VSSA STEM students advance to science Olympiad
MINTURN — It’s not unheard of for Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy students to compete in an Olympiad, but this will be the school’s first trip to a science Olympiad.
The academy’s middle school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) class qualified for the Colorado Regional Science Olympiad. Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy finished 18th of 45 middle school teams; the top 22 teams advance to the state finals.
“The opportunity to compete at the state level is a nice bonus and a reflection of the passion and hard work of these kids and teachers,” said Geoffrey Grimmer, Head of School at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy.
The school’s fifth and sixth graders competed largely against seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders, many of whom attend some of the most prestigious STEM schools along the Front Range, Grimmer said.
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“The STEM program and Science Olympiad competition has given our students opportunities to grapple with complicated problems that require grit, creativity and knowledge,” said Kari Bangtson, the academy’s lower school science and STEM teacher. “Guiding the students through this hands on learning process is amazing, and the joy on the students’ faces when they experience success is like none other!”
The 14 Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy students who attended the competition are team-taught by Bangtson and Eric Rippeth.
The state finals are scheduled for April 15 at the Colorado School of Mines.