Grand Haven Tribune: Olympiad teams headed to Nationals

Olympiad teams headed to Nationals

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:21 PM

GHHS, with a score of 120, and Northville High School, with a score of 121 (lower score is better), beat 46 other high school teams for the chance to move on to the national championship on May 17 in Orlando, Fla.

“Our team was very, very excited they got first,” said High School Coach Mike Reed.

“We had 16 medals out of 23 events. But so did Northville,” he said. “Sixteen medals out of 23 events – that’s usually a pretty good day for us.”

Still it came down to the very end of the team standings announcements before the Grand Haven team found out that they were going to nationals for the 24th time in the team’s 29-year history of participating in the Science Olympiad.

In a reversal of roles, Lakeshore Middle School finished in second place behind Meads Mill Middle School of Northville. Both of these middle school teams also advance to the National Science Olympiad at the University of Central Florida.

Due to changes in the middle school structure, Lakeshore is composed of mostly eighth- and ninth-graders and one seventh-grader.

The team from White Pines Middle School, made up of sixth- and seventh-graders, placed 16th, although their Rotor Egg Drop team of Nolan Ruble and Grace Doyon earned a fourth place medal.

They beat 33 other schools in that event, said Lakeshore Middle School coach Nate Mihalek. White Pines also beat four more teams that had bested them at Regionals.

"We look at it like White Pines is the JV team," said their coach, Rhonda Bird. "We knew it was going to be tough to get a medal at this level."

Bird said under the previous middle school structure, sixth and seventh graders rarely got to compete. Now they are gaining valuable experience and still beating out many teams with older kids.

“There a number of schools from all over the state of Michigan that are getting better and better,” Mihalek said of the Lakeshore team. “We didn’t know until the last minute that we were going to Nationals.”

“I was really happy with the way things went,” he said. “After regionals, we felt like we really had it together. It was just a matter of putting the right pieces together.”

Medals are given to the top six competitors in each event, which includes names like Boomilever, Heredity and Dynamic Planet.

Lakeshore Middle School medaled in 12 of their 23 events.

The teams got home about midnight on Saturday and already preparations are in place to get them to Florida in two weeks.

Reed said the high school team will tentatively leave by bus on May 14, around 5:30-6 p.m., once the last team member finishes her AP exam.

“We’ll drive through the night and get to Orlando about 2 p.m. on Thursday,” he said.

Team members will use the bus time to study for their events. Thursday afternoon and Friday, they’ll tour around campus so they know where their events will be held. The competition is scheduled for that Saturday.

“We might stay one extra day so the kids can go to one of the amusement parks,” Reed said.

Travel arrangements are still in the works for the Lakeshore Middle School team.

Science Olympiad is a program aimed at increasing student interest in science and recognizing outstanding achievement in science education by students and teachers.

The tournaments are rigorous academic competitions that consist of a series of team events, which include engineering, knowledge, problem solving, technology and process skills.

See the complete list of individual results online.

Following is a list of medals won by the Grand Haven High School team.

Every one of the 15 competing team members received at least one medal in the tournament.

First Place – 1 point for each event

Boomilever: Nick Johnson and Eric VanDyke

Compound Machines: Perry Benson and Nick Sterenberg

Mission Possible: Perry Benson and Nick Sterenberg

Scrambler: Nick Johnson and Eric VanDyke

Water Quality: Varun Biddanda and Adam Greer

Second Place – 2 points for each event

Anatomy and Physiology: Kaia Hayes and Karl Johnson

Astronomy: Luke Dionise and Scott Peters

Disease Detectives: Varun Biddanda and Karl Johnson

Entomology: Haley Kalis and Ellie Scholtz

Rocks and Minerals: Varun Biddanda and Ellie Scholtz

Third Place – 3 points for each event

Materials Science: Perry Benson and Nick Sterenberg

Write It, Do It: Ellie Scholtz and Alexander Sokoly

Fourth Place – 4 points for each event

Circuit Lab: Alexander Sokoly and Nick Sterenberg

Experimental Design: Luke Dionise, Kaia Hayes, and Evan Miller

Fifth Place – 5 points

Bungee Drop: Braeton Ardell and Scott Peters

Sixth Place – 6 points

MagLev – Braeton Ardell and Alexander Sokoly

Seventh Place – 7 points

Technical Problem Solving: Luke Dionise and Scott Peters

Eighth Place – 8 points

GeoLogic Mapping: Braeton Ardell and Haley Kalis

Ninth Place – 9 points

Dynamic Planet: Perry Benson and Ellie Scholtz

Thirteenth Place – 13 points for each event

Designer Genes: Adam Greer and Karl Johnson

Elastic Launched Glider: Nick Johnson and Eric VanDyke

Fourteenth Place – 14 points

Chemistry Lab: Karl Johnson and Evan Miller

Sixteenth Place – 16 points

Forensics: Kaia Hayes and Eric VanDyke

Alternate team members for the high school team are Scott Bays, Emily Bruch, Fritz Jaeger, Anna Jullie, Brittany Jullie, Emily Stringham, Grant Teeple, Connor Weber, and Emma Wingard.

