April 8, 2014 – Some 900 sixth- through 12th-graders will use object-retrieving robots and egg-protecting helicopters and bottle rockets to demonstrate their engineering prowess during the Utah Science Olympiad on Saturday, April 12 at the University of Utah.
Science Olympiad is free and open to the public and news media. The tournament runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at various campus locations.
Hosted by the University of Utah College of Engineering, the competition tests 74 middle and high school teams of up to 15 students each in 23 diverse, hands-on science and engineering events.
“Science Olympiad encompasses aspects from all science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, competitions. In this academic track meet, students run the gamut of challenges from research and knowledge to engineering and building,” says Ashley Nicholes, Utah Science Olympiad program coordinator.
The winning middle and high school teams will advance to the Science Olympiad National Tournament May 16-17 in Orlando, Fla.
The top three teams in select events will earn University of Utah departmental scholarships or gifts. The high school winner of the materials science event will receive a summer internship at the university’s Materials Research, Science and Engineering Center.
Event times and locations:
— Egg-O-Naut – All teams launch pressurized-water bottle rockets carrying an egg; the winning team’s rocket will stay aloft the longest while protecting the egg. Merrill Engineering Building parking lot, 8 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
— Helicopters – Middle school students build and test free flight rubber band-powered helicopters for maximum time aloft. Social and Behavioral Sciences Building auditorium, 8 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
— Robo-Cross – Middle school students build robots that collect items and perform varied tasks. William Browning Building, room 207, 8 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
— Rotor Egg Drop – Middle school teams’ small, unpowered helicopters are dropped and rely on wings or rotating blades to slow their fall. An egg aboard each helicopter must remain intact upon landing. The event will occur in a canopy on the west side of the Warnock Engineering Building. 8 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Teams will utilize Orson Spencer Hall as a hub. A campus map can be found here.
The Olympiad concludes with an awards ceremony held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Salt Lake City’s East High School and features keynote speaker State Science Advisor, Carol Lynn George.
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