Last Saturday, I attended the 2017 Science Olympiad State Tournament hosted by the Ohio State University’s Office of Distance Education and eLearning, and I volunteered at the helicopter competition. I’m interested in supporting Science Olympiad (SO) clubs in Pickaway County and wanted to see the students in action and how the competitions are run. I joined the many parents, coaches, students, several interested professors, educators, and residents who volunteered because they valued science. After talking to many of them, I understand that they support the competition because it challenges our youth to explore and apply the systematic study of structure and behavior through observations and experiments.
I’d highly recommend getting involved and learning how to bring a SO club to your school! The video below is from a helicopter competition last season.
The participants had their helicopters inspected, weighted, and their log books reviewed. It’s called a tournament, and it is, but it’s also a big, open experimental day of test flights, continued learning, networking, application, and assessment of new environmental variables. I was enamored at the varying levels of experience, dedication, and skill that was acquired from previous research and preflight tests. There was mastery from the veteran students that came back year after year to improve their designs and understanding of aerodynamics. I was impressed with Ohio’s SO, the projects, and exploration the competitions gave the students.
To date, Pickaway County has one Science Olympiad club – in Westfall Middle school headed by Rachael Joseph a dedicated 6th grade science teacher. I visited her after-school club and was thoroughly impressed with the students dedication, camaraderie, and drive to experiment, learn, and apply. If your a parent or a teacher interested in growing more SO clubs in Pickaway County, please contact me: 740.474.7534, firstname.lastname@example.org. The state SO office is looking for more rural school districts to enter their competitions!
And for an easy helicopter activity to try with your kids, click here.
For over 30 years, Science Olympiad has led a revolution in science education. What began as a grassroots assembly of science teachers is now one of the premier science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous, standards-based challenges to nearly 7,000 teams in 50 states. Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering, and technology.
The Science Olympiad national tournament is the culmination of nearly 300 regional and state tournaments. This year it will take place May 19-20, 2017, at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. For more information about Science Olympiad, visit www.soinc.org.