By Edward Cardenas
WARREN (CBS Detroit) – Hundreds of students from across Macomb and St. Clair counties will test their skills and against each other in a variety of events at Science Olympiad at Macomb Community College.
The regional competition is one of 15 that are being held statewide for high school, and middle school, students in a number of competitive – and fun – events that test their skills in a variety science fields.
Events include identifying fossils; launching a bottle rockets and attempt to keep it aloft the longest and building a simple machine.
“It’s probably the best design competition that will cover every aspect of science,” said Paul Voydanoff, Science Olympiad regional director and teacher at South Lake High School. “It fits every kind of student’s aspiration. If they are not really good with their hands, but the are book smart, there are events for them. If they are really good with their hands, and not necessary test takers, there are events for them.”
The Macomb Community College regional event will host teams from 22 high schools, and 22 middle schools, with nearly 1,300 students competing for medals and trophies and the opportunity to represent the region at the state tournament May 2 at Michigan State University.
During the event, which is free and open to the public, students compete in 23 events at the middle school and high school level. Total scores are tallied for each team.
In addition to team building, students are learning to apply chemistry, physics, biology, Earth and space science in a real-world setting. These skills could also be transferred later into a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) profession.
“It is fabulous to see what it does,” said Voydanoff, who added that Science Olympiad alumni have gone on to become astronomers, engineers and doctors.
Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization founded in 1984 which has grown to include about 200,000 students on 6,400 teams.
An elementary school competition will be held May 9.