The Odessa Record -

OHS wins STEM challenge


November 16, 2017

On November 6, five schools from eight different towns across the Bi-County joined Odessa for the eighth Annual Bi-County STEM Challenge. Odessa, Wilbur, Lind, Sprague, Ritzville, Creston and Harrington showed up at Harrington High School at 9 a.m. to compete in the annual science-like "Junkyard Wars." Each school brought a team of six students to vie against the other schools for the traveling trophy. Team Odessa consisted of Kiegan Wehr, Colton Hunt, Tori Weishaar, Natosha Boss, Tim DeWulf, and Pilot Weishaar.

Created by the science teachers from each school system, each team had two objectives: First, the students were broken into separate teams comprising a mix of students from each school. Each team had to engineer a device capable of being airborne for the longest period of time. A timer was started when the device was let go inside of a vortex of air being created by a box fan suspended between two foldable chairs; the timer was stopped when the device touched anything. The winners of the first challenge engineered a device that was in the air for 5.7 seconds and consisted of one student each from Ritzville, Harrington and Sprague.

--Photo courtesy of Jeff Wehr.

Members of the winning STEM challenge team from Odessa: Pilot Weishaar, Kiegan Wehr, Tori Weishaar, Natosha Boss, Colton Hunt and Tim DeWulf. This year the event was held at the Harrington school.

The next objective required the students to get back into their original school groups and engineer a device (from a limited amount of given supplies) capable of traversing a waterway race course. Each team had access to a remote controlled race car and needed to re-engineer it into a water craft. The students knew to bring their swimming attire as they could enter Harrington's swimming pool to test their design models. As all five school teams went back and forth between the pool and their engineering space, the clock kept ticking. At 1 p.m. each team launched their water craft through the course, gaining points by navigating through sunken hoops, twists and turns. Pilot Weishaar, of course, piloted the water craft. After all of the teams were finished, Team Odessa was the winner with a perfect run of 40 points as Wilbur and Ritzville tied for second place. Kiegan Wehr, Colton Hunt, Tori Weishaar, Natosha Boss, Tim DeWulf and Pilot Weishaar were the winners of the eighth Bi-County STEM Challenge and brought the illustrious Golden Flask Award back home! Thank you to the Harrington School District for allowing us to use their swimming pool in a very creative way, for supplying a lifeguard for the day and for hosting an amazing Bi-County STEM Challenge. Congratulations to all the students present during this awesome event and we look forward to another one next year!


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