Science Olympiad Team Solves Crimes and Builds Robots

Submitted by kate.searle on

Smell this.” Nathan Reeves said as he stuck a small glass tube beneath my nose. “Does it smell like cleaning products?”


Ms. Garff's classroom had been transformed into a forensics lab with Bunsen burners on the tables, tubes of powders and liquids, crisp white lab coats, and smudged safety goggles. There was a paper on each table, outlining an intricate story of crime with detailed lists of clues and steps Ms. Garff’s students had to follow in order to solve a mystery. They dipped papers with samples of ink into a blue liquid and discussed the properties of chemical compounds. They measured liquids and took fingerprints. Mrs. Garff bounced from table to table, reminding students of the things they had learned in class, and giving small hints when they got stuck. Ms. Graff’s B4 period is called Science Research and was created to prepare students for the Science Olympiad.


The Science Olympiad is a nation wide competition that starts at a region level. There are all kinds of events such as remote sensing, bridge building, food science, robot arm, astronomy, and many, many others. Brian Porter, a valuable team mate on the Science Olympiad team, said, “The atmosphere at the competition is awesome. Everybody is nice and willing to help each other.”

The following is the final total of awards and rankings Payson High’s Science Olympiad team at the region competition:

    • Electric Vehicle: 4th place, Bryan Porter and Kobey Evans

    • Experimental Design: 2nd place, Bridget Lott, Shayne Duncan, and Kahley Darragh

    • Invasive Species: 2nd place, Harlee Huff and Bridget Lott

    • Optics: 6th place, Shayne Duncan and Bridget Lott

    • Remote Sensing: 4th place, Ana Bermudez and Sasha Pack

    • Rocks and Minerals: 4th place, Shayne Duncan and Bridget Lott

    • Towers: 4th place, Nathan Reeves and Damon Sorensen

    • Write It Do It: 5th place, Ana Bermudez and Sasha Pack


The Science Olympiad competition is an opportunity for students to showcase their skill and understanding of the science learned in school. Reeves, one of the seniors on the Science Olympiad team said, “It’s really cool because it makes all of the stuff you read in textbooks relevant and fun!” Because of the work Ms. Garff has done with her Science Research class they’re more prepared for the careers they want than they’ve ever been before. Next time you see our amazing olympiad team, wish them good luck at state!

By Kylee Wharton of the Lion's Roar Newspaper