Once again the brainiest of the brainy will descend Jan. 17, 2013 upon NJIT when 600 middle and senior high school students compete vigorously in the Northern New Jersey Science Olympiad Regional play-offs. The prize is to be crowned the best of North Jersey’s future scientists and engineers.If you’ve ever had any doubt that students today don’t care about math, science, engineering and technology, then come to this event and learn otherwise. You’ll see three dozen teams of enthusiastic, excited and even at times exasperated 12-18-year-olds roving the campus for hours joyfully competing in events ranging from building the best “Rube Goldberg” to testing crazy-cantilevered wooden structures.
Dedicated and occasionally ecstatic high school science teachers usher their hometown charges through the proceedings. The winning teams will be announced about 3 p.m. Screams are allowed. The top teams will have the chance to compete this March in the statewide Science Olympiad against students from central and south Jersey. Eventually the best of those best go on to the late spring national competition.
(ATTENTION REPORTERS: Call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436 for parking and directions. This event offers great visuals for video or still photography.)
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.
NJIT professors from all colleges will participate throughout the day in tasks ranging from judging to setting up obstacle courses. They say do not miss the following events which will take place from about 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the buildings and rooms indicated.
The Boomilever—View both middle and high school students hard at work building cantilevered wooden structures that can remain in their intended upright positions. (Colton Hall, Room 121)
Elastic Launched Glider—This is a good one. High school students design, build and test two elastic launched gliders. The test is to see which glider stays in air the longest. (The Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility)
Helicopters—This is another flight project, but for middle school students. They will construct and test in free flight, rubber-powered helicopters prior to the event. The goal: Maximum flight times. (The Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility)
Mission Possible—is always on the list as one of the most fun science projects. Prior to the competition, teams of middle school students design, build, test and document their very own "Rube Goldberg-like” device. The finished product completes a required final task using a sequence of consecutive jobs. (Campus Center, room 230)
Write It Do It—Think of a crazy game show on television and you’ve got the gist of this event. One team of students writes a very technical and detailed description of a contraption. Then another student group builds the contraption using only the written description. (Kupfrian Hall, Rooms 117 and 118)
Participating high schools by county include the following.
Bergen: Al-Ghazaly, Teaneck; Bergen County Academies (2 teams), Hackensack; Pascack Hills, Montvale
Essex: Livingston (2 teams); Millburn; West Essex Regional, North Caldwell; Golda Och Academy, West Orange
Mercer: Hopewell Valley Central, Pennington
Middlesex: Al Minhaal Academy, South Plainfield; South Brunswick (2 teams)
Morris: Mendham (2 teams); West Morris Central, Chester
Participating middle schools by county include the following:
Bergen: Rising Star Academy, Bergenfield; Bergen Arts and Science (2 teams), Garfield; Eisenhower, Wyckoff
Essex: Glenfield Middle; Renaissance MS, Montclair; Heritage, Livingston; Roosevelt Middle School and Golda Och Academy, West Orange
Mercer: Timberlane, Pennington
Monmouth: Avon ES, Avon-By-The-Sea
Morris: Mt. Olive, Budd Lake; Mendham Township, Mendham; Randolph, Randolph; Robert R. Lazar, Montville
Passaic: Pioneer Academy of Science, Clifton
Somerset: Montgomery, Skillman; Hillsborough
Union: Kent Place, Summit; Rahway Academy, Rahway