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Bethel Hosts High School Students in Science Competition

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Bethel University hosted the state finals for the Minnesota Science Olympiad on March 8. About 450 high school students from across Minnesota competed in science-themed events as well as opening and closing ceremonies for the annual competition.

“Unless you’ve been to a Science Olympiad tournament, it’s difficult to appreciate the atmosphere,” says Matthew Neibergall, assistant professor of chemistry at Bethel who helped organize the event. “The students compete with spirit, and they’re obviously having a lot of fun. I love seeing many hard working high school students at Bethel showcasing their talents.” 

The Minnesota Science Olympiad is an Olympic-themed science competition that includes 23 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) events for students. Examples of events include: elastic launch gliders, forensics, entomology, and a bungee drop. Other interesting events include the MagLev, where students design a vehicle that travels along a track, and the scrambler, where students operate a car with an egg attached to the front that has to stop at a precise point before the egg gets scrambled.

Students who attended the state competition already succeeded at regional Science Olympiad events. This year’s winners were from Mounds View High School, and they will go on to the national competition at the University of Central Florida. Wayzata came in second, Eastview in Apple Valley came in third, and Rochester Mayo came in fourth. For more information, go to minnesotaso.org. “Partnering with the dedicated teachers and volunteers of the Minnesota Science Olympiad organization has been a great experience, so I’m really glad we’ll be hosting this event again next year,” says Neibergall.