Division A Tournament Held in Putnam City

What has 270 pairs of legs, can protect a raw egg from a 30 foot drop, builds wind-powered magnetic-levitated cars that travel 5 feet in less than a second, knows the accomplishments of over 50 famous scientists, and can spell words using a set of compass bearings?  The Putnam City Elementary Division A Science Olympiad Tournament!

Students from Putnam City elementary schools met Saturday, February 23rd at Putnam City High School to compete in 20 events, including Mag-Lev Cars, Orienteering, Famous Scientists, Bridge Testing, Tower Building, Wildlife Safari, and Water Rocket launching.


PC High Olympiad Coach Benton Shriver releases an egg container in the Egg Drop event

The events are all a part of the Elementary Science Olympiad competitive program of the National Science Olympiad, one of the nation’s largest STEM education programs.  Mentored by district PEAK teachers, students entered the competition representing their individual schools and competing in up to 4 individual events.  For most events, students work in collaboration with a partner from their school in events that require a variety of skills including research and study, lab work and experimentation, and design and construction of devices.

Some of the members of the Division C Science Olympiad teams from Putnam City  and Putnam City West High Schools that served as event Supervisor/ Judges for the 20 events that made up the Division A Tournament.

Some of the members of the Division C Science Olympiad teams from Putnam City and Putnam City West High Schools that served as event Supervisor/ Judges for the 20 events that made up the Division A Tournament.

Science Olympians compete for individual recognition through medals awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers.  Individual results are tallied for each event and school teams with the best overall finishes for the tournament are awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies.

Trophy table before the awards ceremony.

Trophy table before the awards ceremony.

But the real winners in the tournament are the Olympians as a whole, who have the opportunity to make in-depth, authentic study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and develop the skills of persistence, dedication, and teamwork so important for future success.

Middle schools and high schools in Putnam City are also active in Science Olympiad with four middle schools fielding Division B teams and all three high schools with active Division C teams.  After an extensive Olympiad season, these schools will be competing in the Oklahoma Science Olympiad State Finals Tournament, hosted by the science department of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond on March 2nd.  The division winners will earn the right to represent Oklahoma in the National Science Olympiad Tournament May 17-18 at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

More information about the Oklahoma Science Olympiad and the National Science Olympiad program can be found at http://www.oksciolympiad.org.



Gettin’ Ready for the State Finals

Plans are underway for the 2013 Oklahoma Science Olympiad State Finals.

Are YOU ready?

The schedule will be sent to Coaches next week.

Need to make plans for lunch for the team?

There are a number of options very close to the campus, including:

Papa John’s Pizza, 109 E 2nd St  Edmond, OK 73034, (405) 844-7900
McAlister’s Deli of Edmond1021 E. 2nd Street/ Edmond OK, 73034, (405) 340-3354
Hideaway Pizza, 116 E. 5th St., Edmond, OK 73034, 405-348-4777
Little Caesars Pizza, 1323 BRYANT ST, EDMOND, OK 73034, (405) 348-3363

There are many other fast-food locations within a mile of the campus that are just a Google search away.

Registration Documents

Remember, Team Registrations and the Event Roster C or Event Roster B should be returned to Bob Melton by February 25th.  Final versions of those documents should be turned in at Team Registration on March 2nd.  Don’t forget the photo release.


We have made arrangements with Justin Lawrence at Oklahoma Shirt Company to produce a special t-shirt for the 2013 Science Olympiad Finals Tournament.  Cost is $10 per shirt and they will be available for purchase and for order pick-up at the tournament.

Please email Bob Melton by February 22nd (this is a change from the original deadline) with the number and sizes of shirts you will purchase for any group order you may make for your team at the tournament.  You can pick them up at the Tournament with a Purchase Order, or check, cash or credit card.  Additional shirts will be available on-site.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 5.33.13 PM


Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 5.32.26 PM

Science Olympiad and the ASBMB

Inspiring the next generation of scientists

By Dr. Gerard J. Putz and Jenny Kopach (from American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Today) 



BMB career/Science Olympiad chart

If you’re visiting a college campus on a Saturday in March, you might be surprised to find it crawling with packs of 12- to 18-year-olds in goggles and lab coats, hurrying from one building to the next. These industrious kids aren’t early college students: They’re team members from Science Olympiad, one of the largest, oldest and most prestigious science, technology, engineering and math after-school programs in the country.

Just like a football team, these Science Olympians practice weekly (if not daily), hone their skills and prepare to demonstrate their aptitude against equally matched peers. And to the victors go the spoils — medals, trophies, scholarships and rewards for achievement that in many cases carry scientific interest from classroom to career.


Science Olympiad logo

Science Olympiad is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1984 and dedicated to improving the quality of K – 12 science, technology, engineering and math education, increasing interest in science among all students, creating a technologically literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers.Modeling athletic teams, the Science Olympiad teams prepare throughout the year for tournaments. There are three divisions of competition:

Division A: grades K – 6
Division B: grades 6 – 9
Division C: grades 9 – 12

Science Olympiad tournaments (350 annually) consist of 23 team events and are 100 percent aligned to the National Science Education Standards. Each of the 6,400 U.S. teams (roughly 200,000 students) participates in events that require a variety of skills including research and study, lab work and experimentation, and design and construction of devices.

A tall but doable order
The educational landscape is well-populated with single-discipline K – 12 STEM competitions, but Science Olympiad is unique in that it combines all the major science specialties, including life sciences, chemistry, physics, engineering, Earth and space science, and inquiry.

