Steamboat students do well at regional Science Olympiad |

Steamboat students do well at regional Science Olympiad

— Steamboat Springs middle and high school students competed last weekend in the Northern Regional Competition of the Colorado Science Olympiad, earning some of the highest scores ever for the district.

A total of 47 students from Steamboat Springs High School and Steamboat Springs Middle School competed, with high school students earning seventh place out of 27 teams, high enough to earn a spot in the state competition for only the fourth time since Steamboat began entering the regional competition in 2005.

“While we have a long way to go to be competitive with many of the teams, we performed better than we’ve ever done at regionals,” said Charlie Leech, coach of the Science Olympiad team for the last 10 years and a science teacher at the high school.

Students competed in three basic types of competitions — build events that require students to have a constructed device capable of accomplishing a given task, lab practicals and exams, or events that are a combination of the three.

Students from across the northern part of the state competed in 23 different events in five categories — life science, earth and space, physical and chemical, process of science and engineering.

Leech said Steamboat students did well in protein modeling, mission possible and scrambler events.

“Protein modeling combines all three competitive structures — a pre-built model of a very specific DNA-repair protein, an on-site lab practical use of protein modeling software and an exam testing students’ understanding of concepts underlying the growing field of proteomics,” Leech said.

Steamboat Springs High School students took fourth in the protein modeling competition. Students also took second in cell biology, fourth in “It’s about time,” fourth in the scrambler event and 10th place or higher in 10 other events.

Leech said he was proud of the students for finding the time to dedicate to the competition.

“All these kids deserve a pat on the back, middle school and high school alike. It’s very difficult to compete at such a level,” Leech said.

Full results of the competition can be found at

Students gathered Wednesday morning at the high school to celebrate their accomplishments and plan for the state competition, taking place in Golden April 18.

Leech said that it’s been challenging over the years to find enough volunteer coaches from the community to help with the team, specifically adults with science, technology, engineering or mathematics backgrounds. Those who might be interested in volunteering can contact Leech at 970-871-3639 or

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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