Rustin advances to national STEM competition after being 2d in Pa.

WEST CHESTER West Chester Rustin High School's Science Olympiad team will advance to the national tournament after placing second in the state competition Saturday.

"These kids have just worked so hard since September, and to see them just do their best when it mattered the most, I get emotional just thinking about it," said head coach Greg Byrd, a physics teacher.

Harriton High School in Montgomery County came in first and will also go to the nationals.

The competition involves science, technology, engineering and math challenges ranging from exams to experiments.

It is the second time Rustin will compete nationally. It came in 14th in the country three years ago, Byrd said.

At Saturday's state competition at Juniata College, Rustin placed in the top 10 in 19 of the 22 events and came in first in three. About 30 students are on the team but only 15 compete.

The national tournament is to be at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on May 15 and 16. - Justine McDaniel