Science Olympiad

Science is Fun & Educational at Willow

Why we do Science Olympiad instead of Science Fair

Why does Willow do Science Olympiad?

If the goal of science education is to encourage children to go into science related fields, the best way to see that happen is by making learning fun and engaging and Science Olympiad does that. The children are tasked with solving problems and solve them together as a team and in small groups.

Science Olympiad also incorporates 21st century skills such as creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and analysis along with science knowledge. And it is both project based and experiential tying effortlessly into our curriculum.

In addition, Science Olympiad is the only science competition listed in the national standards as an exemplary implementation of inquiry and assessment.

Our Willow Science Olympiad team formally began in the 2011-2012 school year. It meets after school and the group of committed children decide along with their teachers, which events to focus on.

At the competition, the team has opportunities to enter events such as:

  • Don’t Bug Me
  • Clay Boats
  • Egg Drop
  • Mystery Powders
  • Pentathlon
  • Rock Hound
  • Starry, Starry Night
  • Straw Tower
  • Water Rockets
  • Solid, Liquid or Gas

    What is Science Olympiad?

    Science Olympiad is designed for students in grades 3-12 to directly engage in science. Students are given a challenge or problem to solve and in finding solutions, they are required to go through the scientific process and gather data. Science Olympiad excites children about science.

    The goal of Science Olympiad is to improve the quality of science education through competition. Just as students are motivated to win a sporting event, students at Science Olympiad compete as a team against other schools at their state’s annual competition. There are 13-23 different events (depending on the age group) reflecting the spectrum of science subjects. Events are inquiry based and correlate with the National Science Education Standards and the Core Curriculum Standards. Science Olympiad is the only science competition listed in the national standards as an exemplary implementation of inquiry and assessment.

    Science Olympiad combines all disciplines and emphasizes active, hands-on group participation. Each year, some events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. Teamwork is a requirement of most scientists today, and Science Olympiad encourages group learning because events are done cooperatively.

    What is it like for elementary school?

    At the elementary level, children can participate in the statewide competition. Events include:

    • A is for Anatomy -The event will consist of questions, case studies, pictures or models that will require an understanding of the structure and function of the following systems: skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory, circulary, urinary, nervous, sensory, endocrine.
    • Bridge Building – This event tests students’ ability to build a lengthy, strong, stable, and reproducible bridge from common materials. BUILT ONSITE.
    • Egg Drop – A team of two students will construct and bring a package to protect an egg from breaking. The egg is dropped free fall from a high spot selected by the tournament director. This is a PREBUILT EVENT.
    • Energy Lab – The objective is to build a solar powered car that can move the farthest using the light from a flood lamp. This is a PREBUILT EVENT.
    • Estimania – Students will be asked to estimate the answers to approximately ten questions requiring an estimate between ten and one million. Students will be provided a sample of the item to be estimated and will be premitted to measure its mass and the total mass of the container that contains all the objects. No calculators will be permitted.
    • Mystery Powders – A team of two contestants will be asked to identify a mixture of common white household powder.
    • Pentathlon – Five physical skills are interspersed with science questions in an obstacle course that will be run in a relay race style where each student passes the balloon to the next student. This year, the concepts will focus on those related to the water cycle and weather.
    • Picture This – The objective is to have a team member draw a representation of a particular scientific term or concept for team members who must guess the term while watching it being drawn. The scientific terms and concepts will focus on evolution and adaption as related to the 4th and 5th grade Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.
    • Rock Hound – Teams will prepare charts, identify various rocks and minerals, and describe their characteristics
    • Starry, Starry Night – A team of two students will identify constellations, planets, and other common celestial bodies in our universe.
    • Solid, Liquids, or Gas – Teams of two students will test their abilities to classify materials into one of three categories. This event is a trial event this year. Trial events do not count for the overall score but are awarded medals.
    • Tennis Ball Catapult – Each two-member team will build a device to launch a tennis ball a selected distance from about 2 to 5 meters. This is a PREBUILT EVENT.
    • Water Rockets – Students will build and launch a 2-liter plastic bottle for maximum time aloft. This is a PREBUILT EVENT.