Campus hosting state Science Olympiad April 1-2, national May 18-21

By University Communications
March 28, 2016
Students work on a problem during a recent state Science Olympiad at UW-Stout. The state meet returns to campus April 1-2, followed by the national meet May 18-21.

Photo: Students work on a problem during a recent state Science
Olympiad at UW-Stout. The state meet returns to campus April 1-2,
followed by the national meet May 18-21.

 
 An event that bills itself as the Nation’s Most Exciting K-12 Science Competition is coming to UW-Stout twice in the next seven weeks, first featuring students from around the state and then from around the nation.

The state Science Olympiad, for high school and middle school teams, will be held Friday and Saturday, April 1-2. Approximately 1,500 student competitors are expected, including from 43 high schools and 29 middle schools.

The national Science Olympiad will be held Wednesday through Saturday, May 18-21, on campus. It will feature 120 teams from all 50 states, 2,400 competitors and several thousand more coaches, family members, friends and spectators.

The national Science Olympiad logoThe director of both events is UW-Stout’s Forrest Schultz, a professor and chair of the department of chemistry and physics.

The competitions, especially the national, will have a significant economic impact on the region, Schultz said. UW-Stout has hosted the state tournament about a half-dozen times since 2001, including in 2014.

This will be UW-Stout’s first time hosting the national meet, which is in its 32nd year. The 2015 meet was at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., and the 2014 meet in Orlando.

Teams in the state meet will be attempting to qualify for the national meet.

State meet

Friday’s events kick off with a STEM Expo for students, featuring presentations by numerous faculty members, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on campus and at the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts.

An opening ceremony will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in Johnson Fieldhouse, including a parade of schools. The speaker will be Nels Paulson, an associate professor of social science at UW-Stout. His talk is titled “Science (Alone) is Never Enough.”

On Saturday, students and teams will compete in more than two dozen events, with awards at 4 p.m. in Johnson Fieldhouse. Competition categories include life-personal-social, earth-space, physical-chemistry, technology and inquiry.

The technology category, for example, includes competition in air trajectory, bridge building, robot arm, mystery design, electric vehicle and Wright stuff.

Competitions will be held in six UW-Stout buildings, along with the university’s outdoor track.

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Photos

Second Photo: The 2016 national Science Olympiad logo.