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Columbia Science Olympiad team at 2018 UPenn InvitationalThe Columbia Science Olympiad Team placed third out of 50 teams from across the country in the UPenn Invitational on Saturday, winning three gold medals and three silver medals. The team had strong performances across the board, finishing within the top 10 in 13 of the events.

The tournament featured teams ranked among the top 10 in the nation from as far away as Texas, Illinois and Virginia.

Gold Medalists:

  • Owen Ball and George Culver – Mission Possible – Owen and George have spent countless hours perfecting their Rube-Goldberg type device that uses pulleys, chemicals and electrical circuits to flip a quarter, blow up a balloon and ultimately says, “the end.”
  • Neil Laya and Sam Koblensky – Thermodynamics – Neil and Sam have designed and built a device that insulates and keeps water from losing its heat to the environment. After numerous trials they have developed an intricate math formula that allows them to predict the final temperature of the system extremely accurately.
  • Sam Koblensky and Owen Ball – Optics – Under the duress of competition Sam and Owen have to place up to seven mirrors inside a box in a design that guides a laser beam around several obstacles placed in their way by the judges. They have to get the light to hit as close to the target on the opposite end of the box as possible, gaining points for each mirror they use successfully. And they only get one chance!

Silver Medalists:

  • Peter Sergay and Owen Ball – Fermi Questions
  • Sam Koblensky and Peter Sergay – Chemistry Lab
  • Fritz Howard and Nina Tedeschi – Dynamic Planet

Additional Medal Winners:

  • Cameron Plowinske, Albert Chang and Owen Ball – 6th Place Experimental Design
  • Sam Koblensky and Peter Sergay – 4th Place Hovercraft

Top 10 Finishes:

  • Kelly Nagel and Neil Laya – Astronomy
  • Natasha Montiel and Ryan Doyle – Forensics
  • Sydney Sill and Kelly Nagel – Herpetology
  • Ryan Doyle and Sydney Sill – Rocks and Mineral
  • Kelly Nagel and Albert Chang – Towers