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Science Olympiad to Start Soon

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The 2016-17 team were in high spirits after placing fourth overall at regionals and qualifying for states.

The 2016-17 team were in high spirits after placing fourth overall at regionals and qualifying for states.

The 2016-17 team were in high spirits after placing fourth overall at regionals and qualifying for states.

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Science Olympiad is an activity offered at Ionia High School and Middle School, but is often overlooked. It’s an activity that challenges students mentally and allows them to expand their knowledge of science based topics. Mr. Ondersma teaches his members to expand their thinking and learn how to take the skills they learn into college and future careers.

The team of about fifteen students practice after school every Thursday, and some Tuesdays when competition is close. At the typical practice, you can expect to find students at lab benches, each of them working on an independent project. These projects range from knowledge and studying events, to build events; robots, homemade windmills, and helicopters made out of balsa wood make the list. Last years helicopter weighed about seven grams, roughly the weight of a number two pencil, and stayed in the air for almost a minute, relying on rubber band power to propel itself. One of the robots made was a mechanical arm that was built and programmed to pick up a series of objects and flip over coins.

Students Aaron Leonard (Graduated) and Caleb French (Sophomore) with the robot they constructed for their event.

 

In Science Olympiad, you can have many different events and partners. At the average competition you will see classrooms full of students, each room containing a different event. Those doing knowledge events will be studying the notes they put together and the students in build events will be testing their devices. After all the events are done, everyone finds themselves in a gym or auditorium, excited for the ceremony. The coordinator then announces the winners in each event, typically the top five or more.  You get a medal in your event if you place in the top three, and the points are tallied for scores in all events. The top three teams overall get a trophy, and, in the case of regionals, an invitation to states.

The team competes in invitational, regional, and state competitions. At the regional competition, it’s common for Ionia to place in the top four teams, bringing in many individual medals. The team has qualified for the state competition the last two years in a row, and even had a pair place last year, and is expected to return this upcoming year. The program received a grant to go towards better supplies and training for the team.


Students, Kaitlyn Hickok and Joe Mayer (both seniors) as they accept their medal at the state competition.

To join the team seek out Mr. Ondersma in room 115. The season should begin in late October. Anyone can join at any time as long as they take it seriously and work towards doing their best in their events. Practices will be held after school every Thursday in room 115.

 

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Science Olympiad to Start Soon