Grand Haven Tribune: GHHS Science Olympiad team headed to nationals

GHHS Science Olympiad team headed to nationals

Becky Vargo • Apr 30, 2018 at 8:00 AM

The Grand Haven High School Science Olympiad team is headed to nationals after finishing in second place at the 36th annual state competition held Saturday at Michigan State University.

GHHS has competed at the state level for every year of its 33-year history. 

The top two teams from the state meet advance to nationals. Sixty teams competed in the high school event.

GHHS will join Northville High School in the Class C competition on May 19 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

The local high school team finished in third place last year.

The overall team scores for the top six placing teams in the high school division were: Northville, 103, Grand Haven, 124, Troy, 205, Ann Arbor Pioneer, 241, Detroit Country Day Upper School, 264, and Forest Hills Central, 270.

GHHS received medals in 20 of the 23 events.

Also moving up in the standings at the state meet were Grand Haven’s Lakeshore Middle School and White Pines Intermediate School teams. 

The Lakeshore team, which made it to nationals in 2016, finished in fifth place last year. They topped 56 other teams at the state level to finish in third place this year. 

Topping the Grand Haven School, which had 177 points, were Slauson Middle School from Ann Arbor with 120 and Meads Mill Middle School from Northville with 155.

The Lakeshore team is made up of 8th and 9th graders.

Lakeshore has participated in the state tournament 21 consecutive years, according to Coach Nathan Mihalek. Lakeshore earned an invite to this year's tournament by placing first in their regional tournament in March.

Lakeshore earned a medal in 16 out of 23 events as well as an additional medal in a trial event (not scored towards overall placement). 

White Pines Intermediate moved up from 15th place last year to 9th place this year.

This is the highest finish ever for the team made up of sixth and seventh graders, according to their coach, Rhonda Bird.

White Pines scored 407 points.

High School Coach Mike Reed said the trip to the national tournament has an expected budget of around $19,000.

“Any donations from individual members of the community, local businesses, or organizations would be greatly appreciated,” he said. 

Checks to support the Science Olympiad team can be made out to GHAPS and sent to Mike Reed at Grand Haven High School, 17001 Ferris Street, Grand Haven MI, 49417.

Grand Haven High School results:

First Place (1 point each)

Chemistry Lab: Brenner Kar, Kendal Kroes

Towers: Thomas Draper, Noah Van Abbema

Second Place (2 points each)

Disease Detectives: Natalie Currie, Noah Merriman

Dynamic Planet: Carter Brown, Brenner Kar

Forensics: Kiya Hammond, Nolan Ruble

Microbe Mission: Noah Merriman, John Richardson

Thermodynamics: Brenner Kar, John Richardson

Third Place (3 points each)

Ecology: Carter Brown, Jasmine Wang

Herpetology: Carter Brown, Matthew Marcus

Fourth Place (4 points each)

Hovercraft: Thomas Draper, Ronald Hodge

Rocks and Minerals: Kiya Hammond, Trent Stegink

Fifth Place (5 points)

Anatomy and Physiology: Natalie Currie, Kendal Kroes

Experimental Design: Kendal Kroes, Noah Merriman, Jasmine Wang

Fermi Questions: Noah Merriman, John Richardson

Sixth Place (6 points)

Helicopters: Nolan Ruble, Noah Van Abbema

Seventh Place (7 points each)

Materials Science: Kendal Kroes, Trent Stegink

Remote Sensing: John Richardson, Trent Stegink

Eighth Place (8 points each)

Astronomy: Matthew Marcus, Trent Stegink

Mission Possible: Thomas Draper, Nolan Ruble

Mousetrap Vehicle: Thomas Draper, Noah Van Abbema

Ninth Place (9 points)

Optics: Noah Merriman, John Richardson

Thirteenth Place (13 points)

Write It Do It: Matthew Marcus, Jasmine Wang

Seventeenth Place (17 points)

Source Code: Ronald Hodge, Jasmine Wang

Nineteenth Place (not counted for team score)

Game On (Exhibition Event): Ronald Hodge, Noah Van Abbema

Other members of the high school team are Valerie Bobeldyk, Grace Doyon, Sam Hager, Elizabeth Hodge, Lindsey Hubbell, Sophia

Jaeger, Samantha Kasbohm, Bennett Lowe, William Mayfield, Tess O’Leary, Cam Pikaart and Morgan Womack.

Mike Reed is the head coach and the assistant coaches are Luke Anderson, Todd Diederichsen, Eric Dykstra, David Funk, Greg

Huizenga, Jason Hunter, George Jaeger, Nate Kepler, Melissa Moerland, Bob Monetza, Julie Olson, Margaret Shay, Robert Shay,

Dennis Striegle, Dan Tlachac, Marcella Weldon, and Jeremey Wilder.

