Niles area students participate in annual science competition at Lake Michigan College

Published 8:00 am Thursday, March 11, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
BENTON HARBOR -- The importance of teamwork was the most enduring lesson taken from this year's 17th annual Berrien County Science Olympiad.
High school and middle school students from both Niles and Brandywine participated in the science based competition on Wednesday at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor.
Science Olympiad is a team event in which members from each school participate in a variety of science related activities to determine the winners.
With a variety of science experiments and tests of knowledge, most students made it clear their favorite part of the competition was the team comradery.
Competition is another aspect of the program that the students really enjoy.
Niles High School junior Collin Aycock came back to the room to display the scores from recent events and was excited to announce the high school was in second place overall at 1 p.m.
Aycock said he really enjoys the competitive aspect, but thinks the best part of Science Olympiad is the teamwork they must display.
Brandywine High School science teacher and the school's coach Sue Jordan also thinks competition is a big part of the program, but said just being involved is even more important than winning.
They love to compete, but they don't care if they get first place, they just want the experience," she said.
Students from both Niles and Brandywine spent months preparing for the competition.
This year the program was attended by 25 Berrien County middle and high schools and featured 34 different events.
Each team is made up of a maximum of 15 students who participate in a couple activities each. Some of the activities are performed on an individual basis, while others require partners.
There are winners for both the high school and middle school divisions with the top two teams advancing to the state competition. Individuals cannot advance to state competition even if they win their event, it is only the whole team that can be invited.
Ring Lardner science teacher and one of the school's coaches Vicki Anders thinks Science Olympiad is important because the lessons they learn go beyond what they are taught in school.
Niles High School who took first place in the Berrien County competition last year placed third overall this year.
Please continue to watch the Niles Daily Star, for Ring Lardner and Brandywine schools' results.