Science Olympiad to draw hundreds of high school students

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — More than 250 middle and high school students from throughout Indiana will test their scientific knowledge in the Science Olympiad regional competition at Purdue University on Feb. 21.

The free event, sponsored by the College of Science and the Science Olympiad Club, will take place throughout campus from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. It will feature 23 science and technology-related competitions. Many events are open to the public.

An awards ceremony will follow at 4:15 p.m. in the Class of 1950 Lecture Hall, Room 224.

“The Science Olympiad is a great opportunity to see students participating in exciting and challenging science activities,” said Bill Walker, College of Science K-12 Outreach director. “Events such as Scrambler and Junkyard Challenge are quite popular and fun to watch.”

Two participants from Central Middle School in Kokomo, Ind. perform an experiment in the 2007 Science Olympiad at Purdue University. More than 250 middle and high school students from throughout Indiana will compete in this year's competition, which will take place Feb. 21 throughout campus. (Photo provided by College of Science.)

Two participants from Central Middle School in Kokomo, Ind. perform an experiment in the 2007 Science Olympiad at Purdue University. More than 250 middle and high school students from throughout Indiana will compete in this year's competition, which will take place Feb. 21 throughout campus. (Photo provided by College of Science.)

Scrambler, which will take place throughout the day in the Lawson Computer Science Building, requires students to design and build a mechanical device that uses only the energy from a falling mass to transport an egg along a straight track. The device must stop as close to a terminal barrier as possible without breaking the egg.

For Junkyard Challenge, competitors design and build an autonomous device that can measure the mass of an unknown object to be given to them during competition. It will take place throughout the day in the Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry Room 104.

“The events are designed to stress science concepts, science processes, problem-solving skills, and applications of technology,” said Mindy Hart, computer science outreach coordinator and Science Olympiad regional competition director. “Several of them involve hands-on activities and inquiry-based science.”

Teachers and parents coach each team, which consists of 15 students. Local scientists and engineers also assist some teams. Participating schools include:

  • Bloomington North High School, Bloomington
  • Bloomington South High School, Bloomington
  • Fountain Central High School, Veedersburg
  • Indiana Math and Science Academy, Indianapolis
  • Maple Crest Middle School, Kokomo
  • McCutcheon High School, Lafayette
  • Mississinewa High School, Gas City
  • Pope John Paul II Middle School, Muncie
  • RJ Baskett Middle School, Gas City
  • Traders Point Christian Academy, Whitestown
  • Union City Community High School, Union City
  • Wainwright Middle School, Lafayette
  • Wea Ridge Middle School, Lafayette
  • West Lafayette Junior High School, West Lafayette
  • West Lafayette Senior High School, West Lafayette
  • West Side Middle School, Union City

The Purdue University, College of Science K-12 Outreach Program began in 1990 to support teachers and inspire students. Since then, more than 7,000 teachers and 580,000 students throughout the state have participated in its programs.

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