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.
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.
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.
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.