Digby County elementary students compete in Science Olympics

Published on May 18, 2017

From left: grade 5 students Ashlee Crocker, Logan Perry, Hudson Sollows and Olivia Mcgrath from Islands Consolidated School finish building their cable car.

©Sara Ericsson

DIGBY, NS – A science competition drew students from five schools in Digby County to compete in on-the-spot science problems.

The 2017 Digby County Science Olympics were held May 18 at the Digby Arena. Grade 4, 5 and 6 students from five schools participated in the event.

Participating schools included Barton Consolidated, Digby Elementary, Islands Consolidated, Digby Neck Consolidated and Weymouth Consolidated.

“The kids just love it,” said Vera Ryan, one of the event's organizers.

“They’re excited when they get here and really look forward to it.”

Teams of four are selected to represent their grade at each school and are faced with science challenges at the event requiring them to use their science, math and team work skills.

“It’s all about teamwork and we make sure to emphasize that,” said Ryan.

The event included three separate rounds: Dante's Peak, Packaging Panic and Cable Cars.

From left: Digby Elementary grade 4 students Liam Hazelton, Callum Longmire, Katelyn Roach and Alexis Rice concentrate as they design their cable car for the competition.

©Sara Ericsson

The third event saw students building cable cars using k’nex pieces to could slide down a cable while supporting a tennis ball. Students got creative and no two cable cars looked alike.

The event also featured a poster contest, and the winner from each grade got to take home a pizza lunch – donated by Pizza Delight – for their classmates in their grade.

Teachers Vera Ryan and Frayne Kyte organized the Digby County event, while retired teacher Gary Crosby and current teacher Trish Nakpil organized the Yarmouth event. They were present as judges at the Digby event, where Crosby designed and organized each science competition.

Together with Kim Blades in Shelburne, these five make up the regional team.

Teacher and event organizer Frayne Lyte tests out the cable cars to see if they a) can stay on the cable and b) can hold a tennis ball while doing it. The students all came up with very original designs -- no two cable cars looked the same.

©Sara Ericsson

“Gary really is the heart and soul of this event. He started it in 2000, and is still with it even though he’s retired,” said Ryan.

The yearly event has run consecutively since 2004, said Crosby. To that, Ryan said she knows why it's continued to run over the years.

"Gary is the reason it keeps going every year," she said.

"Him, and the kids."


Here is the full list of winners:

Grade 4

Bronze: Digby Elementary School

Silver: Digby Elementary School

Gold: Islands Consolidated School

Grade 5

Bronze: Barton Consolidated School

Silver: Digby Neck Consolidated School

Gold: Islands Consolidated School

Grade 6

Bronze: Digby Neck Consolidated School

Silver: Islands Consolidated School

Gold: Weymouth Consolidated School