Science will never be more fun than when 500 middle and senior high school students from throughout Northern New Jersey gather at NJIT on Jan. 14, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the annual Science Olympiad play-offs.
From assembling and firing rockets to launching model monoplanes, more than three dozen student teams (listed below) will participate in more than a dozen events designed to make science, technology and math more enticing, relevant and exciting. Stay for the 3 p.m. showdown to witness a roomful of tired but smarter players cheering, stomping and even occasionally hooting as multiple winning teams are announced. Best of best will move on to upcoming state and national competitions.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a terrific visual event, guaranteed to produce wonderful photos. It’s common throughout the day to see students excitedly rooting for the hometown advantage. To follow your local team, listed below, call Sheryl Weinstein at 973-596-3436.) Crowd-pleasing events will include the following.
Elevated Bridges – At this event students will design and build the most efficient bridges that they can, meeting design specifications.
Mission Possible – Prior to the competition, students will design, build, test and document a Rube Goldberg device that completes a required final task using a sequence of consecutive tasks. At the competition, they will show off their “invention.” This event is often a riot as each group brings in a ridiculous contraption.
Trajectory – Students design, construct, calibrate and operate a device capable of launching a rocket-like missile—called a projectile—into a target. The missile uses energy provided by nonmetallic elastic solids.
Wright Stuff – Students construct and test rubber-powered model monoplanes which must fly for the judges. Again, this is an event that is filled with excitement as each team powers up its plane hoping to see it stay airborne. Amazingly, most of them do.
Bergen: Bergen County Academies, Paramus; Al-Ghazaly, Teaneck.
Essex: Livingston, Livingston; Millburn, Millburn; Montclair, Montclair; Science Park, Newark; West Essex, North Caldwell; Orange, Orange.
Mercer: Princeton, Princeton; West Windsor-Plainsboro South, Princeton Junction.
Middlesex: Middlesex, Middlesex; Sayreville War Memorial, Piscataway.
Morris: West Morris Central, Chester; West Morris Mendham, Mendham; Montville Twp., Montville.
Somerset: Montgomery, Montgomery.
Sussex: Sparta, Sparta.
Union: Governor Livingston, Berkeley Heights; New Providence, New Providence.
Bergen: Alpine, Alpine; Rising Star Academy, Bergenfield; Haworth Public School, Haworth; Bergen Arts & Science Charter, Garfield: Eisenhower, Wyckoff.
Essex: Renaissance; Glenfield Middle; Montclair Kimberly Academy, all in Montclair; Mt. Hebron School, Upper Montclair; Mt. Pleasant Middle; Livingston; First Avenue, Newark; Roosevelt Middle School, West Orange.
Passaic: Pioneer Academy of Science, Clifton; Paterson Charter School, Paterson.
Morris: Mt. Olive, Budd Lake; Mountain View, Mendham; Mendham Township, Mendham; Randolph, Randolph.
Somerset: Hillsborough, Hillsborough.
Sussex: Sparta, Sparta.