Olympiad Feb. 20 at Southeast to Inspire Revolution in Science Education

chemistry lab 2014CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 18, 2016 — The Region VIII Science Olympiad – a competition for sixth-12th graders in biology, chemistry, physics, technology, earth science and ecology — will be hosted Feb. 20 on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.

The Olympiad is scheduled for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in Magill, Parker and Rhodes halls with an awards ceremony to follow.

The event pits six teams and five school districts in southeast Missouri – Fredericktown, Scott City, New Madrid, East Prairie and Sikeston – against each other. The Olympiad features a variety of events, including test formats, hands-on-experiments and construction in which students build and test their devices before they compete. About 100 students are expected to take part in these events designed also as excellent opportunities for teachers to incorporate instruction and experience including modeling, technology, and inquiry for applying the Missouri Science Standards to their classroom.

“Although the field of competitors is small, the competition is great to watch because students are enthusiastic and excited about doing science and about their devices, said Melody Green, Region VIII Science Olympiad facilitator.

A wide range of events are scheduled in areas including geologic mapping, air trajectory, protein modeling, wind power, bridge building, electric vehicles, robot arms, experimental design, hydrogeology, elastic launched gliders, crime busters, food science, fossils, meteorology, the Green Generation and invasive species, among many others.

Students placing first and second at this regional competition will qualify to compete in the Missouri State Science Olympiad competition in April in Fulton, Missouri. There they will compete with the top ranking teams throughout Missouri.

The Southeast College of Science, Technology and Agriculture hosts the event with Dr. Margaret Hill, associate professor of physics, serving as Olympiad liaison for the event.  Southeast faculty assist with developing tests and the Southeast Chemistry Club, along with biology, physics and earth science students, supervise and judge events.

“The Region VIII Science Olympiad is more than a competition,” she said. “The junior high and high school students benefit because they have an opportunity to learn what they can do.  The college students get an opportunity to apply what they are learning in developing the tests and setting up labs, such as forensics and crime busters, and in working with younger students.  The professors have a chance to connect with potential future students, some of the best.”

Missouri Science Olympiad is a non-profit organization that operates under the National Science Olympiad which is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing male, female and minority interest in science, creating a technologically literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers. These goals are achieved by participating in Science Olympiad tournaments and non-competitive events, incorporating Science Olympiad into classroom curriculum and attending teacher training institutes.

For more than 30 years, Science Olympiad has led a revolution in science education. Science Olympiad continues to challenge, inspire and inform the academic and professional careers of students and instructors across America. Science Olympiad is recognized as a model program by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices in the 2007 report, Innovation America: Building a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Agenda. Science Olympiad is committed to increasing global competitiveness for the next generation of scientists.

For more information, contact Green at melody_faye_g@yahoo.com or (573) 579-7213.