Panther Science Olympiad squads excel.

March 23, 2016
Juniors Collin Nielsen (left) and Olivia Prado display their air trajectory device.

Juniors Collin Nielsen (left) and Olivia Prado display their air trajectory device.

ALMA — Hesperia middle school and high school students had exciting finishes during regional competition of Science Olympiad at Alma College Saturday, March 19.

The high school team finished fifth out of 16 teams, and the newly-formed middle school team finished sixth out of 12 West Michigan teams.

Juniors Camryn Johnson (left) and Olivia Erlewein won first place in the event, Invasive Species.

Juniors Camryn Johnson (left) and Olivia Erlewein won first place in the event, Invasive Species.

Science Olympiad provided challenges for students interested in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) to become “specialists” in events like Disease Detectives, GeoLogic Mapping, Protein Modeling or Bridge Building. During the regional competition, there are 15 different competitive events. A full Science Olympiad team roster is composed of up to 15 students, and most events allow students to compete in pairs.

The high school team had top finishes in several events; including first in Invasive Species and fourth in Fossils. Camryn Johnson and Olivia Erlewein represented both events. Additional top finishes included fifth place in Air Trajectory and Electric Vehicle, represented by Olivia Prado and Collin Nielsen, and fifth in Protein Modeling, represented by new members, Claire Rumsey and Megan Norris.

Hesperia High School Science Olympiad Team includes: front row, left to right, McGwire Cechura, Eli O’Neill, Camryn Johnson, Claire Rumsey, Alissa Tracy; back row, left to right, Olivia Prado, Luke Krupp, Collin Nielsen, Dominick Varela, Olivia Erlewein, Delaney Hussey, Megan Norris and Coach Jennifer Sherburn.

Hesperia High School Science Olympiad Team includes: front row, left to right, McGwire Cechura, Eli O’Neill, Camryn Johnson, Claire Rumsey, Alissa Tracy; back row, left to right, Olivia Prado, Luke Krupp, Collin Nielsen, Dominick Varela, Olivia Erlewein, Delaney Hussey, Megan Norris and Coach Jennifer Sherburn.

“Science Olympiad provides a great opportunity for students who are interested in science, particularly engineering, to explore topics that they find interesting,” said Hesperia Science Olympiad Coach Jennifer Sherburn. “I am very excited about the future of the program at Hesperia. We will miss our lone senior member, Dominick Varela, but I think underclassmen are ready to step up and fill some big shoes. Additionally, it is great for my students to have the opportunity to participate in middle school.”

More than half of the students on Hesperia’s new middle school team received medals. With 15 events, nine middle school awards were received.  Top finishes included: fourth place in Meteorology, Chris Stapel and Kirsten Clark; fourth place in Wind Power, Chris Stapel and Kolby Dickinson; fourth place in Invasive Species, Samantha Bieri and Jamie Rossman; third place in Air Trajectory, Gabe Prado and Isaac Parker; and third place in Disease Detectives, McKenna LaCount.

Hesperia Middle School Science Olympiad Team includes: front row, left to right, teacher Ben Westgate, Hunter Dickinson, McKenna LaCount, Samantha Bieri, Jamie Rossman, Aydan Roesley, Christopher Staple, Jarrett Budde, Kolby Dickinson, Makayla Santos, Sennett Garrett; bottom row, left to right, Gabe Prado, Kirsten Clark, Skylor Pryor and Isaac Parker. Not pictured is Dan Postema.

Hesperia Middle School Science Olympiad Team includes: front row, left to right, teacher Ben Westgate, Hunter Dickinson, McKenna LaCount, Samantha Bieri, Jamie Rossman, Aydan Roesley, Christopher Staple, Jarrett Budde, Kolby Dickinson, Makayla Santos, Sennett Garrett; bottom row, left to right, Gabe Prado, Kirsten Clark, Skylor Pryor and Isaac Parker. Not pictured is Dan Postema.

“I was so impressed with the Hesperia students and their passion, commitment and excitement,” said seventh grade science teacher Ben Westgate. “These are the students who will be leading the future in many STEM-related careers.”   

Editor’s Note: OCP has reached out to Shelby Public Schools to obtain information about the Tiger Science Olympiad teams. Watch for an upcoming report about Shelby’s performance.

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