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Bessemer students compete at state Science Olympiad


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Bessemer students James Jendrusina and Kate Karling prepare to launch their elastic gliders at the 31st Michigan Science Olympiad in East Lansing April 27. The pair finished 29th out of 48 high school teams.

EAST LANSING — A total of 32 Bessemer middle and high school students traveled to Michigan State University in East Lansing to compete in the 31st Michigan Science Olympiad on April 27. Regional competitions in February and March narrowed more than 400 high school and middle school students down to 96 teams.

The high school team finished 33rd of 48 high school teams, while the middle school placed 39th out of 48 middle school teams. “Although the competition was fierce, our small school did very well and we were proud to represent our community,” said Dave Rowe, who coaches the teams with his wife, Tracy Rowe.

The state competition featured 46 competitive events like experimental design, thermodynamics, remote sensing, chemistry, astronomy, technical problem-solving and forensics.

“The community and parents were very supportive, which is why our students were so successful,” said Tracy Rowe.

The students raised $7,000 to attend the Olympiad. They conducted a bake sale at a basketball game, and Dairy Queen sponsored a smoothie fundraiser. Most of the money came from donations from 74 businesses and individuals.

High school event results included:

—Boomlever, 15th place, Jimmy Jendrusina and Nicki Lekies.

—Dynamic planet, 25th place, Danny Trekas and Zack Mazurek.

—Elastic launch glider, 29th place, Jimmy Jendrusina and Kate Karling.

—Forestry, 16th place, Molly Wieringa and Harmony Osborn.

—Magnetic levitation, 25th place, Nicki Lekies and Daniel Noren.

—Material science, 27th place, Daniel Noren and Harmony Osborn.

—Rocks and minerals, 20th place, Alex Hooyman and Molly Wieringa.

—Water quality, 28th place, Valerie Rowe and D.I. Aspinwall.

—Green generation, 19th place, Danny Trekas and Zack Mazurek.

—Geologic mapping, 17th place, Danny Trekas and Jess Mazzon.

—Anatomy and physiology, 31st place, Mark Montonati and Harmony Osborn.

—Robot arm, 32nd place, D.I. Aspinwall and Jenika Laukka.

—Write It, Do It, 32nd place, Valerie Rowe and Molly Wieringa.

Middle schoolers event results include:

—Write It, Do It, third place, Steph Pestka and Madison Jacobson.

—Anatomy, 20th place, Byron Hooyman and Madeline Gabka.

—Helicopters, 26th place, Kim Wendinger and Steph Pestka.

—Mouse trap vehicle, 16th place, Jared Janczak and TJ Mazurek.

—Water quality, 26th place, Lily Wieringa and Megan Peterson.

—Forestry, 30th place, Lily Wieringa and Megan Peterson.

—Disease detectives, 31st place, Jared Janczak and Madeline Gabka.

—Mission Possible, 33rd place, Tim Rowe and Isaiah Aili.

“Coming from a small town, many students were a little overwhelmed being on such a large campus,” said Tracy Rowe. “However, being able to experience MSU was a great opportunity. Overall, the students did great navigating this beautiful campus. We are really proud of how the kids did.”


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