Stellar Scientists: Students Excel at Science Events

On Jan. 11, Morganton Day School students hit the road and participated in several high-level science competitions from Charlotte to Boone, putting science inquiry into action. 

This year four school level winners participated in the NC Regional Science and Engineering Fair, as the first group of students to represent Morganton Day School at this event.  Each of these students went through the scientific process to test a hypothesis. They created a display board to present their procedure, data, and conclusions. During judging, students described their process with confidence. They spoke enthusiastically about their experiments and had a well-crafted visual display. 

Bennett McSwain was recognized at the honorable mention level and is the alternate for competing at the state level. 

Meanwhile, other ambitious 7th and 8th grade students ventured to Charlotte to participate in the Piedmont IB Science Olympiad Invitational Event. These students went head to head with other top science students from 26 schools. From building a Rube Goldburg machine that can drop a golf ball precisely on a tee within a given time, to launching a small rocket with a parachute, these students employed the engineer design process and utilized their science knowledge in 21 STEM events. 

Two MDS students, Kendall Sawdy and Phifer Settlemyer, finished 2nd in the Density Lab event, where participants competed in activities and answered questions about mass, density, number density, area density, concentration, pressure, and buoyancy. Now the MDS Science Olympiad team is gearing up for the regional competition March 21st at Catawba Valley Community College.

NC Science Olympiad, an annual competition begun in 1974, aims to encourage students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) degrees and careers in North Carolina. Science Olympiad tournaments have challenging, hands-on events in all scientific disciplines, designed to strengthen students’ skills in science content and process.

Morganton Day School instructs students from preschool through 8th grade, with an emphasis on inquiry-based learning and S.T.E.A.M. If you would like more information or a tour, please call (828)437-6782 or visit