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Hillsdale College is holding Michigan’s Region Nine Science Olympiad for 16 middle school and nine high school teams on Sat­urday. The top three teams from each age group will earn a slot to compete at the state com­pe­tition at Michigan State Uni­versity on April 29.

More than 300 com­petitors are expected to attend the Region Nine Science Olympiad, with an addi­tional 200 coaches, teachers, and parents also in atten­dance. Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Chem­istry Christopher Hamilton is directing the event, while vol­un­teers from the college will assist with set-up, clean-up, and running the com­pe­ti­tions and the awards cer­emony.

“Hillsdale stu­dents vol­unteer a lot and do all sorts of things, and this is a way, espe­cially for science majors, to give back but in a way that’s related to science, which is really cool,” Hamilton said.

Vice Pres­ident of Hillsdale’s chapter of the American Chemical Society senior Jonathan Wolff is respon­sible for recruiting and man­aging the 105 student and 25 faculty vol­un­teers that will help run the science olympiad.

“Science Olympiad lit­erally is a really fun way for the kids to get inter­ested in science, to start moving science from just a course that you take in school to some­thing with real-life applic­a­bility,” Wolff said.

Vol­un­teers are expected to work a minimum of three hours, Hamilton said. Some, however, will put in many more. Event coor­di­nators are in charge of buying products, setting up sta­tions, running events, and grading tests. By the end of the day, many vol­un­teers will have worked for six hours or more.

Wolff was a vol­unteer worker at the Science Olympiad last year.

“I thought it was fun being on the other side of it, watching all the cre­ative ways stu­dents approach these tasks,” Wolff said.

Hamilton said he wants to keep the Science Olympiad at Hillsdale in the future, because the com­munity service and pub­licity gives the college a chance to showcase its science pro­grams.

“People might only have an impression of Hillsdale as this school they hear about from con­ser­v­ative talk radio or this little school that they really don’t know any­thing about,” Hamilton said. “Most parents and most teachers get exposed to Hillsdale and see that we’re not just one thing…It does change people’s views of Hillsdale, I think, in a pos­itive way.”