Grand Haven Tribune: GHHS in top 10, Lakeshore Middle School 12th in National Science Olympiad

GHHS in top 10, Lakeshore Middle School 12th in National Science Olympiad

Becky Vargo • Jul 22, 2015 at 11:46 AM

Strong winds may have buffeted the buses on the way home, but the same winds didn’t bother the levelheaded students competing in this year’s National Science Olympiad Tournament at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln over the weekend.

Grand Haven High School’s team matched last year’s finish by placing ninth out of 60 teams in the nation.

They also finished three spots ahead of Northville High School, which beat Grand Haven by 23 points to win the state competition earlier this month.

Troy High School of California won the competition.

The Lakeshore Middle School team jumped up a dozen spots this year, moving from 24th place last year to 12th place this year.

Mead Mills Middle school from Northville placed ninth. Meads finished first at the state competition.

First place went to Solon Middle School of Ohio.

“This year we were second at State,” said high school Coach Mike Reed. “I told the kids I really had no idea where we were going to finish” at Nationals.

The coach said he was happy with his team’s accomplishments.

“In the top nine teams there were five teams who have been national champions – including Grand Haven,” Reed said. “You know you’re in good company.”

The coach said the national competition is a little like Musical Chairs, because you never know who is going to finish in first.

Still, Reed said it’s not about beating anybody.

“It’s about doing your best and seeing how high they can place in the national tournament.

Students from GHHS placed in the top 10 in the following events:

Bungee Drop, 2nd; Forensics, 6th; Green Generation, 3rd; Wright Stuff, 4th; Write It Do It, 5th; Hydrogeology (trial/pilot event), 4th; Fossils, 10th; Dynamic Planet, 10th; Entomology, 9th; Scrambler, 9th; and Tech Problem Solving, 10th.

Medals are awarded to the top six places.

This was the 25th year in a row that GHHS has competed at Nationals.

The National event will be at University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie in 2016.

“We’re hoping to be able to go again,” Reed said.

Lakeshore Middle School Coach Nate Mihalek said he was also pleased with the results of the competition.

“Our expectations are always to do the best we can,” he said. “I think all of our kids felt really good about how we did on Saturday.”

One of the things that showed the cool and calm nature of the team members was the walk-in nature of the competition.

“It caused big lines and caused our students to deviate,” Mihalek said.

Competitors were in line for Air Trajectory, when black clouds started rolling into the area.

Mihalek said the teammates broke out of line, went to the outdoor Bottle Rocket area and were able to complete the competition before any bad weather hit.

The team – Cam Pikaart and Thomas Draper - then rushed back to Air Trajectory, where they calmly pulled off the exercise and placed fourth in the nation, the coach said.

Mihalek said the team was excited to come so close to trophy range.

Trophies are awarded to the top 10 teams.

Lakeshore Middle School finished in the top 10 in the following events:

Air Trajectory, 4th; Bridge Building, 5th; Elastic Launched Gliders, 10th; Wheeled Vehicle, 10th; and Science Bowl (trial/pilot event), 8th.

For complete Science Olympiad Results go online to:


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