Gladstone students take first at Science Olympiad regionals

Courtesy photo Memmbers of the Gladstone Division B Science Olympiad team pose with their banner and first-place trophy. Pictured are, from left to right, front row: Tori Wendrick and Hannah Litts; middle row: Kierra Jursch, Lexi Litts, Landon Fee, Allayna Rein, Devin Messina, Austin Brown and Cameron Lee; back row: Dominick Servant, Evan Zimmerman and Mackenzie Niswonger.

GLADSTONE — Gladstone Junior High School’s Science Olympiad team placed 1st at the Regional Tournament that was held at the Seaborg Center at Northern Michigan University on Saturday, Feb. 17.

Science Olympiad is a team competition in which students demonstrate their skill levels in various scientific and mathematical disciplines such as earth science, engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, trigonometry, geometry, etc.

During the Regional competition, the students on the Gladstone Jr. High team competed against ten other Upper Peninsula teams in 23 different events. The 23 events were comprised of building events, lab events, and study events specifically designed to improve critical thinking, communication, decision quality, problem solving, and teamwork.

In addition to the overall 1st place team finish, every student on the team earned at least one other individual medal for an event in which he/she had participated. When the Gladstone Junior High team exited the award ceremony, there was some significant clanking going on as every student had earned between two and five medals.

The first place team finish has qualified the team to compete at the State competition that will be held at Michigan State University on Saturday, April 28. There the team will compete against the 2nd and 3rd place U.P. teams, as well as, the top teams from the 14 other regions that are located in the Lower Peninsula.

Courtesy photo Brett Boudreau and Landon Fee proudly show their Science Olympiad medals.

Coach, Barb Litts, said she was extremely proud of each and every student.

“The middle school students need to know some very high level math and science skills to compete in these events. Many of the skills have not been introduced yet in school so the students have to work very hard to learn and master these new skills in a short amount of time. It takes a tremendous amount of drive, determination, and commitment to be successful in Science Olympiad. The other event coaches and I knew that our students would perform well, but we were beyond ecstatic and proud when the team landed the win.”

The 6th – 8th grade students that participated on the GJHS Science Olympiad team are as follows: Brett Boudreau, Austin Brown, Landon Fee, Kierra Jursch, Cameron Lee, Hannah Litts, Lexi Litts, Devin Messina, Mackenzie Niswonger, Allayna Rein, Dominick Servant, Carter Stroud, Tori Wendrick, and Evan Zimmermann.

The team would also like to recognize the following individuals for their support and time: Dave Ballard (principal), Melissa Egner (team sponsor and teacher), Matt Hayen (event coach), Jim Jursch (event coach), Tammy Jursch (event coach), Barb Litts (event coach), Wes Litts (event coach), Holly Niswonger (event coach), Katie Poma (teacher), Carl Servant (event coach), Jon Smith (teacher), and the parents of the students.

For a list of the events in which the team competed, as well as, a short description of the events, visit

Courtesy photo Carter Stroud shows off the two medals he won at the regional competition.