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PEARLS Students Make History, Set For State Science Olympiad

The PEALS Hawthorne Science Olympiad team scored a spot in the state finals after finishing in fifth place in the regional competition last weekend.
The PEALS Hawthorne Science Olympiad team scored a spot in the state finals after finishing in fifth place in the regional competition last weekend. Photo Credit: Contributed

YONKERS, N.Y. – A group of PEARLS Hawthorne whiz-kids are taking their talents to Syracuse after proving to be among the best and brightest Westchester County has to offer.

The middle school Science Olympiad team finished in fifth place at Lower Hudson Valley Regional Science Olympiad at Scarsdale Middle School last weekend, besting 26th other teams.

Thanks to their performance, the PEARLS squad has earned a berth in the New York State Championships on April 12 and 13 in Syracuse. This will mark the first time a Yonkers Public School will participate in a state level Science Olympiad competition.

What makes the feat all the most impressive, PEARLS science teacher and team coach Christopher Hasson said, is that the team raised the money to compete in the competition after funding was lost due to budget cuts.

"Words cannot express how proud I am of my team,” he said.

“Their efforts should be an example for us all,” he added. “I am honored to be their coach.”

In total, 17 PEARLS students and one ninth grader from Yonkers High School competed in 20 events at Saturday’s competition, facing off against hundreds of competitors from across the county.

Some notable finishes include:

First Place: Casey Wetherbee and Brandon Spector in the Water Quality category.

Second Place: Luc Wetherbee and Toni Jackson in the Endangered, Extinct, Exotic Animals catagory; Casey Wetherbee and Harikrishnan Nair in Forestry.

Third Place: Alvin John and Rosemary Biju in Anatomy; Luc Wetherbee in Heredity.

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