The halls of Pioneer High School were filled to bursting this past Saturday as hundreds of bright young students showed off their science skills in the annual Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad. 2nd through 5th graders from 39 area schools competed in events designed to increase an interest in science as well as promote teamwork and cooperation.
The Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad was founded in 2003 at Pattengill Elementary in Ann Arbor, and began with only a handful of Ann Arbor-area elementary school participants. This county-wide event has since grown by leaps and bounds, becoming the largest elementary Science Olympiad program in the world.
Science Olympiad events span a wide variety of areas such as aerodynamics, circuits, computer programming, properties of light, space and chemistry. Some events require knowledge of scientific facts and concepts, while others focus on scientific processes, skills, or applications. Competition is arranged by grade level, so students only compete against others their own age. The top 9 teams in each event are awarded a medal during a grade-specific awards ceremony; 4 teams receive honorable mention, and the top 5 ranked 1st through 5th place.
Dexter Schools began competing at WESO in 2013, and each year interest in the program has grown. This year 61 students from Dexter participated in the May 11th event, with 20 teams placing in the top 9 to win medals, up from 13 teams medaling last year. In two events, Mystery Architecture and Photon Phun, all four teams (2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades) from Dexter medaled.
“We are so proud of our coaches and kiddos,” said Dexter Science Olympiad head coaches, Lori Page and Kimberly Grimes. “We are proud of the hard work our students put forth preparing for and competing in the county wide tournament.”
Congratulations and well done to all of Dexter’s Science Olympiad participants!
Dexter Schools 2019 WESO results:
Aerodynamics – Quinn Dunham and Noah Fleuren, Honorable Mention
Barge Building – Claire Zaski and Hayden Rogers, 5th place
In Bloom – Audrey Bi and Claire Musleh, Honorable Mention
Map Reading – Liam Wenger and Audrey Bi, 1st place
Mystery Architecture – Liam Reinert and Connor Ruhland, Honorable Mention
Pasta Bridges – Lucy Platter and Emmalyn Saski, 3rd place
Photon Phun – Noah Fleuren, Liam Reinhert, and Griffin Backus, 3rd place
Feathered Friends – Sophie Page and Erin Nieman, Honorable Mention
In Bloom – Sophie Page and Alice Hayward, Honorable Mention
Mystery Architecture – Charlotte Ford and Markus Flowers, Honorable Mention
Photon Phun – Shepherd Thompson, Luke Cipolla, and David Fifelski, 4th place
Hang Time – Mae Barbaro and Megan Cabble, Honorable Mention
Map Reading – Ruaraidh Imfeld and Jack Grimes, 1st place
Mystery Architecture – Julianna Richards and Sophia Stefani, 4th place
Photon Phun – Ewan Imfeld, Jackson Ruhland, and Quentin Melzian, 4th place
Write it Build it – Eliza Bigelow, Jack Grimes, Julianna Richards, and Ruaraidh Imfeld, 5th place
Hang Time – Dane Barbaro, Andrew Barbaro, and Carson Zaski, Honorable Mention
Mystery Architecture – Gigi Kirkey and Lillian Mitchell, 3rd place
Photon Phun – Paul Cipolla and Tim Fifelski, Honorable Mention
Write it Build it – Lillian Mitchell, Gigi Kirkey, Anna Rye, and Allie Champion, 2nd place