The air at UNCG was filled with mechanical birds and rockets carrying eggs when 39 teams from area middle and high schools converged on UNCG for the regional competition of the N.C. Science Olympiad on Saturday, Feb. 20.
The competition took place beginning at 9 a.m. at a variety of locations across campus. Organizers hosted roughly 600 students, parents and teachers from Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham and Stokes counties.
The dozens of events included building bridges with only wood and glue, launching projectiles for accuracy, constructing mousetrap-powered vehicles, and analyzing “crime scenes.” Detailed information about the the featured events can be viewed here.
“The Science Olympiad provides students who have an interest in science an opportunity to compete and to receive recognition of their achievements,” said Dr. Robert Muir, professor emeritus of physics and astronomy, beforehand. “It’s a nice counterpoint to athletic competition and recognition.”
The events challenged students to creatively apply their knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, technology, and earth/environmental science. The middle and high school students defended their work while interacting with professors, educators, research scientists and college students.
Dr. Meg Horton (Biology) was asked afterward about the Olympiad. “For me, one of the best parts of Science Olympiad is getting together with so many collegues from different Departments across campus – we have volunteers from Georgraphy, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. We also have volunteers at all levels – undergrads, grad students, lecturers, tenured faculty and lab managers.” She also mentioned community volunteers, such as engineers from General Dynamics. She added, “Watching the kids having fun doing science is such a thrill that our volunteers return year after year. We even have a former student volunteer, Amanda Herlacher, who is now a teacher and returns to help out as an event leader.”
This marked Dr. Adam Zahand’s (Biology) fourth time as an event leader for Science Olympiad. “I do look forward to it every year. The students are delightful and it is thrilling to see them so enthusiastic and excited about science. It’s a wonderful opportunity to promote science in the schools,” he said.
This is the fifth straight year UNCG has hosted a regional competition.
The top performers in 10 regional tournaments will now compete in the state tournament held at North Carolina State University April 23-24. The top two middle and high school teams at the state tournament will go on to the national tournament.
For more information, visit the N.C. Science Olympiad web site at http://www.sciencenc.com .