Hawai‘i State Science Olympiad

In early February the Hawai‘i State Science Olympiad Windward Regional Tournament was held at Windward Community College (WCC). This was the lead up competition to the state tournament.

You might be thinking, “What’s a ‘Science Olympiad’?” It is much more involved and exciting than your typical science fair. Students are put to the test to think on the fly and come up with intriguing solutions and thoughtful write ups in very short periods of time.

Over 200 students from middle schools and high schools competed in 11 events that showcased their knowledge in astronomy, anatomy, chemistry, geology, engineering, and scientific method.

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Several graduate students from the Callahan/Aeby lab were invited to judge some of the events. Amanda Shore-Maggio, Silvia Beurmann, and Christina Runyon were involved in overseeing the students in the engineering and experimental design projects. Amanda and Silvia judged the Boomilever event, which was probably on of the most exciting events. Students built a wooden cantilever to hold a suspended weight. Each team added weight to their lever until it broke and scoring was based on weight of lever in relation to the weight it could hold. Check out the photos below.                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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It was really great to see the students’ enthusiasm for science and the sense of teamwork and community from all the competing schools.

Congratulations to McKinley High School and Hawaii Baptist Academy Teams 1 and 2 for coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively in Division C at the Windward Oahu Regional Tournament today! Congratulations as well to Campbell High School and Kahuku High School for also qualifying!

Congratulations to Hawaii Baptist Academy, La Pietra School for Girls, and Le Jardin Academy for coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively in Division B at the Windward Oahu Regional Tournament today! Congratulations as well to Kahuku Intermediate School for also qualifying! See you all at the State Finals in March!

It truly was a great day for everyone involved.  The need for more events like this would allow for students and teachers to engage in thinking outside of the box and enable our future scientists with the tools to explore critical thinking in everyday life.  With our goal here being to educate Hawaii’s students in ocean sciences, we were happy to see there was one event that incorporated water quality.  The importance of the world’s oceans for global climate, weather, and the cycles of carbon, nitrogen, etc are all concepts taught in public schools, hopefully next years event will incorporate more of this into its program.

Any ideas for a fun event that would incorporate ocean education and stewardship? Let us know!

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