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Science Olympiad finishes 11th at state

Olympiad team members Tanner Olson (left) and Mitch Paulsen finished in fifth place in the Material Science event at this year’s state competition held on Saturday, April 5. (Submitted photo) 1 / 2
New Richmond High School Science Olympiad team members Emily LaPorte (left) and Tanner Olson (not pictured) took third at the state in the Entomology event, while Alison Paulsen (center) and Libby Blattner finished sixth place in the Bungee Drop. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

Last season, the New Richmond High School Science Olympiad team finished 15th overall at the state competition. This season, the team moved up four spots to finish 11th overall out of 50 teams at the state competition at UW-Stout in Menomonie on Saturday, April 5.

“This year we did much better as a team and medaled in seven events out of 23 total events,” said Science Olympiad coach Brenda Ramin.

When New Richmond made it to the state meet for the first time two years ago, they had a very small team of students who competed. This time around, the team is over three times bigger and a lot more experienced.

“We had a small enough group of kids that first time that I could just drive them down in a school van,” Ramin said. “We had seven members that first year, but now we have 24. We have grown pretty fast as a team, which is great.”

Ramin had hoped that her team could have made it into the top 10 this year, but she also knows that it wouldn’t be a state competition if it was easy.

“Generally speaking, these are the smartest kids in the state,” Ramin said. “These events are designed by university professors, so it is not an easy competition. So I am proud of our kids and how they did this year.”

Along with being a tough challenge for all the students, the state competition was also a place for the students to learn more about their events from very knowledgeable people.

“Not only were they challenged during the events,” Ramin said. “But they were also coached by the reallife professionals and professors who were in charge of the events. The students learned so much from them and that was a great part about the competition.”

New Richmond is losing just six seniors after this season, but it also has six middle school students interested in joining the team next year.

“I hope we can stay strong in the events we did well in this year and also improve in the other events where we were really close to medaling at state,” Ramin said. “We also really need to fix the events where we were toward the bottom of the pack in. I’d also like it if we could have a few more students place in the build events as well.”

The following pairs medaled for the New Richmond Science Olympiad team at the state competition: Libby Blattner and Alison Paulsen, sixth place, Bungee Drop; Tanner Yehlik and Mitch Paulsen, sixth place, Compound Machines; Tanner Olson and Mitch Paulsen, fifth place, Material Science; Breelyn Karno and Tanner Olson, fifth place, Dynamic Planet; Mikayla Gefeke and Tanner Olson, third place, GeoLogic Mapping; Blaire Ziebol and Victoria Johnson, New Richmond High School Science third place, Disease Detectives; and Emily LaPorte and Tanner Olson, third place, Entomology.

“The students did a super job and were great ambassadors for New Richmond High School,” Ramin said.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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