The Science Olympiad Club at Northview High School is gearing up.
The regional tournament will be held March 3 at Ohio State University's Lima campus, and the top six teams from the regionals go to the state competition at the end of April. From there, the top two teams go to the national tournament.
Northview was the regional champion last school year, and finished second in the regionals the year before that. In the 2010-11 school year, the school finished eighth in the state. Not bad for a club that has been in existence only since 2008.
On Feb. 4, the team traveled to Solon, Ohio, for an invitational and won several medals.
On Saturday, the team finished eighth out of 45 at a contest in Mentor, Ohio.
The club has 42 members, from freshmen to seniors, said Andy Roth, Northview chemistry teacher and club coach. "They've been working hard," he said.
The Science Olympiad is billed as the most prestigious team science and technology competition in North America. It includes dozens of events such as Robot Arm, Disease Detectives, Mousetrap Vehicle, Rocks and Minerals, and Sounds of Music. Last year, Ohio schools fielded 271 teams.
Dominic Fabiilli, a senior, helped build a double-neck guitar designed to play notes within a prescribed range. He and the others in the acoustic competition also made a drum out of a propane tank.
"They were interesting projects," the 18-year-old said. He plans to study chemical engineering at either Purdue University, the University of Kentucky, or the University of Cincinnati.
Sara Metcalf, another senior, who's 17, said she does forensic protein modeling, which involves identifying substances by mixing them with reagents.
Sara will be going to Ohio State University next year to major in molecular genetics.
Mitch Kahn, a sophomore, made an optics box that uses a laser and mirrors to measure angles and distances.
Julia Nistel, also a sophomore, made a pendulum from a collection of assigned objects.