WATERVILLE — Fifteen Waterville Senior High School students are headed for Dayton, Ohio, to take part this weekend in the 2017 Science Olympiad National Tournament.

The team placed second at the state Science Olympiad tournament April 1 at University of Southern Maine in Gorham, but the team that placed first, Waynflete School in Portland, is unable to go.

In 22 years, Waterville High teams have won first place at the state contest 17 times and have attended national competitions 18 times, according to Coach Jon Ramgren.

About 2,000 students in 120 teams from around the country will take part in the national event. Sixty teams are made up of junior high students and 60 of high school students.

The students compete in rigorous events that challenge them to solve problems using biology, earth science, chemistry, physics and engineering. Some involve building structures, including one where students must build a tower using only wood and glue. It must be a certain height and strong enough to support 30 to 35 pounds hanging from it, according to Ramgren, who teaches honors chemistry, applied chemistry and forensic science.

Ramgren said he is proud of the Waterville students. In January, the team took part in an invitational or practice tournament at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“They’re phenomenal and they’re involved in everything,” he said. “Eight kids are on the track team, kids are on the tennis team, on the baseball team. The results these students are able to achieve is not because of what I’m doing, particularly, but because of what the school has done over the 10 to 12 years that the kids have been in the system.”

Students going to the nationals are Bridger Holly, Katie Lopes, Anthony Pinnette, Nathan Pinnette, John Violette, Merline Feero, Maddie Hallen, Brock Jolicoeur, Carter Jones, Adam Livshits, Ella Ruehsen, Abi Bloom, Kevin Chen, Jordan Perkins and David Ramgren.

Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17