Lakeshore Middle School results:

1st Place

Battery Buggy: Sammi Ruble (9) and Jacob Marcus (8)

Herpetology: Chase Greene (8) and Max Tran (8)

Roller Coaster: Frank Roberts (9) and Grant Bell (8)

2nd Place

Solar System: Noah TenHagen (9) and Jacob Marcus (8)

3rd Place

Disease Detectives: Aashray Mandala (8) and Jacob Marcus (8)

4th Place

Ecology: Peyton Brill (9) and Aashray Mandala (8)

Thermodynamics: Frank Roberts (9) and Zach Bauer (8)

5th Place

Fast Facts: Frank Roberts (9) and Max Tran (8)

Optics: Lucas Bergman (9) and Frank Roberts (9)

Rocks and Minerals: Carl Jaeger (9) and Max Tran (9)

Towers: Sammi Ruble (9) and Charlie Van Abbema (8)

7th Place

Dynamic Planet: Peyton Brill (9) and Frank Roberts (9)

Hovercraft: Peyton Brill (9) and Frank Roberts (9)

Meteorology: Noah TenHagen (9) and Chase Greene (8)

Microbe Mission: Lucas Bergman (9) and Carl Jaeger (8)

Source Code (Trial Event): Zach Bauer (8) and Grant Bell (8)

9th Place

Potions and Poisons: Sammi Ruble (9) and Carl Jaeger (8)

10th Place

Crime Busters: Sammi Ruble (9) and Jacob Marcus (8)

13th Place

Anatomy and Physiology: Lucas Bergman (9) and Aashray Mandala (8)

14th Place

Mystery Architecture: Sammi Ruble (9) and Charlie VanAbbema (8)

17th Place

Experimental Design: Peyton Brill (9), Carl Jaeger (8), and Charlie VanAbbema (8)

24th Place

Road Scholar: Jacob Marcus (8) and Wil Stegink (8)

Wright Stuff: Noah TenHagen (9) and Charlie VanAbbema (8)

In everything they did this weekend, the team represented the best of Grand Haven. Please congratulate the students on a very successful season.

The 2018 Science Olympiad Team

9th Grade Students:

Lucas Bergman, Peyton Brill (Team Captain), Jaxon Hancock, Frank Roberts (Team Captain), Sammi Ruble, Olivia Stevens, Lauren Streng (Team Captain), Noah TenHagen, and Justine Wolfiss

8th Grade Students:

Zach Bauer, Grant Bell, Chase Greene, Carl Jaeger, Aashray Mandala, Jacob Marcus, Wil Stegink, Max Tran, and Charlie VanAbbema.


Nathan Bauer, Robby Bird, Amy Cahalan, Robby Cramer, Kelly Goward, Heather Varboncoeur, Dave Funk, Melissa Jaeger, George Jaeger, Joe Lutz, Nate Mihalek, Shannon Mitchell, Bob Monetza, Dr. Ortiz, Mark Salik, Amy Stringham, Kevin Sylvester, Jeff VanAbbema, and Bob Whipkey

White Pines Intermediate School results: 

1st place - Fast Facts – Kyla Streng and Cale Currie

4th place - Potions and Poisons – Justin Hancock and Kyla Streng

Roller Coaster – Justin Hancock and Jake Roberts

5th place - Wright Stuff – Isaiah Salik and Sawyer Van Abbema

6th place - Crime Busters – Kyla Streng and Julianna Porath

Herpetology – Jake Roberson and Gordon Schneider

Road Scholar – Hannah Black and Cale Currie

7th place - Towers – Joey Mazor and Sawyer Van Abbema

8th place - Battery Buggy – Justin Hancock and Sawyer Van Abbema

9th place - Anatomy – Kyla Streng and Cale Currie

12th place - *Source Code – Dylan Wunder and Luka LaPointe

14th place - Rocks and Minerals – Joey Mazor and Sofiia Svyryd

15th place - Thermodynamics – Joey Mazor and Robert Greene

16th place - Hovercraft – Connor Gabel and Robert Greene

19th place - Optics – Joey Mazor and Jake Roberts

25th place - Disease Detectives – Hannah Black and Justin Hancock

28th place - Meteorology- Jake Roberson and Ryan Bell

30th place - Dynamic Planet – Hannah Black and Ryan Bell

Experimental Design – Joey Mazor, Connor Gabel, and Jake Roberts

31st place - Solar System – Joey Mazor and Julianna Porath

32nd place - Microbe Mission – Hannah Black and Justin Hancock

34th place - Write it / Do it – Hannah Black and Kyla Streng

36th place - Ecology – Ryan Bell and Robert Greene

41st place - Mystery Architecture – Kyla Streng and Sawyer Van Abbema

Other members of the team not mentioned above are Savannah Dean, Avery O’Brien, and Simon

Van Abbema. Every student played a vital role in this year’s success. They all should be

congratulated for an excellent season!

Coaches: Nathan Bauer, Robby Bird, Amy Cahalan, Robby Cramer, Kelly Goward, Heather

Varboncoeur, Dave Funk, Melissa Jaeger, George Jaeger, Joe Lutz, Nate Mihalek, Shannon Mitchell,

Bob Monetza, Mr. Ortiz, Mark Salik, Amy Stringham, Kevin Sylvester, Jeff VanAbbema, and Bob


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