MCC-Penn Valley welcomes 400 brainiacs to Science Olympiad

MCC-Penn Valley president Dr. Joe Seabrooks took part in a Science Olympiad event.
After the Science Olympiad competitions but before winners were announced, MCC-Penn Valley president Dr. Joe Seabrooks and Olympians took part in a limbo contest in the PV gym. (Uh, Dr. Seabrooks, you’re not supposed to step OVER the pole!)

Almost 400 students from about 25 public, private and charter schools descended on the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley campus Saturday, Feb. 6, to compete in regional Science Olympiad contests.

The 27 teams of students came from schools and districts including North Kansas City Schools, Pembroke Hill, Notre Dame de Sion, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Platte County R-III, Kearney, Richmond, Oak Grove, Alta Vista Charter, University Academy and Northland Christian School.

There were two divisions: B (grades 5-9, 16 teams) and C (grades 9-12, 11 teams). Teams could have no more than 15 students. (There’s overlap in the divisions because some middle schools include ninth-graders.)

This event was a Missouri Science Olympiad regional tournament. Region 3 covers Buchanan, Caldwell, Clay, Clinton, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties. (More on Missouri Science Olympiad:

The ribbons await!
The trophies and ribbons await!

The competitions – with names such as Disease Detectives, Elastic Launched Glider, Bridge Building, Wind Power, Electric Vehicle, Dynamic Planet and Invasive Species – were held in various spots around the Penn Valley campus but centered in the Science & Technology building.

Missouri Science Olympiad Region 3 co-directors are Penn Valley biology instructor Terry Davin and English instructor Lisa Spaulding.

Yvette Sweeney, MCC-Penn Valley dean of student development, said Davin and Spaulding enlisted scores of volunteers – faculty, staff, students, administrators and community friends – to plan, run and judge events. Sweeney also thanked MCC police and the facilities and housekeeping staffs.  “It takes a village to host this event,” she says.

A team from the Kearney School District won entry into the state Science Olympiad, which will be in April.
A team from the Kearney School District won entry into the state Science Olympiad, which will be in April. Nine teams in all advanced.

Teams from nine schools will advance to the state Science Olympiad April 9 at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo.: high school teams from Pembroke Hill, Platte County, Plattsburg and Staley, and younger-division teams from Kearney, Notre Dame de Sion, Oak Grove, Pembroke Hill and Plattsburg.

MCC-Penn Valley has hosted the Missouri Science Olympiad regionals for about the last 15 years. For 15 years before that, Penn Valley and another college alternated as host.

The Kansas City Star covered the event: