Bedford Science Olympians Score At Nationals

Olympics are not just for athletes.

The Bedford Middle School Science Olympiad team finished 1st in the state last month — earning them the right to represent Connecticut at the 34th annual Science Olympiad national tournament

It was held last weekend at Colorado State University.

So how did our guys and girls do?

Here are 2 reports. The first — from parent Danielle Teplica — sets the scene:

It was a fantastic experience — a deep and extreme immersion into a much higher level of science competition than they had yet been able to fathom, let alone experience.

They had the chance to feel what it’s like to respect awesome competition, and perform their best against it.  It was a non-stop, fast-paced 4 days, packed with parades and pageantry, bright lights, loud music, big arenas, learning how to run from one event to another across a university campus, high altitude, little sleep and lots of science.

Plus live tarantulas, turkey costumes, CalTech professors — a lot to take in.

Hannah Even and Anja Gubitz represent Connecticut, at the opening ceremonies.

The team bus arrived at BMS Monday around 2 a.m. None of them had napped on the plane or bus. They were still excited by what they’d just done.

What had they done? Read this report, from parent chaperone Trudie Gubitz:

They performed exceptionally well. The team brought home 2 medals: 6th place for Mystery Architecture, and 1st place for Rollercoaster! In the 34 years of Nationals competition, no Connecticut team had won a gold.

Overall, Bedford finished 25th out of 60 teams — the highest ever for a team from our state. That’s a wonderful achievement — especially because BMS had competed at nationals only once before (in 2015). Most of the top 20 teams are regulars.

For me, the most inspiring thing was the team’s cohesion. These kids have  worked, built and studied for this event for almost a year. Over this time they have created a bond that is hard to describe in words.

They laugh and play while working to a common goal. They support each other when things do not go as planned, celebrate each other’s successes, and pick each other up from disappointments.

The Bedford Middle School Science Olympiad team.

Fifteen children competed in the 23 diverse events: Microbe Mission, Hovercraft, Dynamic Planet and Road Scholar, to name a few.

Another 9 students and their parents also formed part of the team as alternates, showing enormous support.

The support extended further to BMS alumni, who came from Staples to help during preparations. One was even there at 2 a.m. to cheer the returning team bus.

Staples High School Science Olympiad students — and Bedford Olympiad alums — sent this encouraging photo to the BMS team in Colorado on the morning of the competition.

The children had a wonderful time. That speaks to the amazing guidance provided by the 3 teachers who support this program: Arthur Ellis, Dr. Daniel Cortright and Kathryn Nicholas.

Thanks too to all the Westporters who donated to help get the team to Colorado (and back).

Now get some sleep. 

And then get ready for next year!

Coach Art Ellis

7 responses to “Bedford Science Olympians Score At Nationals

  1. Congratulations students and Coach Ellis!

  2. Danielle Teplica

    Yay! Thank you again!!! That makes me so happy for them! And that¹s so true about the sleep! 🙂

    Both teams still run as clubs, not teams, as far as the district is concerned, which requires finding an angel teacher at SHS to be a club advisor (in addition to Mr. Ellis as coach for both teams); so the exposure is extra helpful for them in that way too.


  3. Hi Dan, That’s actually Hannah Even in the Opening Ceremony photo. Thanks! Amy Ancel

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Danielle Teplica

    Ugh. I am so sorry. I did it again. I’m too sleepy deprived myself. The banner carrier on the left is incorrectly labeled Hannah Fiarman- it’s Hannah Even. Any chance you could correct it?

    Her mother just wrote to me.

    I’m sorry. I’m failing journalism!

  5. Kerstin Rao

    The Bedford Science Olympiad Team has energized our school community in new ways. We hear stories all around school from the students preparing for events, the successes and failures of structures they build, and inside jokes that form (hello, who has a three-hole-punch as a mascot?) The collaborative spirit and joy in learning is nurtured with expertise and care by teacher-coaches Art Ellis, Dan Cortright, and Kat Nicholas. Students come back from the high school to help – that speaks volumes, doesn’t it? Bravo to all the families, students, and teachers involved!