Tag Archives: bioathlon

A.D. Johnston earns first place in the 28th annual Bioathlon

A.D. Johnston team photoThe 28th annual Department of Biological Sciences Bioathlon for high school biology students was held on Wednesday at Michigan Tech. Simultaneously, a workshop was held for the accompanying biology teachers.

The Bioathlon serves as a means to stimulate interest and problem-solving in biology among our area youth. Teams from 12 Upper Peninsula high schools participated.

The team winning was A.D. Johnston High School in Bessemer. Team members were Devon Byers, Andy Aspinwall, Abbey Johnson and Sydney Wittla-Sprague. The Instructor is David Rowe.

Second place went to Marquette, third place was Calumet.

Each team was composed of four students who have no formal class work in biology beyond the traditional sophomore general biology course. All teams tackled these same four problems:

  • Dissection: Designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Ian Greenlund and assisted by undergraduate Beth Chaney. The activity was the dissection of a preserved vertebrate animal with the identification of organs or structures required.
  • Microbiology: Designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Lukai Zhai, assisted by graduate student Rupsa Basu. This activity required students to identify the genus and species of each unknown microorganism by performing three basic microbiology techniques for each unknown.
  • Field Identification: Designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Taylor Zallek assisted by graduate students Sunflower Wilson and Bradley Wells. This activity involved a search for some common organisms or their parts during a brief field trip.
  • Medical Laboratory Science: designed by undergraduate Taylor Tienhaara and assisted by medical laboratory science undergraduate students, Samantha Doyle, Kat Wheeler and Audri Mills. This activity had students competing in hematology, blood banking and donation, urinalysis and laboratory safety.

Through these exercises, students needed to demonstrate organizational skills, follow instructions, show a knowledge of facts and concepts, and exhibit laboratory skills and creativity.

Each member of the first-place team received $200 and a partial scholarship for either forensic science or genetic modification and biotechnology explorations through Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Programs.

Members of the second-place team received $100 and members of the third-place team received $50.

Members of the top three teams also received plaques. All students participating in the competition received a certificate of participation and a Bioathlon T-shirt.

Marc Madigan, academic advisor in biological sciences, organized an activity for the teachers. He shared forensic science activities that teachers can incorporate into their classrooms.

To learn more about Bioathlon click here.

Bioathlon 2017 Logo


Congratulations to the Bioathlon winners A.D. Johnston, Hancock and Houghton High Schools

The team winning FIRST PLACE was A.D. Johnston High School from Bessemer, MI

Instructor:       David Rowe
Molly Wieringa
Valerie Rowe
Jess Mazzon
Zack Mazurek

The team winning SECOND PLACE was Hancock High School from Hancock, MI:

Instructor:       Kristin Raisanen Schourek
Andrew Bess
Kaylor Holmstrom
Matthew Sanregret
Aspen Stroud

The team winning the THIRD PLACE was Houghton High School from Houghton, MI

Instructor  Alex Gerborkoff
Brittany Coombs
Kyra Neufeld
Julia Menzel-Smith
Isaac Stone

TV10 video

Daily Mining Gazette article

Each team was composed of four students who have not had formal class work in biology beyond the traditional sophomore high school general biology course.  All teams tackled the same four problems:

Dissection: designed by Biological Sciences undergraduate students Shannon Twomey and Travis Wakeham with input from Dr. John Durocher and assisted by Komal Bollepogu

Molecular Biology: Designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Emily Geiger, assisted by Aparupa Sengupta.

Field Identification: Designed by Biological Sciences graduate student Ashley Coble assisted by Ramana Pidatala and Jamie Olson.

Medical Laboratory  Science: Designed and proctored by Medical Laboratory Science undergraduate students, Claire Meneguzzo, Christjana Nichols, Brooke Bedore, Kelly Hanes and Misty Brouilette with input from Senior Lecturer Alice Soldan and Professor of Practice Karyn Fay.

Through these exercises, students needed to demonstrate organizational skills, knowledge of facts and concepts, laboratory skills and creativity.

