Athens Area High School Science Olympiad to host Twin Tiers Science Olympiad Invitational Jan. 14

By WBNG News

Athens Area High School Science Olympiad to host Twin Tiers Science Olympiad Invitational Jan. 14

January 11, 2012 Updated Jan 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The Athens Area High School Science Olympiad will host the Twin Tiers Science Olympiad Invitational on Saturday, January 14. 

This is Athens Area School District’s seventh year hosting the Twin Tiers Science Olympiad Invitational for Division C teams. The Wildcats will host 29 teams representing 18 schools from Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, New Hampshire, and  Virginia. 

Invitational Tournaments allow Science Olympiad teams to participate in "practice" tournaments that do not impact regional or state advancement or rankings.  Across the country, many middle and high schools host these events to give teams a chance to perfect their devices, get a feel for the difficulty level of tests and labs, and see a real tournament in action.

For the past 28 years, Science Olympiad has led a revolution in science education. What began as a grassroots assembly of science teachers is now one of the premiere science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous, standards-based challenges to more than 5,700 teams in 48 states. The Science Olympiad is modeled after successful Science Olympiad tournaments held in Delaware and Michigan that were introduced by Dr. Gerard J. Putz, Regional Science Center Director, Macomb Intermediate School District in Michigan and Jack Cairns, Science Supervisor, Delaware Department of Public Instruction. 

Science Olympiad's ever-changing event lineup provides a variety of career choices and exposure to practicing scientists and mentors.   One of Science Olympiad’s main goals is to bring recognition to academic excellence that is normally reserved for athletes.  Many alumni consider Science Olympiad the most important and influential activity they had participated in during their middle school and high school years. Science Olympiad focuses on cooperation, teamwork, while students practice toward an objective and improve skills through competition.  Making learning exciting through motivational activities is an essential ingredient in achieving academic excellence. 

Grade levels are divided into different divisions based on National standards.  Division B includes students in grades six through nine while Division C encompasses grades nine through twelve.  Athletic-style medals are given for each event. In addition, championship trophies are awarded to the Division B and C school teams compiling the most total points during the Science Olympiad tournament. A team may participate in one or all of the events within its division.

Athens Area School District began its Science Olympiad program nine years ago in 2003. They did not make it to the state level that year, but they have been every year since.  They have, in fact, placed first in our region for the past six years and have been invited to the State Tournament for the past eight years.  They have medaled at States every year they have been invited and have even placed first in several events at this level over the years.  Last year in the 2011 season, Athens was ranked third in the state at this competition; only one place away from competing at Nationals.
This academic year, Athens has approximately 25 students participating in Science Olympiad events.  Students have the opportunity to choose which events from the National list of categories and events that interest and challenge them to think beyond the usual classroom scope.  Topic categories for 2012 include the areas of Life, Personal & Social Sciences, Earth & Space Science, Physical Science & Chemistry, Technology & Engineering, and Inquiry & Science of Nature.  Students have been working on team projects from gravity powered vehicles, rubber band helicopters, balsa wood towers and thermodynamic boxes to anatomy & physiology, public health and the human impact on Earth.  Students will also be performing music with instruments they have crafted themselves including Athens’ marimba, recorder and a trumpet.

In addition to hosting their Invitational the Division C team of young scientists competed last weekend at the Capital Invitational at Ravina Central School outside of Albany, NY.  The will also be traveling to Solon, Ohio outside of Cleveland to compete against 59 other teams on February 4th and at Tiger Invitational Science Olympiad Invitational on February 11th (Northwestern Lehigh HS).  Regionals are scheduled for March 7th at Penn State Wilkes-Barre Campus.  From there the team hopes to move on to the PA State Tournament on April 27th at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA.  Maybe Nationals this year?

2012 Division C Events

Life, Personal & Social Science
     Anatomy and Physiology
     Microbe Mission (Cell Biology)
     Disease Detectives (Food borne illnesses)

Earth & Space Science
     Water Quality
     Dynamic Planet
     Rocks & Minerals
     Remote Sensing (Human Impact on Earth)

Physical Science & Chemistry
     Protein Modeling (Molecular structures of proteins)
     Physics Lab (Thermodynamics)
     Chemistry Lab

Technology & Engineering
     Elevated Bridge
     Robot Arm
     Gravity Vehicle

Inquiry & Nature of Science
     Fermi Questions
     Sounds of Music
     Technical Problem Solving
     Write It Do It