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Brain power|Students participate in Science Olympiad

By By Lisa Tindell
news editor

While attention was on the athletic feats at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, a recent Saturday had the eyes of many on a group of young people performing feats of the mind.
W.S. Neal and Brewton Middle School students were among a host of other students who trekked to Springhill College in Mobile to participate in the Regional Science Olympiad event.
Team sponsors for W.S. Neal Students were Steve Lambert and Sharmon O’Bannon, science teachers at the school. Brewton Middle School team sponsors are Vanessa Shelburne and Cindy Brittain.
Shelburne said teams from Brewton Middle School were among the top performers in the competition. “There were 14 teams competing in this event,” Shelburne said. “We had 30 students from our school in events and had two teams qualify for state competition.”
The two teams will participate in a state competition at Huntingdon College March 13.
Lambert said the four teams of W.S. Neal performed well at the competition against several other schools.
O’Bannon said the students put in a lot of hard work  in preparation for the event. “These children win these honors themselves,” O’Bannon said. “It isn’t us, it’s them that put in all the work and study needed to prepare for this or any other competition. We are so proud of how far they have come and what they’ve accomplished.”
Teams competed in events including anatomy, battery buggy, bio-process lab, can’t judge a powder, compute this, disease detective, dynamic planet, ecology, elevated bridge, experimental design, fossils, meteorology, ornithology, pentathlon, road scholar, science crime busters, shock value, solar system, trajectory, write it do it and wright stuff.
Brittain said the students who commit to being a part of Science Olympiad are dedicated to their studies.
Students at W.S. Neal prepare during science class during the school day with additional study and preparation held after school, O’Bannon said.
Lambert said additional coaches for Olympiad preparation would be a boost for the teams.
O’Bannon praised the parents who already serve in some capacity for the Science Olympiad teams.
Shelburne said the dedication of coaches for students at Brewton Middle School are an invaluable part of preparation for the events.
Lambert said anyone interested in being a coach for the Science Olympiad teams at W.S. Neal Middle School is invited to contact the school at 867-5035.
Anyone interested in becoming a coach for teams at Brewton Middle School may call 867-8420.