Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Kudos to the smart science kids out there February 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:27 AM
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SEARCH THE RECESSES of my home and you won’t find a single sports trophy, medal or ribbon. We are not athletes.

But you will find honors for academic achievements.

During elementary school, my second daughter consistently placed in the region’s Lutheran schools spelling competition, bringing home trophies and ribbons. In 2006, she graduated from high school at the top of her class. (My mom and a niece also graduated at the tops of their classes and I graduated second.)

Now my 17-year-old high school senior has won two medals for his scientific and mathematical skills and knowledge. This past weekend Caleb and his Faribault High School Science Team teammate, Luke, earned first place in the Regional Finals Science Olympiad competition in Rochester with their gravity vehicle.

They built a vehicle and ramp and then, using physics skills, calculated time, distance and speed to race and stop their car at a specific point. They came within about an inch of the target. I won’t attempt to explain the details of how they accomplished this because, well, I don’t understand it. Suffice to say, they did everything right to win the contest.

A wheel on the winning car, as it was being built. I would show you the car, except I did not get a good shot of it and now the car is at school and Caleb would not like that I want to photograph it. Suffice to say the car is basically four pieces of wood joined into a rectangular shape. Caleb and Luke wrote their names on the car. That's it. Why make it flashy? Flashy doesn't count, my son says. Gotta love that attitude.

Caleb, along with a different teammate, Travis, also placed third in an astronomy competition.

Faribault students Anna and Anwyn earned first place regional honors in “Write It Do It.” Sara and Riley placed second and Anwyn and Tanner, fourth, in “Forestry.” And a fourth place finish also went to Nathaniel and Max in the “Fermi Questions” competition. (Don’t even ask about “Fermi.” I have no clue; I never claimed I was smart in science.)

Faribault High’s two science teams finished fifth and eighth at region, qualifying both teams for state competition. However, rules allow only one team from each school to compete at state.

FHS science teacher Jason Boggs says this is the first time since he’s been co-coaching the science teams that both teams have technically qualified for state.

Caleb and 14 other FHS students will compete at state on March 3 at the University of St. Thomas.

So there you have it—my little plug today for all those smart kids out there who excel in academics but seldom receive the recognition they deserve.

Be proud.

Your academic successes will take you far in life.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling