PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- The Pleasantville Middle School Science Olympiad team achieved a seventh-place finish at the New York State Science Olympiad competition, held in Syracuse on April 8 and 9.
This marked the team’s third consecutive state-level competition in its four-year history and an improvement over last year’s eighth-place finish. In its first state competition in 2013, the team received the trophy for Best Performance for a Small School and earned 15th place.
Representing Pleasantville Middle School in Syracuse were Riik Acharya, Grant Becker, Ian Cotter, Ella Furniss, Katerina Gusarova, Lucas Lee, Nevan Lewis, Aidan Lynch, Leif Martens-Wallace, Ava Portmore, Abhaya Ravikumar, Jordan Rosen, Maya Sauthoff, Ethan Spanierman, and Anahita Subramanya. Attending as alternates were Michael Gordon, Kyle Largey, Abigail Lee, Coby Nunberg, and Peter Pueyo.
The state-level competition consists of 36 teams and 25 different challenges drawn from biology, physics, Earth science, and engineering. This year, Pleasantville’s team members participated in all 25 challenges, placing among the top nine in 11 of them and receiving medals in the following seven: Air Trajectory, second place, Leif Martens-Wallace and Grant Becker; Reach for the Stars, third place, Riik Acharya and Ava Portmore; Crave the Wave, fifth place, Riik Acharya and Ella Furniss; Crime-Busters, sixth place, Katerina Gusarova and Ian Cotter; Elastic Launch Glider, sixth place, Katerina Gusarova and Lucas Lee; Optics, sixth place, Ella Furniss and Abhaya Ravikumar; Wind Power, sixth place, Ella Furniss and Abhaya Ravikumar.
The Science Olympiad program is an activity offered by Melissa Brown, extended learning/curriculum coordinator, and coordinated by volunteers Drs. Martha and Chuck Matteo, who sparked the creation of the program.
Volunteers from the community serve as coaches in their areas of expertise, along with three Pleasantville High School freshmen who participated in the program as middle schoolers.
The program also receives support from the Pleasantville Middle School PTA and the Pleasantville Friends of STEM.