Saturday, March 29, 2014 marked the 30th year for the Michigan Science Olympiad Region 12 Tournament (MSO) hosted by Grand Valley State University. The Science Olympiad organization is dedicated to improving the quality of science education, creating renewed interest in learning science and providing recognition of exemplary achievement in science education by students and teachers. For many years, GE Aviation and GVSU have been proud sponsors of the Science Olympiad Regional Tournament. This year, the Science Olympiad Region 12 Tournament gained additional sponsorship through Haviland Products Company and Lacks Enterprises, Inc. More than 1,100 students from 66 middle and high schools in Kent and Ottawa counties joined in the excitement of learning through competition. This event is the largest MSO Regional Tournament in Michigan. Top scoring Region 12 teams have typically done well at both the State and National MSO tournaments.
Bridge to the Future was the theme for this years tournament. In his welcome address, Dean Frederick Antczak of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences told the Olympians that Your'e smart to get involved in science, because you're facing a future that will be fundamentally shaped by its possibilities and consequences. He pointed out that, in their lifetimes, humankind may encounter forms of life that are genuinely extraterrestrial, develop means of instant communication that will put our iPhones to shame, live to be 150 years old, and make advances in the medical fields. Then he added, And of course your generation will face extraordinary challenges involving the environment. In a passionate closing he wanted all the Olympians to know that: YOU could be the person who cures spina bifida in infants, or Alzheimer's in older people, or some form of cancer. YOU could be the first human to walk on celestial objects beyond the Moon and Mars. YOU could make breakthrough discoveries in energy that will protect both the environment and our quality of life. Dr. Antczak's complete speech can be found here.
This year, ten middle schools from our region will be competing at the MSO State tournament at Michigan State University on April 26th 2014. In order of 1st place to 10th place they are: Lakeshore Middle School, Grandville Middle, Jenison Jr. High, Chandler Woods Charter, East Grand Rapids, Harbor Lights, Plymouth Christian, Macatawa Bay, White Pines, and Allendale Middle school. High school teams advancing to the MSO State tournament in order of 1st place to 6th place are: Grand Haven, Grand Rapids Christian, Plymouth Christian, West Ottawa, Forest Hills Central, and Grandville High Schools. Over the years, students who have participated in the spirit of MSO have developed strengths in problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills, while gaining a deeper understanding of science. These skills follow them in life, influencing graduate studies and careers in science research, teaching, medicine, and other science-related jobs. A BIG thank you goes out to all of this years participating teams and coaches, volunteers and event supervisors. Their dedication to education and science has touched thousands of students lives throughout the years. Kent and Ottawa County Science Olympiad teams will be invited back for next years MSO Regional Tournament on March 28, 2015.