Thursday, May 29, 2008

What's the deal with Science Olympiad?

Have you noticed a lot of extra children walking around GW's campus?

I’ve seen a lot of signs about Science Olympiad on campus lately but when I've mentioned the events to my friends I always get the same response. "What's Science Olympiad?" So, in an effort to find out, I did some research.

This weekend, GW will be invaded by more than just interns staying in DC for the summer, there will also be several hundred high school and middle school students coming to participate in the National Science Olympiad competition.

According to the Science Olympiad website, Science Olympiad is a series of events related to science for middle and high school students. Each team consists of 15 people from each school but events usually involve groups of two. For example, in the Electric Vehicle event students have to construct an electric car--while in Science Crime Busters, middle school students figure out who committed a crime using science. There are a lot more events that explore different scientific topics.

A lot of the events are open to the public. So if you have nothing better to do with your weekend, you might want to check out some of the contests. Even if you are too lazy to leave your room, you can also watch the opening and closing ceremonies via live webcast on your computer.

In a recent interview with the Hatchet Ed Caress, an organizer for event and former member of the GW faculty, explained what administrators hope to get out of this event.
"We have excellent science and engineering departments, but they are
smaller than those at other major research institutions. I believe this event
will display to the public and prospective students that we have truly excellent
departments, and we hope they will consider coming to GW to study science
and engineering."
Do you think that our science programs will be improved because this one event (let me know in the comment section)? I don't, but I guess it's worth a shot.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Any idea why GW is the site of this competition? I'd get if it were politically-related. GW is in DC, after all. But science? hmmm...wonder why GW.

Anonymous said...

Judging by that picture (kids building a tower out of sticks?) I'd guess no -- GW's science program will not be improved by this.

Sarah said...

I seem to remember hearing about Science Olympiad in high school. But being a word nerd rather than a science nerd, I never competed. But I'm seconding wondering why it's at GW.

In any case, I hope these kids are learning about centrifugal force. Science is everywhere.

Basketmaker said...

Hmm, maybe our programs will improve. I mean the institution is not going to say "Wow, we hosted the science olympiad, let's improve our science programs." That would be too thoughtful of GW. An individual science teacher might think it, but let's face it, science teachers aren't the most proactive people. I'm excited that GW is getting great name recognition though. I want more kids to apply here. It enhances the power of my degree!

Anonymous said...

maybe gwu is hoping to improve our science programs by waving the application fee for kids who attended this year's olympiad (at least president knapp seemed to think so at the opening ceremony)

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