800 Southeastern North Carolina Students to Compete at Annual Science Olympiad at UNCW March 3

Students compete in the annual Wilmington Regional Science Olympiad at UNCW

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Nearly 800 middle school and high school students from Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender Counties will compete in the annual Wilmington Regional Science Olympiad 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Forty-five middle and high school teams will compete in 46 activities that will test their skills and knowledge of biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology, physics, engineering, technology and more.

The fun activities range from launching bottle rockets and building helicopters to examining a "crime scene" and conducting chemistry experiments. Highlighted events are below. The Olympiad will be hosted by the UNC Wilmington Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CESTEM).

"Students don't just build complicated devices," said Dennis Kubasko, director of the Wilmington Olympiad and UNCW CESTEM. "They participate in events that are meant to challenge their ability to solve problems and come up with answers to science-related challenges. Students prepare all year for this event and the atmosphere is electrifying. It is awesome to see younger generations excited about learning science and working as a team."

UNCW faculty and students and community volunteers have designed events that will produce scores to determine first, second, third and fourth-place medal winners, with trophies from state and national organizations going to the top finishers in each division. Top finishers will qualify to compete at the State Tournament held in Raleigh at N.C. State University on April 27 and 28. The top two teams at the state tournament will represent North Carolina at the National Science Olympiad at the University of Central Florida in Orlando in May.

North Carolina Science Olympiad (NCSO) is a nonprofit organization that aims to attract and retain the pool of K-12 students entering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers in N.C. Each year, more than eight thousand students representing 450 K-12 schools from 60 North Carolina counties participate in NCSO activities on university, community college and public school campuses across the state.

NCSO activities are sponsored in-part by Time Warner Cable's Connect-a-Million-Minds initiative. The Wilmington event will be facilitated with the help of volunteers from General Electric, E2 America, the UNCW Watson School of Education and College of Arts and Sciences and New Hanover County Schools.

Hands-on activities include:

Crime Busters, 8:30-9:45 a.m. in Dobo Hall 125 and 126
Teams will attempt to bust criminals by using only the analysis of powders, fibers and glass found at the crime scene.

Sounds of Music, 8:30-9:45 a.m. in Dobo 134
Students will build two instruments that can perform a major scale, a required melody (St. Anthony Chorale) and a chosen melody with each.

Towers, 8:30 - 11:15 a.m. and noon - 2:30 p.m.in Hanover Gym
Teams will design and build a tower constructed from wood and glue and will load sand into a bucket suspended and supported by the tower until either the tower breaks or 15 kg is held.

Bottle Rockets, 12:30-3:15 p.m. on Hoggard Lawn
Teams will build will build one or two rockets (one liter or less) in hopes that their rocket will stay aloft for the longest amount of time.

Gravity Vehicle, noon - 2:30 p.m. in Hanover Gym
Teams will build a car and ramp, powered by gravity, calibrated to run a certain distance as fast as possible.

Helicopters, 8:30 - 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 - 3:15 p.m. in Hanover Gym
Teams will construct a rubber-powered helicopter before the tournament and hope that theirs flies for the longest amount of time.

Full schedule: http://www.sciencenc.com/tournament-information/wilmington/wilmington.php

Media contact:
Joy Davis, Marketing and Communications, 910.632.3903 or davisjc@uncw.edu