Pleasantville Middle School Science Olympiad Team Shines, Again

For the second consecutive year, the Middle School’s Science Olympiad team finished in first place at the Lower Hudson Regional Tournament held at Scarsdale Middle School on March 4.

Thirty teams (15 students max/team) from 19 area middle schools participated in 20 different science and engineering events, with first to sixth place finishers in each event receiving medals. Pleasantville fielded two teams – a 15-member team that participated in all 20 events and a 9-member team that did not – that earned 15 medals overall.

First Place Medals: Ecology (Ian Cotter, Ethan Spanierman); Mission Possible (Miyako Cornelius, Abhaya Ravikumar); Optics (Abigail Lee, Abhaya Ravikumar); Scrambler (Amina Fayaz, Abigail Lee); Tower (Michael Gordon, Jordan Rosen); Wind Power (Grant Becker, Miyako Cornelius)

Second Place Medals: Herpetology (Amina Fayaz, Abigail Lee); Road Scholar (Abhaya Ravikumar, Jordan Rosen); Rocks and Minerals (Ian Cotter, Peter Pueyo)

Fourth Place Medals: Experimental Design (Alexandra Connelly, Peter Pueyo, Nikian Sauthoff); Mystery Design (Nikian Sauthoff); Reach for the Stars (Richik Acharya, Abhaya Ravikumar); Tower (Jack O’Reilly, Connor Varga); Wind Power (Sebastian Hernandez, Anushka Sundar)

Sixth Place Medal: Wright Stuff (Abigail Lee, Nikian Sauthoff)

Team members are Richik Acharya, Grant Becker, Sam Blasdell, Alexandra Connelly, Brendon Cooper, Miyako Cornelius, Ian Cotter, Amina Fayaz, Michael Gordon, Sebastian Hernandez, Abigail Lee, Coby Nunberg, Jack O’Reilly, Ava Portmore, Peter Pueyo, Abhaya Ravikumar, Jordan Rosen, Nikian Sauthoff, Ethan Spanierman, Anushka Sundar, Luqmaan Thein, Connor Varga, Lily Vidra, and Emma Wein.

Volunteers Drs. Martha and Chuck Matteo, with the assistance of Extended Learning/Curriculum Coordinator Melissa Brown and Elizabeth Lem, coordinate the Science Olympiad program and the community and parent volunteer coaches Gary Albaum, Doreen Becker, Scott Blasdell, Libby Brennesholtz, Dr. Janet Cooper, Ben Cornelius, Noel Furniss, Dr. Jason Gordon, Chester Lee, Dr. James Lewis, Nancy Maika, Helen Meurer, Sundar Natarajan, Dr. Usha Sankar, and Dr. Janet Stockheim.

The team will compete, for the fourth time in its five years of existence, at the New York State Finals in Syracuse, April 7-8. The state competition consists of 36 teams (one team of 15 students max/school) and 25 different challenges. Last year’s team earned seven medals and a 7th place ranking. 

In addition to the vital involvement of community and parent volunteer coaches, the Middle School Science Olympiad after-school program receives support from the Middle School PTA and the Pleasantville Friends of STEM (pfostem.org), which is accepting donations to defer the cost of sending the team to the State Finals in Syracuse.


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