FIS places 2nd at Science Olympiad


Trees, astronomy, chemistry and biology - the students at Fairhope Intermediate School know their science and they have the medals to prove it.

This weekend the 22 member team placed second overall in the regional Science Olympiad tournament held at Auburn University. Team members are in 4th, 5th and 6th grades. Fairhope Intermediate School was the only Baldwin County intermediate school to enter.

This is the third year the school has competed. In previous years they ranked 5th and 6th overall. Team coaches are Fairhope Intermediate teachers Sarah Brown, Heidi Jones and Alison Wittendorfer.

Founded in 1984, Science Olympiad is one of the premier science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous, standards-based challenges to 7,800 teams in all 50 states. Competitions are held for students in grades third through twelfth.

Fairhope Intermediate’s students spent nearly five months studying and preparing their projects for the judges. Students won individual medals, ranked first through third, in five categories.

Individual medal winners, for first through fourth place were: Belle Sansom, Audry Small, Morgan Johnson, Sam Hochauser, Harrison Sherer, Almeda VinZant, Abby Coker, Grace Ott and Hallie Rose Downing.

Individual ribbon winners for fifth through eighth place were Clara Bella, Huckleberry, Reagan Stanley, David Kenny, Seamus Berry, Wesley Sandefur, Austin Ethridge, Abby Coker, Grace Ott, Morgan Johnson and Tucker Marlow.

Thirty teams from around Alabama competed.

The day’s biggest individual win came with a first place medal for the team of four students who built and raced a car made completely of pasta. That team consisted of Johnson, Hochauser, Sherer and VinZant. After a stressful entry in which judges first ruled the car too tall, the students erupted with joy when they nabbed the gold.

Sixth grade teacher and coach Heidi Jones said the long hours and competition travel is worth it.

“Science kids need a place, this is their place,” she said.