Merrimack High School wins science olympiad state title for the third consecutive year!
Manchester, NH — The Merrimack High School Science Olympiad team took top honors at the Annual Science Olympiad State Tournament at St. Anselm College, on Saturday, March 23, 2019. Twenty teams from around the state competed in twenty three test and build events ranging from astronomy and forensics to vehicle building and thermodynamics.
Students have been preparing since September for this competition by creating study binders, learning testing and lab techniques, and building elaborate machines that can fly, execute chemical reactions, create perfect pitch, and stop on a dime.
Merrimack returned to the tournament as State Champions but knew they would face steep competition from several local teams. Led by team captains, Andrew Pitten (Sr) and Jason Provencher (Sr), Merrimack’s Varsity team was able to medal or place in 21 of the 23 categories of competition. In total the “A” team was able to collect 8 gold, 4 silver, and 3 bronze medals, and placed in 6 additional events.
Merrimack’s reputation for having the top builders in the State continued with Jason Provencher (Sr), Andrew Pitten (Sr), Reese Johnson (Sr), Nate Liscouski (Sr), Troy Church (Jr), Marcus Herold (Jr), Dillon Landry (Jr), Michael Clark (Soph), Nicholas Gacharna (Soph), and Rohan Sreenivasan (Soph) all grabbing gold medals in their events. The “B” team also had strong build performances with Sidhanth Dhanaraj (Jr), Sean Diggins (Jr), Sean Trimper (Soph), and Jon Heimberg (Fresh) pulling in medals as well.
Test and analytical events make up more than half the competition and require students to build binders full of research throughout the year and not only analyze and understand that data, but be able to apply it during competition. Merrimack was led in this area by strong performances by Reese Johnson (Sr), Nate Liscouski (Sr), Dillon Landry (Jr), Troy Church (Jr), Natalie Desilets (Jr), Rohan Sreenivasan (Soph), Michael Clark (Soph), Tori Tacito (Soph), all of which had gold medal performances. Sam Bailey (Sr), and Jade Sahinidis (Soph) also contributed with silver and bronze medals. Merrimack’s “B” team found success as well with medal performances from Jaqueline Morin (Jr), Sean Diggins (Jr), Conor Duston (Jr) and Andrea Bartus (Fresh).
This year’s win marks Merrimack’s 10th State Championship title, the most in NH Science Olympiad’s program history. What is in the “secret sauce” that has given Merrimack the edge for so many years? Many parents feel it’s the strong dynamic on the team. Merrimack can boast 30 students that comprise two full Science Olympiad teams, (A & B) all who range in age, gender, and backgrounds. Some are athletes, some are musicians, some compete on other academic teams, but they all come together through their interest and passion for science, technology, math, and engineering. In an area that was once dominated by only males, Merrimack has 8 female competitors who consistently medal and lead events, a great example of how STEM teams encourage all students to explore the sciences.
Then, of course, there is the Coach, Tyler Golemo. A 2013 graduate of Merrimack High School, Coach Golemo went to Nationals 4 times during his tenure on the Science Olympiad team. A 2017 WPI graduate, he returned to NH to accept a position as a mechanical engineer and coaches/travels with the team in his free time. His dedication is key to their success as well as his inside understanding of the events.
The Merrimack team will be advancing to the National Competition at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York on June 1st. Fundraising efforts for Nationals have begun and the booster club has made a Go-Fund-Me page. They are asking individuals and local businesses to support this very hard working group of local students. To contribute please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/MerrimackHighSchool-science-olympiad-fundraiser