Two Socorro Science Olympiad teams make their way to state

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Socorro High School’s Science Olympiad team made the trek down to Silver City where they competed, and placed first overall, against more than a dozen other schools in the southwest regional tournament on Jan. 25. Sarracino Middle School’s team was not far behind, nabbing sixth place.

Students from both teams will compete in the state tournament on February 22 at New Mexico Tech.

Azza Ezzat — who has taught at SHS for a decade and is in her second year of coaching the team — said the event provides a great educational opportunity for the students.

Courtesy photo: Sarracino Middle School team, at the state-level competition Feb. 22 at New Mexico Tech.

“(Science Olympiad) enhances their analytical and problem solving skills,” she said.

The event, SHS Assistant Principal Janice Jaramillo said, has a heavy focus on math and science — “two areas where (New Mexico) seems to be falling short.”

Courtesy photo: The Socorro High School Science Olympiad team, took first in the regional competition and will be competing in the state-level competition Feb. 22 at New Mexico Tech.

Event categories ranged from astronomy, chemistry and entomology to anatomy, geology and forensics, and comprise of both individual- and team-based components.

Jaramillo said the experience can carry over into the curriculum and help the students understand these areas of study firsthand. And additionally, she said it opens the door for scholarship opportunities.

“It’s good college preparation that goes beyond their high school requirements (and) helps the students share ideas and network with other coaches and event supervisors,” Ezzat said.

If either team takes first at state, they’ll be off to Orlando, Fla., in May for nationals.