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Marshall, Standley, Bell, Grant, Wangenheim in local Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad Students from Bell, Grant, Marshall, Standley and Wangenheim middle schools spent a recent Saturday competing against fellow middle school students — with many coming out winners — during the San Diego Science Olympiad.

Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team-events in each grade in subjects that include genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology and mechanical engineering.

Marshall Middle School had the largest team from a San Diego Unified campus. Teams competed in events that included "Crimebusters," "Rotor Egg Drop, "Disease Detectives," and "Keep the Heat."

"Our students demonstrated their understanding and knowledge of science by taking some difficult tests and creating objects that amplify their science understanding,” said Marshall Principal Michelle Irwin.

Top-20 teams will move on to the Southern California competition in April. Irwin praised science teacher Muriel Gross, who takes the lead on the Science Olympiad team.

"Without Ms. Gross' unbridled energy, passion and dedication for science, we would not have been able to provide this opportunity to our students," said Irwin. "We also thank the many parent volunteers and coaches who have supported our students by preparing them for this Regional Tournament."

The Science Olympiad challenges students in a variety of creative and factual errors. For example, the Crimebusters competition requires students to gather information at a "crime scene" and analyze items ranging from witness interviews to a chemical breakdown of food residue.

More than 80 teams and 2,500 students from around San Diego competed in the Feb. 2 Science Olympiad. For more information, contact Irwin at