By Jason Wesseldyk
KALAMAZOO—Several third-place finishes highlighted a strong showing for a group of Plainwell High School students at a regional Science Olympiad Tournament held at Western Michigan University on Saturday, March 18.
Those third-place performances for Plainwell included: Thai Nguyen and Henry Cox for Fermi Questions; Hiro Nguyen and Isabelle DeLaet for Forensics; Isaac Veen and Jonathan Elliott for Rocks and Minerals; and Veen and Elliott for Astronomy.
Abram Longcore, Justin Carpenter, Jacob Erdody, Sophie Cox and Audrey Todd were also part of the Plainwell contingent.
PHS math teacher Ben Bakalyar and PHS physics/math teacher Stephanie Larson served as coaches for the team.
“It was a fantastic event and the participating students represented PHS very well,” the district said in a Facebook post.
The event, hosted by WMU’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, welcomed a total of more than 750 high school and middle school students from more than 45 schools in the region.
“Michigan Science Olympiad and WMU are a perfect pairing because together we can work towards the mission of increasing scientific literacy in students, while also helping them explore possible STEM careers,” said Marty Buehler, Science Olympiad regional director at WMU.
Students were able to choose from a list of 46 different events that covered a variety of STEM topics.
“Science Olympiad offers students experiences they may not get during their normal school day and provides a chance to participate in hands-on STEM activities,” said Dr. Steve Butt, dean of Western’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “We hope the next generation of scientists, engineers and other professionals are inspired through the teamwork, competition and topics explored at this year’s tournament.”
In addition to the third-place finishes, here are the other results for the Plainwell students:
—Cell Biology, sixth place, Longcore and Carpenter
—Experimental Design, fifth place, Veen and Hiro Nguyen
—Write it, Do it, sixth place, Thai Nguyen and Cox
—Anatomy/Physiology, fifth place, Erdody and Longcore
—Disease Detective, fifth place, Todd and Hiro Nguyen
—Chemistry Lab, fifth place, DeLaet and Sophie Cox
—Forestry, fifth place, Erdody and Longcore
—Green Generation, fourth place, Cox and Todd
—Dynamic Planet, eighth place, DeLaet and Veen