The 2019 Middle Science Olympiad has come and gone and Bonham Middle School did pretty well.
“If you work hard enough, that work will pay off,” said Mia MacLaughlin, an eighth-grader at Bonham Middle School.
MacLaughlin can’t help but share her excitement for the team’s recent success. The team took home second place at the regional competition and third place at state.
“I’m proud to be part of this,” said eighth-grader Lena Ballard. “I’m just so happy I was able to do this before I leave for high school. It is something that you can’t ever get in normal classes. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and it’s amazing to be here.”
Students competed in events ranging from physics to robotics and everything in between.
Ballard admits their success did not come without some sacrifice.
“You lose every weekend of the school year. Basically, you’re here every Saturday, mostly every Saturday, working from like ten to five sometimes, and every day you have to study, like, 30 minutes, and when we’re close to competition, an hour every day. So it’s a lot of commitment and work.
In fact, Steven Jalbert said he thinks practicing for the Olympiad is harder than practicing for football—but the payoff is well worth it.
“For me, this is definitely very competitive. I take it very seriously. I put a lot of work into it and so do a lot of people here,” said eighth-grader Steven Jalbert.
While third place was not good enough to get them to the national competition—it was better than they thought they would ever do. and has motivated them even more.
“We never thought we’d get this far. Definitely not this fast. We got third place at state and that was something we never thought we’d do,” said Jalbert.
“It’s been an amazing season. I’m so glad that I got onto the team and I had this experience. It’s once in a lifetime,” said MacLaughlin.
All the kids we spoke with were eighth-graders, so this was their last chance to compete at Bonham—but they all had the same hope that next year’s team will make it to nationals. In fact, they are so confident the team will make it there next year that they have already started fundraising for the trip.
In case you were wondering, there are tryouts for the Science Olympiad, but instead of throwing a ball with speed and precision, students have to solve problems and answers questions with the same accuracy.