BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The senior staff of BocaNewsNow.com has very fond memories of what used to be called “Olympics of the Mind,” a competition for middle and high school students. When we were involved, the challenge was creating a structure out of balsa wood that could hold the greatest amount of weight. We made it to nationals.
Fast forward a few years and FAU this morning is announcing that the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science will host its fifth annual southeast Florida regional competition for the Science Olympiad on Saturday, February 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the science and engineering buildings and general classrooms, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. A wildlife show and closing awards ceremony will begin at 3:15 p.m. on the administration building lawn.
According to FAU:
More than 600 middle and high school students from Palm Beach, Broward, Lee, Martin and Miami-Dade counties are scheduled to compete.
The events in the competition are developed and judged by FAU professors, undergraduate and graduate students. A wide variety of topics in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines are covered, including anatomy, astronomy, “awesome aquifers,” “disease detectives,” forestry, math, “microbe mission,” optics laser shoot, “robot arm,” thermodynamics and more. Students work in teams of two or more in lab-based events conducting experiments, in knowledge-based events, in taking written tests on research materials, and in engineering-based events building devices that accomplish a task.
Science Olympiad is a national, nonprofit organization begun in 1984 by K-12 science teachers to improve the quality of science education and foster a love of science among students. Teams from all 50 states participate in the Science Olympiad, one of the premier science competitions in the nation. Students who win at the regional competitions advance to the state tournament, and those winners compete at the national tournament. The 2011 winners were Boca Raton Community High School and the Archimedean Middle Conservatory in Miami. Both teams finished first place in the state competition for the high school and middle school categories, and moved on to compete in the national Science Olympiad competition in May 2011.