GHAPS students prepare for Science Olympiad

Students at Grand Haven Area Public Schools are in the final days of preparations for the state Science Olympiad Tournament on Saturday at Michigan State University in East Lansing. All three teams from GHAPS did well enough to advance from the March 26 regional tournament at Grand Valley State University. Grand Haven High School set a tournament record with its first-place score of 43 points. White Pines and Lakeshore middle schools placed second and fifth, respectively, in the middle school division.
Jordan Travis
Apr 27, 2011


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.


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