrogeology (Grace Brammley-Simmons ‘17 and Althea Sellers ‘17), Experimental Design (Elisabeth Lualdi ‘17, Gail Johnson ‘16, and Isabel Davis ‘16), Forensics (Arianna Giguere ‘16 and Luna Soley ‘18), Fossils (Grace Brammley-Simmons ‘17 and Tsevi Aho ‘19), and Protein Modeling (Esme Benson ‘16, Elly Shivel ‘16, and Christain Rowe ‘16). In total, Waynflete Upper School students earned 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place medals in 17 events.
In the Middle School division, highlights included first place finishes in Anatomy and Physiology (Ellis Doughtery ‘20, Avis Akers ‘20), Experimental Design (Ellis Doughtery ‘20, Clara Sanberg ‘20, Nicholas Werner ‘20), Astronomy (Thys Geldenhuys ‘20, Sophi Aronson ‘20), Write it do it (Elizabeth Thomas ‘20, Skyler Spaulding ‘20). More notable was the fact that the Middle School team placed in the top four for every event.
Some events require students to engineer devices to meet very specific requirements; for example, an electric vehicle that moves as quickly as possible and stops exactly at a distance announced only on the day of the tournament. Students work for weeks prior to the tournament building, testing, and troubleshooting their designs. Other events test students on their knowledge of content areas that go above and beyond the typical curriculum taught in high schools; for example, Invasive Species and Wind Power. Upper School Teams were coached by Wendy Curtis and Carol Titterton, and the Middle School Team was coached by Stephanie Dolan.
The tournament’s success was largely due to volunteers from the Waynflete community. Student volunteers timed scramblers, measure trajectories and scored tests. Erik Kramer and Page Lennig (Technology Department) wrote and scored the new ‘Game On’ event, parent Brian McNiff (Liam ‘16 and Lilu ‘20) ran the ‘Wind Power’ event, alumni Lukas Tubby (‘11), Riley Mattor (‘12) and Louis Frumer (‘14) ran the Scrambler and Bottle Rocket events, Peter Hamblin (Associate Head) was the scorekeeper, and Carol Titterton (6-12 Science) is the State Director for the Science Olympiad. Thank you everyone!