It was the second time she has competed in the National Science Olympiad, but as a high school senior, today's competition is also her last.
I'm so excited to be here, but it's a bit sad too, said the 17-year-old from Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nevada. Knowing it's my last time makes me want to work harder, but I also want to just enjoy being here with my team. Make the last time memorable.
Jessica was among thousands from around the country who have gathered in Augusta for the 25th annual National Science Olympiad.
Students competed in more than 30 events that were held at Augusta State University, Episcopal Day School, Episcopal Day School, St. Mary's on the Hill Catholic School, Trinity on the Hill Methodist Church and Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church.
Meghan Plunkett from JC Booth Middle School, Peachtree City, Ga. was excited to see other students who were excited about science.
You put in a lot of work to get here and to be around others who have worked just as hard is really neat, she said. I think it makes the competition better and it really motivates you to do your best.
Several coaches were impressed by the students' enthusiasm.
You love seeing students who have such a passion for science and math, said Robert Medeck, Sr, coach for Yankton High School from Yankton, South Dakota. It reminds you why you enjoy doing this.
Award ceremonies will be held tonight at the James Brown Arena. Watch augustachronicle.com for updates from today's events.
Spotted: See photos from the 25th annual National Science Olympiad.