The Kutztown Middle School Science Olympiad team who placed 4th overall at the Centraleastern Regional Science Olympiad competition held at Kutztown University on March 17. There were 23 individual events with Kutztown Middle School receiving a combined 14 medal count.

Now they move on to the Pennsylvania Science Olympiad State Tournament on April 29 at Juniata College.

“The kids were truly amazing! The MS team placed 4th and will be heading to the state finals on April 29,” said KMS Science Olympiad coach Bernard Boyle. “Congratulations to all the students who competed this year.”

Centraleastern Science Olympiad results for KMS includes the following:

Wright Stuff: Isaiah Nygard and Abigail Miller (1st place)

Experimental Design: Marina Schnell, Lauren Clymer, and Alyssa Love (1st place)

Road Scholar: Marina Schnell and Lauren Clymer (1st place)

Scrambler: Isaiah Nygard and Trenton Delp (2nd place)

Crime Busters: Marina Schnell and Lauren Clymer (2nd place)

Hovercraft: Isaiah Nygard and Kelly Leiby (3rd place)

Mission Possible: Sarah Love and Isaiah Nygard (3rd place)

Rock and Minerals: Marina Schnell and Lauren Clymer (3rd place)

Meteorology: Trenton Delp and Jason Heffner (3rd place)

Bag of Bones: Sylvia Kniss and Justin Ashman (3rd place)

Disease Detectives: Marina Schnell and Kelly Leiby (4th place)

Reach for the Stars: Marina Schnell and Lauren Clymer (4th place)

Towers: Sarah Love and Abigail Miller (4th place)

Wind Power: Isaiah Nygard and Trenton Delp (4th place)

Microbe Mission: Sarah Love and Kelly Leiby (5th place)

“I can’t say enough about the quality of students in the district. They are top notch!” said Boyle.

Kutztown eighth grader Isaiah Nygard talked about Science Olympiad while he practiced for the Wright Stuff event. He and partner Abigail Miller designed a lightweight airplane made from balsa wood, carbon fiber and mylar plastic film. Later the awards ceremony, they won a 1st place ribbon.

“It’s cool to build a plane and see how long you can get it in the air,” said Nygard. “I like the building events a lot. That’s my type of thing. I’m in like five building events. That’s my favorite part. Just build things you didn’t know how to build before. That seems fun to me, learning about that.”

Kutztown junior Bennett Clymer offered a helping hand to Nygard while he practiced. Clymer has been involved in Science Olympiad for his entire middle and high school career thus far, he said.

“I originally got into it becuase it was sort of the only thing I could do that would get me working with other people interested in the same things I am, which is science and technology, so I could have a real nice conversation about those subjects,” said Clymer. “I also like building things and I’ve just stuck with it.”

This year, he won 5th Place in Game On, 2nd Place in Helicopters, and 4th Place in Robot Arm.

“It’s definitely kept me challenged in terms of the sciences. I’ve learned a lot more through the Science Olympiad program than I think I have during my science classes because it’s more hands-on and you do a lot of independent research and talk to a lot of professionals,” said Clymer. “There’s all kinds of good experiences that you get to have and actually, if you put it on a resume, it doesn’t look so bad either because it’s early practical experience in the sciences.”

Clymer hopes to go to college to study computer science.

Kutztown eighth graders Katelyn Reidenhour and Alyssa Love said Science Olympiad is fun. They competed in the bottle rockets and Write It Do It events. Reidenhour also competed in the anatomy event. Love won a 1st place ribbon for Experimental Design.

“I like the challenge,” said Reidenhour. “It’s really fun to be able to study and do different experiments.”

“I think I’m better in some of my classes,” said Love.

“It shows you not to procrastinate, be able to work with a team,” said Reidenhour.

“In classes you’re ready to work with whoever,” added Love.

They encourage other students to join Science Olympiad.

“It’s really fun,” said Reidenhour.

According to the event release fro KU, nearly 700 students representing 24 high schools and 12 middle schools from Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, Northumberland and Schuylkill counties competed in 50 events.

“The Regional Science Olympiad allows the schools to compete for the possibility of a spot at the State Competition,” said KU chemistry professor Joann Monko, Regional Science Olympiad site co-director with KU physics professor Eric Laub.

Four middle schools and five high schools move on to the Pennsylvania Science Olympiad State Tournament on April 29 at Juniata College.

Local competing Middle Schools were from Boyertown East, Exeter Township, Fleetwood, Kutztown, Schuylkill Valley. Overall middle school winners were Springhouse, 1st place; Orefield, 2nd place; Whitehall Coplay, 3rd place; Kutztown, 4th place.

Local competing high schools included High Schools Exeter Township, Fleetwood, Governor Mifflin, Kutztown, and Schuylkill Valley. Overall high school winners were Northwestern Lehigh, 1st place; Perkiomen Valley, 2nd place; Allentown Central Catholic, 3rd place; Parkland, 4th place; and Whitehall, 5th place.

Kutztown High School winners were Game On 5th Place Bennett Clymer and Nathan Hayduk, Helicopters 2nd Place Bennett Clymer and Nathan Hayduk, Hovercraft 5th Place Jacob Turko and Jarrett Mohn, Hydrogeology 2nd Place Madi Bowman and Jacob Turko, Optics 4th Place Madi Bowman and Jacob Turko, Robot Arm 4th Place Bennett Clymer and Nathan Hayduk, and Towers 5th Place Dean Delp and Tori VanDuren.

“I hope they had fun today. I really do. I hope they had fun with science and that’s the most important thing,” said Monko. “It’s not just book work; it’s hands-on equipment, it’s hands-on activities and it’s something that they can get excited about and take that into their education.”

Highlights of the day included Mission Possible, optics, and shows at the KU Planetarium.

“We have bottle rockets launching. We have them building helicopters and airplanes and electric vehicles and scrambler vehicles,” said Monko.

Originally scheduled for March 16, the competition was rescheduled for the snow date of March 17 due to Snowstorm Stella and the time it took to clean up afterwards.

“I have to thank the grounds crew for getting Kutztown University cleared. The custodial and grounds crew did an amazing job here at Kutztown,” said Monko.

She always thanked the KU faculty and students who volunteered at the event, coming back during KU’s spring break.

“We have over 100 student volunteers. We have multiple faculty from all departments, not only the sciences,” said Monko. “It’s a huge event for us. I’m glad that everybody who could make it out today were able to come.”

Monko said KU has been hosting the Regional Science Olympiad since 2010.

Assistant Site Director Steve Salloum, a KU graduate assistant, said, “I love that this event allows students to express their creativity , express their interests in science and gets them all together and have some fun with it.”

For more information about the International Science Olympiad, visit

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