About 271 middle and high school students from Southcentral Alaska visited UAA last Saturday, March 31, for the 2012 State Science Olympiad. Students took part in several experiments and activities, ranging in topics from astronomy, food science, thermodynamics, forestry, water quality, forensics, chemistry and robotics, to name a few.
Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, training workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state and national tournaments.
This is the second year UAA has hosted a regional Science Olympiad tournament, which brings science to life through exciting, hands-on experiments; emphasizes problem solving; develops teamwork and cooperative learning strategies among students; encourages students to enroll in science courses; promotes high levels of achievement and a commitment to excellence; and attracts more students—particularly females and minorities—to professional and technical careers in science, technology and science teaching.
“It’s very enjoyable to watch students work as a team while being excited about science, math and technology,” says Tim Lundt, a science teacher at Mat-Su Career & Technical High School and coordinator of this year’s Olympiad event.
Lundt says that 21 middle school teams and about a dozen high school teams registered for the event on March 31. Most experiments took place at UAA’s ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building.
Faculty from all of UAA’s natural sciences programs were involved in the Olympiad event in various ways. In addition, the UAA Planetarium and Visualization Theater offered students free shows throughout the day.
For more information about the 2012 State Science Olympiad and for a complete schedule of events, contact Tim Lundt at Timothy.Lundt@matsuk12.us or (907) 352-0433.