First Field Trip for Mr. Braga! - Math & Science Olympiad Summary
Mr. Braga had his first successful field trip and was super excited to report on the results. Here is his report on the event!
On Friday, April 21, 2017, twenty-four students from F.G. Miller travelled to Racette to participate in the triennial junior high Science and Math Olympiad! There were two teams of four students from each of grade 7, 8, and 9. The bus ride to Racette was full of nervous excitement, as students sat in their team t-shirts and wondered about what the day would hold, as the nature of the days challenges had been kept top secret.
The morning program included a science challenge followed by a math challenge. The Math 7A team was Sydnee Crawford, Teaghan Jacobson, Keith Stuparyk, and Avery Warawa, while the Math 7B team was Ethan Hampson, Kori Kozicki, Mia Quinney, and Kobe Warawa. The science challenge required students to build a shelter for a castaway on a deserted island. They were provided materials including newspapers, garbage bags, and a stapler. The 7A team made a tall triangular prism to sit inside of and the 7B team built a long rectangular prism to sleep inside of. The math challenges included adding and subtracting integers and to design patterns that visualized given ratios. Both groups were confident and did very well. Overall, the 7A team won third place and were awarded bronze medals.
The Math 8A team was Daniel Cardinal, Zoey Inscho, Kendra Kowerchuk, and Jorja Theriault, while the Math 8B team was Sadie Baker, Liam Ludlage, Micah Urquhart, and Mykaela Verenka. The science challenges were also set on a deserted island. The teams had to build a message in a bottle that would survive being tossed into the ocean and floating to help. They also had to build a filtration system to clean a cup of swamp water for the castaway to drink. After running the water through their filtration system multiple times the water quality was greatly improved. Both math challenges were geometry based. First, there was a complex drawing of right angle triangles that required using the Pythagorean Theorem over a dozen times to find a missing side length. Second, there was a complex drawing of a sand castle and team members were asked to calculate its volume and surface area. Both groups did very well on this challenge. Overall, the 8B team won first place and were awarded gold medals.
The Math 9A team was Vinny Braga, Hayden Ludlage, Katie Mohyluk, and Hank Rogal, while the Math 9B team was Rhianna Bjorkman, Katelyn Boratynec, Jesse Cameron, and James Kozicki. For the science challenge each team was provided six unidentified white powders and required to identify them as sugar, baking soda, etc.. After systematic observation and experimentation both teams used their reasoning skills and did extremely well in identifying all the substances. Unfortunately, the math challenge was all about algebra and linear inequalities, which we are studying as the last two units of the school year at F.G. Miller starting the week after the Science and Math Olympiad. The challenge was very frustrating and difficult for both teams, but they were comforted when they found out several other schools had not studied linear inequalities yet either. After that, both teams had an excellent attitude and used their sense of humour to cope with the difficult of the challenge. Due to this, neither grade 9 team placed in the top three teams overall.
During the lunch break students from across the board mixed together and enjoyed a large amount of pizza, laughter, and nerdy conversation. After the lunch break the teams combined into groups of twelve for the final challenge; a breakout race. The “A” team randomly selected a math breakout, and went rushing around the gymnasium to collect clues. Deciphering the math clues went quickly and they were the third group overall to unlock their box and dump out a large pile of candy. The “B” team randomly selected a science breakout, which was much more difficult to solve. There were almost twice the amount of clues and it was very difficult to identify which clue helped with which lock. However, great fun was had by both teams.
The bus ride home was very satisfying, as the students discussed how much fun they had. There was broad interest in running a similar school based math fair at F.G. Miller next year, so perhaps we are looking at Pi Day (March 14) in 2018!