April 11, 2012—Students from across the state will match their skills and knowledge on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the University of Utah in a track-meet-like science competition for 7th through 12th graders. The Science Olympiad is expected to draw around 1000 Utah students, to compete in science, engineering and technology categories.
The Olympiad, for junior high and high school students isn’t just a competition, but teaches kids about these disciplines through extracurricular hands-on learning and coaching interactions with highly involved parents and teachers. The program is an ongoing state and national competition where students form teams, with each team’s fifteen students distributed in pairs over 24 multi-disciplinary events.
The event at the University of Utah will be held between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and spread out across campus. Many spectator competitions will be held in the Huntsman Center arena during this time and are open to the public for viewing.
Participants will have the opportunity from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. to visit with university and college representatives from several colleges and universities from around Utah. The younger students will also have the opportunity to be mentored by University of Utah students who will be presenting their research and they will get some “hands on” time with the Leonardo’s Museum for Science, Technology and Art “Leo on Wheels” interactive exhibits. The day concludes with an awards ceremony beginning at 6:30 pm to announce the state medal winners.
The Science Olympiad fits well within the role of the University of Utah’s mission to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics related initiatives. The competition encourages these younger students to continue taking related courses at an early age, which helps them become more college and career ready.
The Olympiad is also an opportunity for the University of Utah to partner with other Utah higher education institutions, as well as state and industrial firms to become a strong component of the State of Utah’s workforce training pipeline, feeding the growing tech based economy and the many new companies spawned through the state economic development initiatives such as USTAR.