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O’Hara shines in Science Olympiad


TONAWANDA — Two seniors from Cardinal O’Hara High School scrambled their way to second place in the Lake Ere-Niagara Regional Science Olympiad Tournament on Feb. 4 at Buffalo State College.

Jacob Joldos (left) and Wilson Hendershot, seniors at Cardinal O’Hara High School, show off their Scrambler car and launcher and the medals they won at the Lake Erie-Niagara Regional Science Olympiad Tournament on Feb. 4 and Buffalo State College. (Photo courtesy of Cardinal O’Hara High School)

The team of Wilson Hendershot and Jacob Joldos competed against teams from 18 area high schools in the “Scrambler” event. For this event, the students had to build a vehicle that propels itself, stopping as close to a wall as possible without breaking an egg attached to the front of the vehicle. The team also built a launcher with a series of pulleys and cords that set the vehicle off.

The event was timed with two chances each with a different distance from which to launch, and just one egg.

“If the egg cracked or broke, you were disqualified,” Hendershot said. “Judges timed us so the faster your vehicle went, the better. It was a real challenge,” he added.

The name of the event, “Scrambler,” was taken from eggs that were broken or “scrambled.”

The tournament offered 32 separate competitions. Cardinal O’Hara entered four in addition to “Scrambler.”

Bethany Mandaville and Hendershot entered Chemistry Lab competition. Lilliana Kibbe and Hendershot did Rocks and Minerals. Joldos and Hendershot took on Trees and Forestry.  Kibbe and Mandaville attempted Code Busting.

Shelly Reidy, O’Hara math teacher and Dr. Joseph Smith, O’Hara science teacher coached the teams. 

“We worked on this since November and we practiced in the hallway after school,” Joldos said. “It was a lot of fun and winning a medal was great.”


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