University hosts Science Olympiad for state’s middle and high school students

Young scientists compete for national tournament placement at state event at University of Nevada, Reno March 2

2/28/2013 - By: Natalie Savidge
Nevada MESA students Pictured here, students involved with Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement, known as Nevada MESA, an after-school science and math enrichment program, prepare for the last year’s Nevada State Science Olympiad, this year held at the University of Nevada, Reno on March 2.

The University of Nevada, Reno hosts the Nevada State Science Olympiad for the second year on Saturday, March 2, in the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center building on campus. The Nevada Olympiad, in its 13th year, is one of more than 240 regional and state tournaments in the country. It will include more than 420 talented middle and high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) participants from around the state competing for the chance to go to the 29th Annual National Science Olympiad, this year held May 17 and 18 at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Competitions on Saturday begin at 9 a.m. and run until 3:35 p.m. and awards are at 4 p.m.

Stan Omaye, professor in the University's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources and volunteer facilitator for the state event, is looking forward to seeing the work of the middle and high school student teams when they come to campus.

"This event has excellent potential for recruiting talented students in STEM areas and promoting University of Nevada STEM programs," said Omaye. "And, it is also a great time to recognize outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers."

Volunteer faculty, staff and students from all of the University colleges, the Desert Research Institute and many community educators will participate as judges. Teams will compete in a series of events ranging from astronomy to rocks and minerals, metric mastery, helicopters and thermodynamics. Teams must demonstrate a wide range of science knowledge, concepts, science processes and thinking skills and science application and technology. Events emphasize active, hands-on group participation.

Richard Vineyard from the Nevada Department of Education has been the state director for Nevada State Science Olympiad for most of the years since it was initiated, in 2000.

The Science Olympiad began in 1982 and is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to science education around the world. The location of the national competition changes each year. This rotating system gives kids a chance to visit new parts of the country, to tour colleges they might consider for their undergraduate studies, and provides a memorable experience to last a lifetime. It is now one of the premiere science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous, standards-based challenges.

For more information, contact Shanelle Sloan with the College of Engineering at 775-682-7741 or shanelles@unr.edu, or Stan Omaye with the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at 775-784-6447 or omaye@unr.edu.


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