As Science Olympiad club sponsor Julie Haynes held up the first place trophy, she looked over at Debbie Tillman and said, "Nine years."
Haynes, who has been sponsoring the club for 12 years, has worked with parents, Debbie and Marvin Tillman for nine of those years.
The Tillmans’ sons have participated in Science Olympiad for the past nine years and have never won the regional competition. This is their final year as their youngest son, Ryan, is a senior. And now Richmond Hill, Haynes, and the Tillmans have finally won.
The Science Olympiad competition was held at East Georgia College in Swainsboro on Saturday, Feb. 28. Eleven schools competed in 23 events ranging from building events to skill events to academic events. Science Olympiad is the cross training of many disciplines of science, math, and engineering with an emphasis on team work.
Haynes gives most of the credit to her "bumper crop of seniors who have been with her since the beginning." The team prepares for the building events with the help of parents and other volunteers, such as Bill Traver, who has volunteered his shop and his expertise weekly for the past ten years. The team also trains for academic events with teachers who specialize in certain fields. To fund their material, travel, and entry expenses the team fundraises throughout the year.
The team will move on to the state competition at Emory University on April 4. Although the team has made it to the state competition for the past twelve years, they have never gone as the winner of the regional competition. For more information of the Science Olympiad, go to sonic.org.
Richmond Hill participants placed in 19 of the 23 events, sometimes placing more than once in the same event. The final placings include:
1st Place – Cell Biology (Taurean Butler and Michael Butler), Ecology (Brittany Ivester and Michael Butler), Egg-o-naut (Matt Trivitayakhun), Fossils (Trang Lan and Vasily Kushakov), Herpetology (Carolina Perez and Cesar Perez)
2nd Place – Chemistry Lab (Ryan Tillman and Sam Shawyri), Egg-o-naut (Ryan Tillman and Kylie Berry), Electric Vehicle (Ryan Tillman and Kylie Berry), Elevated Bridge (Daniel Ames), Environmental Chemistry (Ryan Tillman, and Kylie Berry), Fossils (Michael Butler and Cesar Perez), Trajectory (Michael Butler)
3rd Place – Disease Detectives (Brittany Ivester and Mihn Phan), Dynamic Planet (Daniel Ames and Sam Shawyri), Remote Sensing (Mihn Phan and Sam Shawyri), Technical Problem Solving (Ryan Tillman and Daniel Ames), Write It Do It (Brittany Ivester and Kylie Berry)
4th Place – Health Science (Chantele Collings-Faulkner and Matt Trivitayakhun), Picture This (Taurean Butler and Sam Shawyri), Tipping the Scales (Carolina Perez and Cesar Perez)