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Ohio middle, high school teams top National Science Olympiad

National Science Olympiad event

Here, and below: 2011 National Science Olympiad events. Photos: David Nevala.

A team of middle-school students from Solon Middle School, Solon, Ohio, and a team of high-school students from Solon High School, also of Solon, Ohio, took top honors in the 2011 Science Olympiad National Tournament, held May 21 on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

An after-school team activity, Science Olympiad is one of the nation’s most prestigious and rigorous competitions of science, technology, engineering and math. The national tournament in Wisconsin drew 3,000 students on 120 winning middle- and high-school teams from 47 U.S. states. These teams advanced to the national tournament after winning their state-level competitions in spring 2011.

At both the state and national level, Science Olympiad teams compete in more than two-dozen scientific and engineering challenges on topics ranging from human health, ecology, chemistry, cell biology, geology and engineering. Awards are given for the best overall team score and individual scores in each event. 

2011 National Science Olympiad eventOther top high school winners at the national tournament include:
•    2nd—Centerville High School, Centerville, Ohio
•    3rd—West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, Princeton, New Jersey
•    4th—Troy High School, Fullerton, California
•    5th—Penncrest High School, Media, Pennsylvania
•    6th—Grand Haven High School, Grand Haven, Michigan
•    7th—New Trier Township High School, Winnetka, Illinois
•    8th—Harriton High School, Rosemont, Pennsylvania
•    9th—Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin, Texas
•    10th—Mira Loma High School, Sacramento, California

Other top middle school winners at the national tournament include:
•    2nd—Marie Murphy Middle School, Wilmette, Illinois
•    3rd—JC Booth Middle School, Peachtree City, Georgia
•    4th—Muscatel Middle School, Rosemead, California
•    5th—Magsig Middle School, Centerville, Ohio
•    6th—Lakeshore Middle School, Grand Haven, Michigan
•    7th—Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School, Setauket, New York
•    8th—Winston Churchill Middle School, Carmichael, California
•    9th—Pembroke Hill Middle School, Kansas City, Missouri
•    10th—Eagle Hill Middle School, Manlius, New York

A team of middle-school students from Hamilton Middle School, Madison, Wisconsin, placed 16th and a team of high-school students from Menomonie High School, Menomonie, Wisconsin, placed 12th overall in the competition.

In addition, teams from Hyde Park Middle School, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Randolph High School, Huntsville, Alabama, earned the 2011 Spirit Award, which recognizes schools whose team members exhibit behaviors, including exemplary sportsmanship, teamwork, team spirit and respect, that exemplify the spirit of the competition. (A full list of 2011 national tournament award recipients and official tournament results, including event-by-event scoring, is available via the 2011 national tournament link at

"These winning teams exemplify the best America has to offer in science, technology, engineering and math," says Gerard Putz, Science Olympiad president and co-founder. "We are proud of their achievements and know their schools and communities will welcome them home like champions."

American competitiveness hinges on increasing the number of people educated in science, technology, engineering and math—and U.S. Department of Labor statistics indicate demand for workers with expertise in these fields is rising. The Science Olympiad focus on teamwork, cooperation and real-world challenges can be a powerful tool in promoting interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

Students, family, friends and coaches who attended the national tournament also participated May 19 and 20 in many events, including UW-Madison science workshops, regional science-focused tours, a career and technology showcase, and two quintessential Wisconsin events: a bratwurst and root beer picnic on the shores of Madison’s Lake Mendota, and an ice-cream social.

Lead financial sponsors of the 2011 national tournament in Wisconsin include UW-Madison, the Illinois-based national office of Science Olympiad, Young Scientists of America, the United States Air Force, and combined support from John and Tashia Morgridge, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Other major sponsors include 3M Corp., Rockwell Automation, Bemis Corp., Plexus Corp., Trane Corp., University Research Park, J.H. Findorff and Son, Mortenson Construction, Alliant Energy, Boeing, Madison Gas & Electric, Fish and Associates, Kohler Corp., Promega, GE, Patheon Pharmaceuticals, Snap-On, UW Health, and the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers.

Science Olympiad is a Chicago-area-based national nonprofit organization founded in 1984. It is dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 STEM education, increasing male, female and minority interest in science, creating a technologically literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers. More than 180,000 students on 6,000 teams from all 50 states competed in 320 regional, state and national Science Olympiad tournaments last year.

Renee Meiller