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  • Sarah Honzowitz and Portland Beacon Staff

Portland High School Science Olympiad Team Celebrates Successful Season

The Portland High School Science Olympiad team traveled to Lansing Community College last Saturday to compete in the Region 11 High School Regional Tournament and concluded its competitive season by finishing 8th out of 13 teams.

This year’s team members included;

Senior- Kaylee Muirhead; Junior- Marissa Shaltry; Sophomores- Katherine Stallard, Gerrit Hoving, Ryan Watkins, Jacob Vroman, Cade Vallier, Kelly Ward, and Jacob Bliss. Freshmen-Connor Lyon, Emily Hill, Leah Nelson, Madison Luxmore, Kaine Thelen, Elaina Volk, Collin Calley, Jorgen Sonday, Timothy Pohl, and Keith Heyboer.

Science Olympiad is a 24-Event Competition that includes testing and building activities at each meet. Events include topic areas such as “Disease Detective”, “Experimental Design”, “Circuit Lab”, “GeoLogic Mapping”, “Water Quality”, “Potions and Poisons”, “Herpetology”, “CodeBusters”, and fifteen others. There are 6 places for each event. Teams final scores are based on their cumulative placing in each event. Each team member and a partner are assigned to compete in 2-4 events at each meet. This year Portland’s Science Olympiad team placed 14th out of 24 teams at the Allendale Invitational and 5th out of 14 teams at the Perry Invitational.

While the Portland High team did not place in the top five teams, that will advance to the State Tournament competition, there were some outstanding individual performances at the Regional Meet;

Kelly Ward took 2nd place in the mouse trap vehicle event while Jacob Bliss and Timothy Pohl on the alternate team took 1st!

The team of Gerrit Hoving, Kaylee Muirhead and Cade Vallier took 3rd in Code Busters.

Katie Stallard and Ryan Watkins took 4th in Dynamic Planet and 5th place in Geologic Mapping.

Gerrit Hoving and Cade Vallier took 5th in Fermi Questions.

The following team members took 6th place in their events: Kaylee Muirhead and Collin Calley in Mission Possible; Connor Lyon and Leah Nelson in Protein Modeling; Gerrit Hoving and Collin Calley in Wright Stuff. Alternate Team members Keith Heyboer and Timothy Pohl took 6th in Fermi Questions and Keith finished in 4th place in Astronomy.

Portland High School’s Science Olympiad team is coached and taught by Sarah Honzowitz. Ms. Honzowitz has been teaching at the High School for the past 18 years, and currently teaches Computer Science and Forensic Science. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Technology from Central Michigan University. She may be reached at

Portland Middle School also fields a Science Olympiad team, led by Jill Scheurer, will be competing in the Middle School State Competition as a result of an overall 5th place Regional finish. Watch for the story of the Middle School Science Olympiad team in next week’s Beacon.

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