Science Olympiad Heads for the Black AND Gold

2014-tournament-smSaturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, UCF will welcome over 10,000 middle and high school students, their families, coaches, and teachers from all over the United States and Japan for the 30th annual Science Olympiad. This is second time in three years that UCF has hosted the Science Olympiad, the largest STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) competition in the country. The culmination of over 280 regional and state tournaments, the Science Olympiad will have 120 teams competing for scientific supremacy.

The guest speaker for the Olympiad is Joe Kittinger, a former Air Force fighter pilot who has since become a pioneer in aviation adventure.

The tournament is composed of 23 events, divided into three categories. They are lab-based events, like Physics Lab, Forensics, or Can’t Judge A Powder By Its Color, which require students to complete a lab activity on competition day. Research-based events, like Amphibians and Reptiles, Disease Detectives, and Rocks and Minerals which encourage students to prepare research materials prior to the competition and use them in the event. In prebuilt events, which are engineering-based, students build a device to accomplish a task or goal and the device is tested onsite at the competition.

To celebrate the Science Olympiad’s 30th anniversary, the UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science created a pass-the-torch adventure  called A Day in the Life of a Knight, an activity similar the torch carrying that precedes the Olympics. Ten packages containing Knightro and a customized banner were sent to 10 starter destinations with specific instructions for students to take photos with Knightro, post them to the Science Olympiad Facebook page then send the UCF mascot on his way. Roughly 90 destinations in 30 states were mapped out based on recommendations from state tournament directors, as teams were still competing for the right to advance to Orlando.

The College of Sciences is ecstatic to see so many intelligent students coming together for science. We wish all teams and competitors the best of luck and cannot wait to see the innovative projects students will create.

For more information on the Science Olympiad, visit their website here. To learn more about Knightro’s cross country adventure, click here.

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