Slauson Middle School took first place in the Science Olympiad State Championship on April 28 to earn a trip to the National Science Olympiad Competition at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., May 18-19.
Science Olympiad is a state and national organization devoted to increasing student enthusiasm for science through practicing and competing in a variety of scientific team events.
The state championship was held at Michigan State University. Slauson took first overall in Division B with 120 points after finishing first in seven individual categories. They were top five in 13 of the 23 events.
The categories included ecology, crime busters, battery buggy, hovercraft, meteorology, microbe mission, optics, solar system, road scholar and Wright stuff. There also are typically a small number of trial events each year as organizers update event parameters annually. Most events are rotated out after two or three years to prevent schools from becoming so proficient that they gain an unfair advantage.
Meads Mill Middle School took second with 155 points followed by Lakeshore Middle School (Grand Haven) with 177 and Canton Charter Academy (297).
The National Championships will feature 59 other teams from all over the country. The National Science Olympiad organization creates a rule book for 23 Division B (Middle School) events annually. Schools registered with their state organizations receive the rules, and teams of 15 students are permitted to compete at competitions.
This will be the first trip to nationals for an Ann Arbor school since 1992.
Slauson has had great success in recent years. The team has taken first place at Regionals every year but one since 2013, including in March when this current group scored a first-place finish. They took third at states in 2015 and 2016 and finished fourth last year.
Slauson was one of the original Science Olympiad teams but the school hasn’t always fielded a team – most notably from 1999 through 2005. In 2006, a high school student, with the guidance from Mr. Strite, restarted the club with a team of eight or so students. The program grew stronger each of the next few years.
Slauson took first at both the State Championship and the National Championship in 1985 and 1986.
The team is coached by Karthik Ganesan.
Here is the Slauson team roster:
For more information on the team, log onto: https://sites.google.com/site/slausonsso/