Our very own elementary school started the county’s Science Olympiad program in 2003 (read more here) as a way to support and encourage our student’s interest in science, nature, and engineering. Teams in 2nd through 5th grades meet once a week for about an hour. Topics range from construction (towers, bridges, arrows, rockets), to exploration of a body of research (animals, flowers, the solar system, potions), to technology topics (circuits, programming, maps).
Science Olympiad topics are defined by WESO, a county wide team representing all of Washtenaw County, which publishes competition descriptions each year. We use these descriptions as a starting point for our efforts. We do NOT organize our activities around teaching to the test. Rather, our goal is to introduce topics and encourage exploration. We especially hope that students will discover they enjoy the team work and will be able to imagine themselves working with nature, the method of science, and structured building.
This program is completely organized, coached, and run by volunteers. Our Bryant/Pattengill team works with about 100 students every year. Our team is made up of almost twenty volunteers to coach, a few to help organize the school’s efforts, a few to supply baked goods for the competition, one to directly team with WESO, and many to help setup, run, & break down the event.
“We focus our efforts on hands-on investigations, novel projects, engaging case studies, and developing together as a team. We work hard to keep the idea of the competition from getting in the way of having fun while we are working hard together. In many ways, there just happens to be an Olympiad at the end.”
Teams meet from February through May.
The competition is May 12th, 2018