Polk Middle duo wins Science Olympiad state title

Published 11:33 am Monday, April 24, 2023

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Polk County Middle School has a new pair of state champions.


Students Daniel Griffin and Xander Sparks-Trumble won the Bottle Rocket competition at the North Carolina Science Olympiad, held Saturday at North Carolina State University.

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In Bottle Rocket, students build a rocket from a one-liter carbonated beverage bottle, then place a parachute atop the bottle. The bottle is filled with water, pressurized and launched, and the parachute must deploy after launch. The time from launch until the bottle touched down is measured.


On Polk Middle’s final launch Saturday, the rocket stayed in the air for more than 30 seconds, easily the best in the field.


Polk Middle sent a full team to the Olympiad, which features events ranging from tests to build-related competitions. Final team scores are scheduled to be released this week.


Piedmont Open I.B. Middle School in Charlotte won the middle school division team title, with Fred J. Carnage Magnet Middle School in Raleigh placing second and Davis Drive Middle School in Cary finishing third.