CRANFORD, NJ — The Heritage Middle School (HMS) Science Olympiad team recently competed at the New Jersey Science Olympiad Division B Regionals Tournament at Union County College in Cranford and has qualified to compete in the state tournament at Middlesex County College on March 10.

The team competed in 13 events ranging from taking written assessments on topics such as “Anatomy and Physiology” and “Astronomy,” to launching a parachute-laden ping pong ball with a bottle rocket, to building and powering a wooden vehicle using nothing but the energy generated by an ordinary, household mousetrap.

Two members of the team were able to participate in each event, with some students having to take on and prepare for two and even three events.

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“The competition was a grueling full day of academic skill, patience, grit, and teamwork,” said team coach and Livingston High School science teacher Dr. Alex Kuziola.

The team, which has practiced three times a week since October, showed a tremendous amount of team spirit and sportsmanship throughout the competition. The team medaled in three categories.

Eighth grader Ira Kamath and seventh grader Harish Lolla earned sixth place in "The Garden State," a New Jersey-themed event centered around soils and agriculture.

Seventh grader and team captain Fred Xu and eighth grader Nishna Makala earned fifth place in “Anatomy and Physiology,” an event that focused on the human skeletal, muscular, and integumentary (skin) systems.

Eighth graders Anlin Wei and Jason Yu earned fourth place in “Ornithology,” an event challenging students to describe and identify North American birds based on their calls and physical characteristics.

Overall, the team placed ninth at the regional competition.

Dr. Kuziola said that team looks forward to “even more challenging events ahead with tougher competitors than ever before.”

Pictured in the group photo above are:

Front Row: Fred Xu, Timothy Wu and Nishna Makala

Second Row: Ira Kamath, Riddhi Shah, Advaith Pillai, Kevin Zhang, Nandini Aggarwal, Kaushik Mukkavilli, Hannah He, Arjun Srinivasan, Ivan Shuvalov, Tyler Ferreira, Harish Lolla, Lelun Li, Jason Yu, Daisy Yao, Aaryaman Jha, Arya Deshmukh and Anlin Wei