Michigan Science Olympiad regional competition returns to GVSU

A large group of people sits on a floor with football-like yard markers. There also is a podium where people are sitting and one person is talking.
A Science Olympiad awards ceremony from 2019.

The Region 12 Michigan Science Olympiad at Grand Valley State University is returning to a fully in-person competition after two years of pandemic-related interruptions.

The competition will be held March 19 at locations throughout Grand Valley's Allendale Campus, with the headquarters at the Fieldhouse Arena. About 700 middle school and high school students from Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties will display their work in STEM, said Chelsea Ridge, co-director of the tournament that has long been hosted by Grand Valley.

The 46 scheduled events include competitions involving airplanes, indoor bottle rockets, vehicles and more, Ridge said. Events start at 8:30 a.m. and the awards ceremony is slated to start at 4 p.m.

Ridge said organizers are excited to welcome everyone back to campus to reconnect with the invigorating atmosphere of a Science Olympiad, where teamwork and problem solving are key elements for success.

"The team dynamic helps students to foster a community at their school where they can dig deeper in STEM areas they are passionate about that may not be covered in a traditional science class," Ridge said. "The tournament is an opportunity for them to showcase all they have worked so diligently to master throughout the season."

Of the 46 teams that are competing, six middle school and six high school teams will qualify for the state tournament, Ridge said.

The competition is hosted by GVSU's Regional Math and Science Center.