Area middle school and high school teams will advance to a state science competition in April after their showing at a recent regional event at MTSU.
The 23rd Regional Science Olympiad was held Saturday, Feb. 24, at the MTSU Science Building and other campus locations. A total of 28 high school and middle school teams received hands-on experience at this science competition. Event organizers include several of MTSU's own students, faculty and staff.
Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of team events in each of the high school, middle school and elementary divisions, according to the national organization’s website, www.soinc.org.
The MTSU regional event included two divisions — middle school and high school — with teams in first through sixth place receiving medals during the closing award ceremony. Four schools from each division advanced to the annual state Science Olympiad in Knoxville, Tennessee, in April at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus.
In the high school division, Central Magnet in Murfreesboro took first place, followed by Stewarts Creek, Smyrna and Shelbyville Central. The middle school division winner was St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, followed by WEB Tutorial (homeschool), Central Magnet and Rockvale.
See a video recap at https://youtu.be/4jqkRGkN8h8.
Pat Patterson, an associate chemistry professor at MTSU and director of the regional tournament, said she was excited for students to participate in what she considers "the best of STEM" — science, technology, engineering and math.
"I want them to have a fun, safe environment for the day," Patterson said in advance of the event. "Hopefully they'll have so much fun with science and technology, so they can stay in this field or at least see some of the applications of it … And I hope they see how beautiful this campus is.”
Student participants in the MTSU event explored various scientific areas, including a little bit of engineering during a "Hovercraft" activity. Categories for all teams included "Disease Detectives," "Battery Buggy," "Roller Coaster" and "Mystery Architecture."
Events were held throughout campus, including at the Science Building, Wiser-Patten Science Hall, the Davis Science Building, Kirksey Old Main and a few others, Patterson said.
Returning schools included Blackman Middle, Central Magnet and Rockvale.
"It will prepare them for the real world,” said Patterson, who noted that State Farm’s financial support of the competing teams was critical in making the Olympiad successful.
Founded in 1984, Science Olympiad is one of the premier science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous, standards-based challenges to 7,800 teams in all 50 states.
For more information about the MTSU regional, contact Patterson at Patricia.Patterson@mtsu.edu or 615-898-5085. To learn more about the Tennessee Science Olympiad, visit http://tnscioly.utk.edu.