So now that state is over with, I want to ask what can be done to improve MN Science Olympiad for next year. By my count, there has been a sharp decrease in the number of teams that are actually competing (I think it's around 40-something, according to regional scoresheets.) This decline is somewhat alarming, considering that just 2 years ago, we were able to send two teams to Nationals. But while we're declining, states like Wisconsin and Washington are expanding past us in terms of number of teams and what not.
I truly hope that the decline is not a result of fatigue with Mounds View winning the last 3 years, but you can't but help notice everyone getting up, as soon as Mounds View was announced as state champs, without waiting for any final announcements. Admittedly, we were short for time, but I do believe the same exact thing happened last year, when the tournament was on schedule.
I also think Huberty mentioned that Wayzata was hosting a regional again next year. I don't know if this was replacing a regional, or starting a completely new one, but with this expansion, there's going to be even less teams at regionals (going from 12 to 7 possibly, for the Bethel and Inver Hills regionals). This may translate to more medals overall for all the teams, which may boost overall morale, but it doesn't help us recruit more teams. (I imagine a "You have a better chance at a 3rd place medal!" pitch wouldn't fly very well.)
Recent success stories in Div B, such as Delano and Friedell have been great, and I really hope their success transitions into high placings for both Delano and Century/Mayo (don't know which school Friedell feeds into). In addition, Hawley's 2 medals at the state tournament were pretty awesome; reminds me of last year when Bemidji got 1st in WIDI.
I guess my question is, how can we expand Minnesota Science Olympiad to a state where we can compete for a 2nd nationals spot? And expand in such a way that we're not just getting teams to come and expand our count, but teams that are competitive and have a legitimate shot at getting some medals at the regional and state level.
Throw your ideas here, if you have some time. I'm interested to see what you guys say.
I also want to mention that in witnessing MV's massive expansion from 3 teams to 5 has definitely helped me see potential fatigue within the team as well, where other things such as other Olympiads and school can easily suck the life out of students. I sincerely hope Mounds View continues to win (:D), but I do want other teams to succeed as well, just to increase the profile of Science Olympiad in Minnesota, as well as Minnesota Science Olympiad at the national level.
Mounds View Science Olympiad 2008-2012 || 6th, Remote Sensing, 2011 Nationals
Co-Tournament Coordinator of Gopher Science Olympiad Invitational
Co-Chair of Minnesota Science Olympiad Alumni