Today's students have many opportunities to learn and gain confidence through extra curricular activities. One of those unique opportunities will bring over 1,000 middle school and high school students together in Allendale this weekend at Grand Valley State University's 2017 Science Olympiad Tournament.

GVSU says they hosted their first Science Olympiad Tournament in 1984. 26 teams from schools in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Allegan and Oceana counties signed up for the competition in 1984. This year's Science Olympiad will have about 70 teams. It will take place from 8:30am - 6pm at GVSU's Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale.

Students will build bottle rockets, construct hovercrafts, solve crimes and work with food chemistry. The challenges will require the use of biology, earth science, chemistry, physics and technology.

The Science Olympiad brings a fun, competitive spirit to education. It's a challenge that students welcome and an idea that parents and educators should seek to expand upon to encourage students to continue to learn.

Saturday's winners will advance to the state tournament on April 29.