Indiana, PA - Indiana County

UNITED: Team wins Heritage Science Competition

by By ALYSSA DECKER, REBECCA McCAULEY and PATRICK WALKER, Gazette Student News Reporter on May 03, 2013 10:50 AM

ARMAGH — After last year’s devastating overtime loss in the finals of the Heritage Science Competition, United High School’s science team was determined to bring home a Heritage science championship for the first time.

In April, United’s science team, with four of the five participants from last year’s competition returning, traveled to Ligonier Valley with one objective -— a victory in the Heritage event. Seniors Dylan Adams, Isaac Grove, Paige Henry, Seth Knapic and Stephanie Walters represented United at this event.

The Heritage science competition consists of three separate components. The first event involves a series of four tests (biology, physics, chemistry and general science). Students may only take one test. United claimed a win in this event with an average score of 23 out of 30. The next closest score was 21.5 out of 30. Walters finished second with a score of 22 in the biology test, and Knapic crushed the competition with a perfect score of 30 on the chemistry test.

United was dealt a blow in the second event, however, with the inquiry lab. Students have approximately 1ᄑ hours to construct a lab to determine the outcome of an experiment from a basic list of equipment and supplies. The students must complete a lab writeup and document data from their experiment. United scored a 14.5 out of 20, a score which placed them near the end of the pack.

The science team’s hope for a title thus rested in the quiz bowl section of the competition that would constitute 50 percent of the team’s overall score. Matches were organized head-to-head with another school with four participants from each team being asked a series of 26 questions (worth one or two points each) per match. The first student to buzz in and answer correctly was awarded the points.

After dispatching last year’s champions, Ligonier Valley, by a score of 25-6, United narrowly averted disaster by squeaking out a 19-17 win over Saltsburg. In the third round, United outpaced Northern Cambria by five points to earn a return trip to the finals. In the finals, Grove used quick reflexes and his knowledge of science to place United in front of Marion Center by 10 points with only 11 questions remaining.

However, a flurry of correct responses by the opposing team cut the lead to three points with only two questions remaining. This was the motivation Knapic needed to bring home the victory. He correctly answered the last two questions to secure a seven-point victory. Grove and Knapic earned team MVP honors for their effort.

Congratulations to the Heritage science champions.

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