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Show Your knowledge of Science
Edit by. Sam Yang | Published. 2018.03.21 17:28 | Count : 147
What is Science Olympiad? 
In late April, a great opportunity becomes available in Michigan for middle and high school who are interested in science: Science Olympiad. The Olympiad teams from each school consist of 15 student members and 2 or 3 substitutes who compete in variety of subjects:  anatomy, ecology, experimental design, chemistry, material science, thermodynamics, forensics, astronomy, optic, rocks and minerals, remote sensing, etc. Topics of competition include “Microbe Mission”, “Disease Detective”, and “Mouse Trap”. Most of the events involve tests or competitions in a lab where students have to answer questions based on their knowledge. Some events allow students to bring one sheet of paper with information they previously selected written on it; for other events students may bring a binder with information they can used to answer questions. Other events include building structures such as a tower, hovercraft, or helicopter. Each school team has to build its own models before competition. The main goals of building events are to build structures that are light, strong, and efficient. For example, a successful tower will be light, yet strong enough to hold its most weight. The winning helicopter,and hovercraft will be able to fly the longest.
[Schedule of Science Olympiad 2018]
Preparation for Science Olympiad
Sign up for Science Olympiad starts in mid-October and ends in November. Volunteer teachers coach selected teams. To encourage teamwork students might design a team T-shirt with a clever logo. Students usually have to sign up for multiple events since each school can only be consisted of 15 main members. These selected members must prepare for each event that they have signed up. Topics are provided ahead of time, but students must prepare on their own and decide which information to include on the paper that they are allowed to bring with them. For the building events, students must bring their own completed prototype to the competition.
[Science Olympiad Tower Event, http://www.nascioly.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/DSC_5103.jpg]
How to reach the state level 
There are 3 levels of competition for Science Olympiad: the practice level, regional competition, and the state finals. Before the actual regional events, there are practice events where students take tests just as they would in the actual event, although these scores do not have any impact; however, students can still earn medals at this stage, depending on how well they do in their event. Practice events can provide a great opportunity for participants to get a sense of how they must prepare for their event because the same material is used for both practice and official regional events, The first level of competition is especially helpful for building events because builders can find out how they ranked, and what they need to do to fix mistakes and improve their models for an official event. In actual competition, only 2 students per event can perform. Each event is around 50 minutes long and has 70 to 130 questions to answer. For regional events, around 30 schools compete. If a school gets higher than 8th place at this level, it qualifies for state competition where it can compete against every winning school in Michigan.

Sam Yang 
Forest Hills Northern High school

Sam Yang  student_reporter@dherald.com

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