Each member of the first, second and third team will receive a small cash award along with a plaque.  Each student participating in the competition will also receive a certificate of participation and a Bioathlon T-shirt.

The teacher activity was:

What’s up with the Weather? Climate Change and Aquatic Life in the Great Lakes. This was an interactive workshop developed and taught by Stacy Cotey, Academic Advisor of Biological Sciences.

In the morning, they toured the newly opened Great Lakes Research Center. The center is an interdisciplinary facility that studies the processes, function, and issues of the Great Lakes. They discussed how climate change may alter this dynamic ecosystem. In the afternoon, they conducted activities suitable for the classroom that explored the effects of a changing climate on aquatic organisms in the Great Lakes.  They collected and analyzed water samples from the dock at the Great Lakes Center and at Prince’s Point.

Funding was provided by MTU Admissions, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Michigan Tech Fund, MTU Alumni Mark Cowan, M.D., Robert C. and Kathryn DellAngelo, M.D., Olive Kimball, D.Ed., Ph.D., Nancy Auer, Ph.D. and Janice Glime, Ph.D.


Bioathlon 2012 Results

Contact: Jeff Lewin, (906) 487-3435

The twenty-third annual Department of Biological Sciences Bioathlon for high school biology students was held on Wednesday, May 2, at Michigan Technological University. Simultaneously, a workshop was held for the accompanying biology teachers.

The Bioathlon serves as a means to stimulate interest and problem-solving in biology among our area youth. Teams from 16 Upper Peninsula Michigan high schools participated. The three top scores go to these schools.


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2011 Bioathlon

The twenty-second annual Department of Biological Sciences Bioathlon for high school biology students was held on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at Michigan Technological University.  Simultaneously, a workshop was held for the accompanying biology teachers.  The Bioathlon serves as a means to stimulate interest and problem-solving in biology among our youth.  Sixty four students from 18 high schools participated.

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Bioathlon 2010

The twenty-first annual Department of Biological Sciences Bioathlon for high school biology students was held on Wednesday, May 5, at Michigan Technological University. Simultaneously, a workshop was held for the accompanying biology teachers. The Bioathlon serves as a means to stimulate interest and problem-solving in biology among our area youth. Teams from 16 Upper Peninsula Michigan high schools participated.

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Bioathlon 2009

Faculty, Grad Students Design Activities for High School Biology Competition
The 20th Annual Department of Biological Sciences Bioathlon for high school students will be held Wednesday, May 5, on campus. The Bioathlon is the department’s outreach program, which serves to stimulate interest and problem solving in biology among area youth. Sixty students from 15 Upper Peninsula high schools will participate in activities designed by Michigan Tech faculty members and graduate students of the department.

Each team will be comprised of four students, who will not have had formal course work in biology beyond the traditional sophomore-level high school general biology class. All teams will tackle the same four problems:

  • “Dissection,” designed by Associate Professor Ronald Gratz
  • “Windows to the Microscopic World: Freshwater Algae Unite!” designed by doctoral candidates Meagan Harless and Sarah Kiemle
  • “Field Identification,” designed by Associate Professor Robert Keen
  • “Fundamental Biological Principles,” designed by Professor of Practice Karyn Fay, Senior Lecturer Alice Soldan and graduate student Tara Waybrant

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Bioathlon 2008

Contact phone number: Jeff Lewin, 906.487.3435

The nineteenth annual Department of Biological Sciences Bioathlon for high school biology students was held on Wednesday, May 7, at Michigan Technological University. Simultaneously, a workshop was held for the accompanying biology teachers. The Bioathlon serves as a means to stimulate interest and problem-solving in biology among our area youth. Teams from 17 Upper Peninsula Michigan high schools participated.

The team winning FIRST PLACE was A.D. Johnston High School, Bessemer.
Coach: David Rowe

The team winning SECOND PLACE was L.L. Wright High School, Ironwood.
Coach: Paul Mattson

The team winning THIRD PLACE was Negaunee High School, Negaunee.
Coach: Sherri Holmgren

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