Yankton teams finish first at State Science Olympiad at The U

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Two teams from Yankton, S.D., have been invited to compete at the 2009 National Science Olympiad Tournament after finishing first in the 25th annual South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament at The University of South Dakota.

For the 22nd consecutive year, Yankton Middle School won first place in the middle school division (Division B) while Yankton High School made it 21 straight years of first place finishes in the high school division (Division C) at the South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament. Both teams from Yankton now have an opportunity to compete at the 2009 National Science Olympiad Tournament at Augusta State University (Augusta, Ga.), May 15-16.

Coached by Cheryl Schaeffer, Brooks Schild, Tom Merrill and Elizabeth Dooley, Yankton Middle School won first place in Division B while Sacred Heart Middle School (Yankton, S.D.), coached by Marcia Olnes, was runner-up. Yankton High School, coached by Angie Hejl, Robert Medeck and Jama Mathison, won Division C as Brookings High School, coached by Kelly Riedell, finished second.

South Dakota schools participating in the 2009 Science Olympiad included (Division B):  first place – Yankton Middle, second – Sacred Heart Middle, third – Mickelson Middle (Brookings), fourth – Vermillion Middle, fifth – Timber Lake Middle, sixth – Elk Point-Jefferson Middle, seventh – Deuel Middle, eighth – Mitchell Middle, ninth – Gayville-Volin Middle. High School Division competitors: first – Yankton, second – Brookings, third – Great Plains Lutheran (Watertown), fourth – Mitchell, fifth – Gayville-Volin, sixth – Deuel, seventh – Todd County.

More than 200 middle school and high school students from South Dakota competed in several science events during the competition, which was March 28 on the USD campus. All events for the Science Olympiad are determined at the national level. For the state tournament, faculty, staff, and students from USD organized and served as judges for the events.