Last week-end while most of us were paying attention to the Boy's High School Basketball Tournaments, another very important competition was snubbed. 

It didn't get the media coverage of the sporting events. In fact most media outlets didn't give it a mention. The winners of the competition weren't welcomed home with parades or special school assemblies. Yet the competition was focused on an area very important to the future of our state and nation. Science.

The competition was the 2014 South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament. It was held in Vermillion on the campus of USD. Hundreds of South Dakota middle and high school students participated.

Yankton High School students and Yankton Middle School students finished first in their respective divisions.on Saturday, March 22. These schools will compete at the National Science Olympiad Tournament at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, May 16-17.

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.

Division B:  first place – Yankton Middle, second – Sacred Heart Middle, third – Vermillion Middle, fourth – Dakota Valley Middle, fifth – Spearfish Middle, sixth – Mickelson Middle, seventh – Elk Point-Jefferson Middle, eighth – Madison Academy, ninth – Gayville-Volin Middle.

Division C: first – Yankton High, second – Brookings High, third – Dakota Valley High, fourth – Spearfish High, fifth – Todd County High, sixth – Mitchell High, seventh – Madison High.

Notice the lack of local area schools in the winner's circles.

Complete results of this year’s competition, as well as results from previous years, are available at

 For more information about South Dakota Science Olympiad, please visit

Or contact: or (605) 677-5248.

The Science Olympiad is an international non-profit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science, and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers.  Science Olympiad tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of individual and team events, which students prepare for during the year.  The competitions follow the format of popular board games, TV shows and athletic games. These challenging and motivational events are well balanced between the various science disciplines of biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computers, and technology.  There is also a balance between events requiring knowledge of science facts, concepts, processes, skills, and science applications.