Courtesy / GVSU
On Saturday, March 23, the Grand Valley State University Allendale Campus will be home to the Region 12 Michigan Science Olympiad Tournament. This will be the GVSU Regional Math and Science Center’s 35th time hosting the event, and they are excited to celebrate the excellence Science Olympiad continues to foster.
“Region 12 Michigan Science Olympiad Tournament is a regional tournament that serves as a qualifier for the Michigan State Competition in April,” said tournament Co-Director Chelsea Ridge. “Middle and high school students compete in over 50 events that are related to various science fields.”
Last year, the tournament consisted of 40 middle school and 26 high school teams. Region 12 of Michigan Science Olympiad is made up of Kent and Ottawa Counties.
“GVSU is excited to invite local students passionate about science to campus to display their skill,” Ridge said. “It is a wonderful partnership that we have with the community.”
The main focus of Science Olympiad is to increase and encourage interest and success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. To do this, Science Olympiad creates events that focus on different aspects of STEMs. Students who participate develop a well-rounded STEM education.
According to the Science Olympiad website, their “competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division. Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology.”
The tournament not only fosters a love and passion for the STEMs, but it also teaches students how to work effectively as members of a team.
“Michigan Science Olympiad is special because it gives students an opportunity to work collaboratively and be recognized for their unique talents in science,” Ridge said. “Teams practice for months in order to be ready for the tournament.”
The Region 12 tournament is a huge event, with competitions taking place in Mackinac Hall, Padnos Hall of Science, Kindschi Hall of Science, Kirkhof Center and Fieldhouse Arena. All events will be taking place between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., with an award ceremony starting at 4 p.m. in the Kelly Family Sports Center. All GVSU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to check out the various events happening around campus.
“I look forward to seeing over 3,000 people on campus excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Ridge said. “It is a very exciting time and you will see the enthusiasm all over the Allendale campus.”
Being such a large event, volunteers are needed for it to be a success. Ridge said that the Regional Math and Science Center has over 300 volunteers and 100 faculty members supporting the event. Those interested in volunteering must register by Friday, March 15.