Once again some 500 middle and senior high school students from throughout Northern New Jersey will gather at NJIT for the annual Science Olympiad play-offs. The date this year is Jan. 14, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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.
For the past 27 years, Science Olympiad has led a revolution in science education. What began as a grassroots assembly of science teachers is now one of the premiere science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous, standards-based challenges to nearly 6,000 teams in 49 states. Science Olympiad’s ever-changing lineup of events in all STEM disciplines provides a variety of career choices and exposure to practicing scientists and mentors. Recognized as a model program by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Science Olympiad is committed to increasing global competitiveness for the next generation of scientists. To read more, please visit: http://www.njscienceolympiad.org/content/news/2011BrochureSO.pdf.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a terrific visual event. Students excitedly root for their hometown teams. 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.