Science Olympiad teams head to state finals Saturday

MANISTEE — Science Olympiad team members from the Manistee High School and Manistee Catholic Central Junior High teams will have the opportunity to test their skills against the best in the state this Saturday at Michigan State University.

The Manistee Catholic Central Science Olympiad team will be taking on the best in the state this weekend at the state finals at Michigan State University.

Both teams won a berth in the state finals in February when they won the Regional competition for their respective levels at Mid Michigan Community College in Mt. Pleasant.

Manistee High School coaches Bridget Warnke and Kevin Postma said their team has been working hard all year for this opportunity at the state finals.

“This group is very special,” said Warnke. “They have really put their brains and their hearts into their events this year.”

Warnke said she is hoping that will mean the opportunity to bring home some medals at the end of the day.

“I expect us to get up on the stage this year for at least two to three events,” she said. “As coaches we have pushed them more, but they have accepted the challenge with grace and in some cases have gone above and beyond in what we have asked them to do.”

Postma agrees that the coaches would like nothing more than to see some medal winners among their team.

“We encourage kids to focus on their top two events,” said Postma. “Honestly at the state competition it doesn’t matter how we do as a team. What matters is getting some of our Olympians on the podium. That is what is going to help them in the long run when it comes to apply for colleges and getting scholarships.”

The Manistee High School Science Olympiad team is looking to win some medals at the state finals on Saturday at Michigan State University.

However, Postma said the experience of competing at the state level is just as important.

“It is the journey that is the most meaningful,” said Postma. “This is a wonderful group of students that works hard and loves to learn and think.”

Team members making the trip to East Lansing to compete are  Heather Antal, Brynn O’Donnell, Mia Briski, Kiera Raymond, Jack Holtgren, Roger Lind, Titus Lind, Liam Quinn, Katie Huber, Mason Schaubroeck, Luke Herberger, Nicole Weaver, Eleanor Scarlata, Solana Postma, Maddie Verheek and Nicole Weaver.

Postma said they have been challenging the students to stay sharp by using some unique practice activities.

“To keep them practicing, we have been utilizing released tests from Science Olympiad Invitationals around the country,” said Postma. “The tests we have been focusing on are the University of Michigan, Florida State, Princeton and MIT.”

Manistee Catholic Central Junior High coach Michelle McComb said her team has been working just as hard to prepare for the state finals.

“Yes, we are very excited to go to the state finals this year,” said McComb. “The kids have been working hard, and we are just tweaking things this week in preparation for next weekend.”

McComb said she is hoping some of the students bring back medals from the state competition.

“We are especially looking forward to seeing how our building events do this year,” she said. “The Boomilever, Roller Coaster, Battery Buggy, Elastic Launched Glider, and Thermodynamics are the events we think we will be the strongest in, though the kids have been working hard on their study events as well.”

McComb said her hopes are that the Manistee community gets well represented at the tournament again this year.

“It’s so wonderful to be representing Manistee, and we especially look forward to cheering on our MHS friends at state as well,” said McComb.

Manistee Catholic Central Junior High team members are Brendan McComb, Kyle McLinden, Matt Gunia, Lee Pizana, Ian Madsen, Kaylyn Johnson, Ashley VanAelst, Josie Ziehm, Alex Shriver, Elena Pizana, Plaine Ralph, Ana Watkins, Verda Korzeniewski, Abbey Logan, Rachel Callesen, Taryn Kempf and Mallory Meikle.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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