Southeastern News

Southeastern to host regional Science Olympiad for middle and highschool students on Feb. 6

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Oklahoma State University Department of Chemistry, Computer and Physical Sciences will host the regional Oklahoma Science Olympiad competition on Saturday, Feb. 6.

More than 170 middle and high school students from 15 school districts across the state are scheduled to participate.  The students will compete on 2-3 person teams in one or more of 23 events that include most areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  In addition, more than 30 volunteers will coordinate the various events.

The events will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m., with an awards ceremony scheduled for 4:15 pm in the Student Union Gym. Most of the competition will held in the Science Building, General Classroom Building, and Student Union Gym on campus.

“We look forward to hosting this competition,’’ said Dr. Tim Smith, Chair of Chemistry, Computer & Physical Science and Professor of Chemistry at Southeastern.  “It allows us to promote STEM, and at the same time, provides an opportunity for future college students to visit the Southeastern campus. Many of our faculty and staff are also volunteering their time to offer assistance.’’

Oklahoma has been involved in Science Olympiad for 15 years.  Science Olympiad competitions are similar to academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division (Division B is middle school; Division C is high school).

Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology.  By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved.  Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation.

Teamwork is a required skill in most scientific careers today, and Science Olympiad encourages group learning by designing events that forge alliances.  In Elevated Bridge, an engineering whiz and a kid from wood shop can become gold medalists. Similarly, a talented builder and a studentwith a good science vocabulary can excel in Write It Do It, one of Science Olympiad’s most popular events.

Schools from Bethany, Broken Arrow, Norman, Oklahoma City, Jenks, Piedmont, Tishomingo, Warr Acres, and The Colony (Texas) are among the entries.