students in lab coats looking over beakersStudents compete in the “Sir Mix-a-lot” chemistry activity as part of Friday’s Science Olympiad.

High school students come to campus for science showdown

Like athletes suiting up for competition, high schoolers strapped on their goggles, buttoned up their lab coats, and pulled on their rubber gloves Friday with a mindset to win the Science Olympiad. Approximately 190 students from grades 11 and 12 from 18 local high schools came together to compete at the University of Windsor on Friday.

The Science Olympiad, hosted by the Faculty of Science, consisted of teams racing from one event after the other, with a restricted time limit. The teams challenged each other in subjects including: chemistry, physics, environmental science, general science and computer science.

“There’s a lot of entertaining and engaging events happening throughout the day in the Science Olympiad. It opens the students to many areas of science that they can choose in post-secondary study,” said Michelle Bondy, outreach program coordinator in the Faculty of Science.

The Science Pursuit event was a common favourite; students raced to different buildings around campus to do small science activities that they were scored on. These activities involved forensics, a design challenge, biology and math.

“Every member on the team has their own specialty. Everyone has to work together using their strengths so you can have one fully functional excellent team,” said Emily Ma from Tecumseh Vista Academy.

The IQ quiz divided the team members up, which made them aware of their strong suits and weaker aspects.

“I didn’t know some of the questions but my teammates did,” said Ma.

Team members worked together at the Eyeball Benders event, where they had to look at zoomed-in photos to identify the objects.

“The Science Olympiad is challenging and fun and is testing the students’ science knowledge,” said Bondy. “Overall, it’s an enriching experience for them.”

A team from Vincent Massey Secondary School finished atop the 2015 Science Olympiad, winning scholarships worth $1,200 each to study science at the University of Windsor. This scholarship from the Provost’s Office was originally $1,000 but was increased by generous sponsorship from the University of Windsor Alumni Association. The Massey students also took home plaques and a trophy to display at their school until next year’s Science Olympiad.

Second-place winners didn’t go home empty-handed; they also took home plaques and each won $500 scholarships sponsored by the Faculty of Science.

—article and photo by Dana Attalla

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