Saline High School Science Olympiad advanced to Michigan's State Championship Tournament after qualifying at the Region 9 Tournament on Saturday, March 17.
Saline finished second and brought home the runner-up trophy, winning 21 medals in the 23 events while Saline's alternate team won two medals. Pioneer held on to win the Region and will also advance.
'Region 9 is probably the most challenging region in the state' Several teams in our region are capable of finishing in the top 10 in the state. Our students understood the challenge and did not shy away from the competition. Instead, they redoubled their efforts on events that were behind the competition and in several cases caught up and beat them. I was very proud of how our team worked and how our team has had a philosophy of working for one another," Saline head coach said Nath Akella.
Saline High School has had an amazing run this year, after winning the Plymouth Invitational in February, Saline took third at the University of Michigan Tournament which hosted teams from all over the mid-west. Saline has also beaten state championship teams from several other states this year in competitions held in other parts of the mid-west.
Saline won seven gold medals Saturday. They were Disease Detectives won by Ruth and Leah, an event on Epidemiology; Game On won by Keshav and Reagan, an event where competitors write a computer game in one hour; Materials Science won by Jason and Ruth, an event that covers Polymer Science and Materials Engineering; Micromission won by Jason and Reagan, an event on Microbiology; Mission Possible won by Dana and Jordan, and event where they build a 14 mechanism machine; Rocks and Minerals won the Ruth and Lia, an event involving identification of geologic specimens; Write-it-Do-it won by Ailen and Yolian, an event where one competitor writes a description of an item given and then the second has to build it without seeing it. Saline also took seven silver medals and seven bronze medals.
The Salinee High School team is also excited that Saline Middle School will be joining them at the state tournament. The middle school also finished second in their division at the regional championship earning a berth.
"We have been really excited about the growth in Science Olympiad. The program has doubled in size at the high school and we project adding a third team for the high school next year. It reflects the commitment that our teachers and administration have to fostering interest in STEM here in Saline. We have also had amazing community support with many experts in their fields coming in to share their backgrounds with us. Right now our focus will be States. Michigan is one of the toughest states in the country and the top two teams get to advance to Nationals. Our goal is to be one of the two." said Akella.
A rising 9th grade orientation session will be held in April for current eighth graders. Students interested in joining should also attend that session. The date will be announced after spring break.