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Goderich District Collegiate Institute victorious at second-annual NII Explore science Olympics

The NII Explore Science Olympics championship belt is heading to Goderich District Collegiate Institute (GDCI) after the team of Kellen Brenner, Sam Howard, Justin MacLeod and Jacob Watson successfully conquered a range of science challenges at Friday’s event.

Champions of the second-annual NII Explore Science Olympics from Goderich District Collegiate Institute. [L-R] Jacob Watson, Justin MacLeod, NII Explore President Phillip Craig, Sam Howard, Kellen Brenner.

The second-annual Science Olympics brought together 12 teams of exceptional high school students from across Bruce, Grey and Huron counties to compete at the Nuclear Innovation Institute’s Advance Technology Campus on Friday, May 17—where organizers witnessed an intense display of science knowledge, problem-solving and collaboration.

A team builds a water filter out of natural materials in an environmental science challenge.

GDCI was in third place after six preliminary challenges—before coming from behind in the final event. Walkerton’s Sacred Heart Catholic High School Team #2 and Team #1 placed second and third, respectively, to round out the podium finishers. And a special congratulations goes to Saugeen District Senior School from Saugeen Shores, which won the Collaboration Award.


Said GDCI student Justin MacLeod: “It was great the challenges were based on a bunch of different subjects, so we could each use our skills to help each other out.”

Their teacher Jason Doble described: “It wasn’t these students’ first time doing a science competition, but our first time doing one locally like this—having a homegrown opportunity for students to show their quick thinking and teamwork was incredible.”
Students complete a series of timed electrical circuit challenges.

With challenges spanning multiple scientific disciplines like genetics, Earth science, game theory, physics, engineering, and more, this groundbreaking event plays a crucial role in bridging the gap in opportunities between urban and rural high school students in the region.


“What a day of fun and fierce competition!” said NII Explore President Phillip Craig. “Every team here should be proud of the determination and teamwork they showed throughout these challenges!”

He added: “And thank you to our sponsor, Bruce Power, for supporting this event’s impact on the young scientists who took part—we are grateful to you and all of NII's Founders for your contributions to STEM education in our region.”

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