The 2018 Science Olympics featured pennies, marbles and eggs – some smashed and some intact – as students in grades 6 to 9 had their creativity, teamwork and STEM skills tested at the event held at the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre on Thursday, April 12.
Over 300 students from schools throughout Northern Lights competed in teams of five to solve three challenges and claim the title of Science Olympics champions.
For the first challenge “Money Bucket,” students were given newspaper, cardstock, tape, straws and a few other materials to construct an arm attached to their table that had to hold a metal bucket at the end. They were judged by the length of the arm, and, to up the ante, they earned extra points for the number of pennies their bucket could hold before it collapsed.
The second challenge, “Lost Your Marbles,” students were given poster board and a variety of other materials to construct a roller coaster. In this challenge, the length and slope of the coaster was important as judging was based on how long it took the marble to travel before landing in a cup at the end (the longer the trip, the better). Creativity was evident as students incorporated their tables and chairs into their designs.
Eggs came out in the third event when students were challenged to create a paper airplane that would allow “Humpty Dumpty” to take a flight without needing all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to put him back together again. Students created airplanes using poster board and cradled their eggs in a variety of ways before launching the planes across the fieldhouse. Judging was based on flight distance and the condition of the egg at the end of its voyage.
“Our students absolutely love this event,” said Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk. “For many of them, it is the highlight of their year and they look forward to being able to come and compete in subsequent years.”
One of the keys to the success of the Science Olympics is the support the event receives from businesses and volunteers in our communities,
“Year after year our community partners give their time, money and energy to ensure our students have the opportunity to take part in this amazing event,” said Hrynyk. “We appreciate their commitment to our students and our school division.”
Sponsors for this year’s event included Devon Canada, Imperial, Canadian Natural, Cenovus Energy, Britton’s Independent Grocer, Spatial Technologies, EDCON Power Tongs, The Stitchin’ Man, Lac La Biche Post, boom 103.5, Kool 101.3, and boom 95.3.
Students from 13 schools in Northern Lights competed in the all-day event. First, second and third place winners were announced for each grade level (grades 6, 7, 8 and 9).