Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Science quizzes mix with lunch for middle schoolers


March 3, 2015

The boys are ready to do a math problem at the board. From left, Brock Beadle, Landon Stewart, Dwight Brown and Wyatt Giles.

link The boys are ready to do a math problem at the

board. From left, Brock Beadle, Landon Stewart,

Dwight Brown and Wyatt Giles.

By Steve Hansen

QCS Managing Editor

Science is:

a. hard

b. competitive

c. fun

d. all of the above

For the students who spend lunch periods in Andrea Rinestine’s science classroom at Tucumcari Middle School, the answer is d.

Along with nourishment for the body, the students speed-stuff their heads with rapid-fire questions on math and science similar to the ones that are asked in “science bowls.”

Five of Rinestine’s seventh- and eighth-grade science students were supposed to compete Saturday at a regional science bowl sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories, that was called off due to bad weather. The Tucumcari squad will be one of two teams from eastern New Mexico competing among 15 such teams statewide, Rinestine said.

Last year, Tucumcari Middle School sent its first-ever team to the science bowl, and they were eliminated in the first round.

“We didn’t realize you had only five seconds to answer,” said Dwight Brown, a team member eighth-grader who competed last year.

This year, the students have been drilling to develop quick, correct responses.

The questions asked in these rapid-fire drills are not easy.

In one lunch period last month, one question asked which of four color sequences correctly listed the hues from longest light-wave length to shortest. The answer was red, orange, yellow, violet, answer “Y” among choices.

Another question, which all missed, asked what a woman’s salary would be if it had started out at $25,000 and had increased by 300 percent. The instant answer was $75,000, but the correct answer was $100,000. If it had doubled, it would have risen 100 percent; tripled, 200 percent; quadrupled, 300 percent, or $100,000. The lesson: listen carefully.

The students zipped through many other questions about light waves, geology, algebra, geometry, and cell division, among other topics.

Several students participated who are not on the team, just because they enjoy the challenge and the “boys and against girls” competition, Rinestine said.

Team members include eighth graders Rod Dunlap, Dwight Brown and Michelle Giner Rivera; and seventh graders Tianna Peterson and Alejandra Plascencia-Andrade.

Unfortunately, Rinestine said, the science squad will have to forego competition this year.

The science bowl will be rescheduled for a period in March when students will be involved on sports teams and other activities, she said, “but we will come up with some activity.”


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