Assistant coaches for the high school team are Eric Dykstra, Roger Glass, Greg Huizenga, Jason Hunter, George Jaeger, Kris Johnson, John Mauro, Robert Monetza, Marcella Morrell, Julie Olson, Margaret Shay, Robert Shay, Scott Stanley, Mike Sterenberg, Dennis Striegle, Dan Tlachac, Jim Vande Waa, and Jeremey Wilder.

The following is a list of the individual results for Lakeshore Middle School.

Boomilever: (1st Place) Ciana Witherell and Noah Van Abbema;

Meteorology; (1st Place)  Ciana Witherell and John Richardson;

Can't Judge a Powder: (2nd Place) Leah Chappell and Andrea VanDyke;

Metric Mastery: (2nd Place) Ciana Witherell and John Richardson;

Rocks and Minerals: (2nd Place) Trent Stegink and John Richardson;

Dynamic Planet: (3rd Place) Travis Myers and Maiya Yu;

Shock Value: (3rd Place)  Kaden Kar and Travis Myers;

Crime Busters; (4th Place) Leah Chappell and Andrea VanDyke;

Experimental Design: (4th Place) Kaden Kar, Travis Myers, and Noah Merriman;

Solar System: (5th Place) Travis Myers and Trent Stegink;

Anatomy: (6th Place)  Leah Chappell and Ian Dean;

Simple Machines: (6th Place) Ciana Witherell and Ben Lutz;

Disease Detectives: (7th Place) Leah Chappell and Noah Merriman;

Heredity: (7th Place) Leah Chappell and Maiya Yu;

Robo-Cross: (8th Place) Ron Hodge and Noah Van Abbema;

Entomology: (9th Place) Leah Chappell and Trent Stegink;

Water Quality: (9th Place)  John Richardson and Maiya Yu;

Road Scholar: (11th Place)  Kaden Kar and Trent Stegink;

Rotor Egg Drop: (11th Place) Ciana Witherell and Ron Hodge;

Sounds of Music: (11th Place) Ciana Witherell and Maiya Yu;

Helicopters: (12th Place) Noah Van Abbema and Ben Wassell;

Write it, Do it: (16th Place) Andrea VanDyke and Maiya Yu;

Wheeled Vehicle: (26th Place) Noah Van Abbema and Ben Wassell.

Individual results for White Pines Middle School were as follows:

Anatomy - 20  Ellie Van Dyke and Samantha Kasbohm

Boomilever - 7  Nolan Ruble and Grace Doyon

Can't Judge a Powder - 30  Sophia Jaeger and Ellie Van Dyke

Crime Busters - 21  Sophia Jaeger and Nolan Ruble

Disease Detectives - 37   Samantha Kasbohm and Matt Marcus

Dynamic Planet - 27   Sophia Jaeger and Carter Brown

Entomology - 16  Leah Chappell and Trent Stegink

Experimental Design - 16  Nolan Ruble, Bennett Lowe, and Kiya Hammond

Helicopters - 25  Nolan Ruble and Grace Doyon

Heredity - 23  Carter Brown and Tess O'Leary

Meteorology - 15  Samantha Kasbohm and Brenner Kar

Metric Mastery - 8  Ellie Van Dyke and Brenner Kar

Road Scholar - 12  Brenner Kar and George Fullerton

Robo Cross - 19  Matt Marcus and Kiya Hammond

Rocks and Minerals - 20  Sophia Jaeger and Elizabeth Haan

Rotor Egg Drop - 4   Nolan Ruble and Grace Doyon

Shock Value - 19  Brenner Kar and Weston Taylor

Simple Machines - 23  Bennett Lowe and Weston Taylor

Solar System - 30  Matt Marcus and Samantha Kasbohm

Sounds of Music - 30  Elizabeth Haan and Oscar Sipe

Water Quality - 16  Ellie Van Dyke and Kiya Hammond

Wheeled Vehicle - 27  Bennett Lowe and Matt Marcus

Write it Do it - 30  Ellie Van Dyke and Matt Marcus

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