Science Olympiad team members will leave Friday at noon, taking a charter bus to MSU, said Rhonda Bird, the head coach for White Pines’ team.
“The middle school students, because of their age and familiarity with MSU’s campus, we take them right to campus and find their rooms and see how long it takes to walk from building to building,” Bird said.
The competition begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and continues until 4 p.m., Bird said. Students have a break until the awards ceremony from 6-8:30 p.m.
“And then it’s a long bus ride home,” she said.
Students going on the trip pitched in for the cost of transportation, lodging and food, Bird said.
Until the event, students are working to “up the caliber” in their events, Bird said.
“The teams we’re coming up against are the best of the best in the state,” she said.
White Pines students are also looking to reclaim their honor after a disappointing state tournament last year, she said.
At a room in Lakeshore Middle School, assistant coach Shannon Mitchell sat close and stared as two students went over their ecology test. The staring is part of the process, he said.
“I’m putting them in testing situations so I can see them interact together, and putting them in pressure situations” by staring and demanding an answer when the students miss a question. They also have to finish in ten minutes or less, he said.
“They’re down to nine minutes and 43 seconds,” Mitchell said.