Science Team Wins State!
Going into Saturday’s Academic Super Bowl state championship competition at Purdue University, the pressure was on for DeKalb High School’s science team.
“We expected a lot of ourselves. We’d done well at the area (competition) and were ranked No. 1,“ said team member Shayna Burrage.
The team of Burrage, Will Pierce and Christa Voirol lived up to expectations and came out on top as state champion in Class 1 for large schools. The team answered 24 questions correctly out of 25.
“It’s an extremely high score,” said team coach Jennifer Oberlin.
Oberlin does not recall another time when a team from DeKalb High School finished as Academic Super Bowl state champion, and she believes the science team’s achievement could be a first for the school.
Despite the pressure, DeKalb’s team members managed to keep things fun, dressing as pioneers to reflect this year’s Super Bowl theme of Western expansion.
“We were the only team that did that. We got mixed reactions,” Burrage said with a smile.
Burrage has been a member of the science team for two years and also was on the fine arts team for two years.
“I like the challenge. It lets me learn something new outside of what I do in school,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Burrage, a senior, plans to attend Trine University to study forensic science.
Voirol, a junior, was a first-year member of the science team but also has experience as a member of the social studies team.
“I really enjoy learning the extra stuff,” she said. Her competition specialty was biology, ecology and diseases of the frontier.
Pierce, a senior, has participated on Academic Super Bowl math and science teams since middle school. His specialty was electricity and magnetism and some chemistry, he said. Pierce plans to attend Purdue University and study chemical engineering.
“These students have a high level of science background, which makes my job very easy,” Oberlin said.
DeKalb High School’s social studies team of Voirol, Sean Mentzer, Shawn Pfefferkorn and Matt Irwin also competed in Saturday’s state finals and achieved a sixth-place finish.