In the fall 2012 issue of the Enzymatic newsletter, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Undergraduate Affiliate Network Chairwoman Marilee Benore underscored a common problem facing K – 12 education: Students often pursue science with little knowledge of the options open to those with scientific knowledge and training.

The solution? Have students interact with working professionals in Science Olympiad settings. Inspiring students to follow college and career paths into biochemistry and molecular biology is a tall order, but once they see how their event preparation connects with your real-world experience, they will begin to see themselves following the same path (see chart).

By collaborating with Science Olympiad students, you can educate students and teachers about common BMB topics found in Science Olympiad events, illustrate BMB concepts that may seem complex to middle- and high-school students, and advocate for college majors and careers in BMB.

A step beyond show and tell
Many students are aware of current events with links to the biochemistry and molecular biology world — the chemistry of the teenage brain, cancer research that affects their families, the story of Henrietta Lacks’ HeLa cells (required reading in some high schools now), food safety in school lunches and the political stem-cell debate.

Science Olympiad events are exemplary models of real-world applications of science and the STEM careers offered on each path. For instance, Science Olympiad has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1999 on the Disease Detectives event. Within the CDC, scientists were charged with creating K – 12 workforce-development outreach programs that would add to the pool of eligible STEM professionals. Covering topics like pandemics, disease outbreaks, food-borne illness and resulting effects on population, the CDC found that the Science Olympiad Disease Detectives event is an effective way to motivate students to investigate careers in epidemiology.

Similarly, the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Center for BioMolecular Modeling worked with Science Olympiad to develop the cutting-edge Protein Modeling event for high-school participants. In this event, students use computer visualization and online resources to guide them in constructing physical models of proteins and learn about how protein structure affects its function. This event is linked to current and relevant topics for student engagement, and national winners receive generous scholarships to the engineering school.

The ASBMB member perspective
ASBMB member Shannon Colton, a program director at the Center for BioMolecular Modeling, says Science Olympiad events have helped the engineering school engage more than 9,000 high-school students.

“The students are excited to be on the cutting edge of science, and educators appreciate a new topic to connect the real world of science with what the students are learning,” Colton says. “Team coaches welcome assistance from experts, and we encourage ASBMB members to reach out and make connections. We have found that working with high-school students reignites our passion for this work and reminds us why we chose this route initially.”

Many students are motivated to follow a direct career path once they’ve been successful in Science Olympiad events.

Case in point: Emily Briskin, a sophomore at Yale University. Briskin participated in the Disease Detectives and Microbe Mission events, was a gold medalist on her Centerville High School Science Olympiad team and attended President Obama’s White House Science Fair in October 2010. Today she’s studying molecular, cellular and developmental biology, along with French. “I am interested in global health and microbial disease, and I hope to eventually get my master’s in public health and perhaps work at the CDC. I am involved in Community Health Educators, a group that goes into middle-school classrooms to discuss important public health topics.”

Science studentsGet involved
Science Olympiad provides an organized and meaningful volunteer activity for scientists in every U.S. state. Simply align your talents with the appropriate grade level and degree of involvement, reach out to the school coach or Science Olympiad state or tournament director, and you’ll be making a difference before you know it. You can tailor your volunteerism and outreach to your region, your position and your schedule:

  • • UAN members on college campuses can volunteer at Science Olympiad tournaments or with teams.
  • • More experienced ASBMB members can serve as Science Olympiad team mentors in their communities or at Science Olympiad tournaments and can contribute content.

Another plus: As Science Olympiad is an after-school program, it does not compete with teachers’ limited daily instructional time or with district curriculum requirements.

For more information about public outreach opportunities, contact Geoff Hunt at ghunt@asbmb.org.

Gerald J. PutzJenny Kopach

Gerard J. Putz (gjputz@soinc.org) is the president and co-founder of Science Olympiad. Jenny Kopach (jrkopach@soinc.org) is the vice-president of marketing communication and a national executive board member of Science Olympiad.

The Biggest at Original


Students at Putnam City High School take pride in being the “Original”  high school in the district.  It is also the “original” location of the Science Olympiad in Oklahoma and has hosted  Olympiad Tournaments since 2005.  It is also the location of what today became the largest Science Olympiad Tournament ever held in Oklahoma.  Eleven Division B teams and Three Division C teams spent Groundhog Day competing in 38 events in this final run-up to next month’s State Tournament at UCO in what was once again a very competitive Tournament.

Division B order of finish is:

1 -Casady MS

2 – Cooper MS

3 – Capps MS

4 – Haskell MS a

5 – Haskell MS b

6 – Whittier MS 1

7 – Irving MS

8 – Longfellow MS

9 – Dove Science Academy, Tulsa

10 – Whittier 2

11 – Mayfield MS

Division C order of finish is:

1 – Union HS

2 – Putnam City HS

3 – Putnam City West HS

Thanks once again to all the Olympians, Coaches, and the great Judges who devoted their time and effort to make the PC High Tournament so great.

Oklahoma State Department of Education Science Director Tiffany Niell start the timer for a Gravity Vehicle trial run.

Oklahoma State Department of Education Science Director Tiffany Niell starts the timer for a Gravity Vehicle trial run.

Remember the State Tournament next month in Edmond at The University of Central Oklahoma where teams will compete for the chance to represent Oklahoma in the National Science Olympiad Tournament at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.