Last updated: February 28. 2014 10:30AM - 779 Views

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Local elementary school students are encouraged to explore the world of science by attending a special event on March 29 at Rockingham Middle School.

The middle school’s Science Olympiad team will be presenting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the cafeteria an Introduction to Science Olympiad! as part of the 2014 North Carolina Science Festival.

Science Olympiad is an American elementary, middle and high school team competition in which students compete in various “events” that pertain to scientific disciplines. To name a few, students will participate in the fields of earth science, biology, chemistry, physics and engineering. Over 6,700 teams from 50 U.S. states compete each year.

In Richmond County, Introduction to Science Olympiad! will provide opportunities for elementary students to try out some of the Division A Science Olympiad events.

“It is our hope that this will spur an interest in forming Science Olympiad teams at our local elementary schools,” said Kristi Wikane, a teacher at Rockingham Middle.

Wikane said that this is the first year that the school has participated in an event like this.

According to Wikane, some of the events the school expects to showcase include Bridge-a-Roni, where pasta bridges are engineered to withstand the greatest force, Trajeggtory, which will involve creating a case to protect an egg dropped from a specific height, and Build-a-Barge, where a flat-bottomed vessel is constructed using a specific collection of materials to hold the greatest amount of mass before sinking.

In addition to these activities, there will be other “tested” events that involve physical, life and earth sciences. Science Olympiad students will also be selling concessions throughout the day.

Participating in this drop-in event will not only give students the experience of Science Olympiad on a local level, but will encourage them to play a role in a statewide initiative that has been in operation since 2010.

Introduction to Science Olympiad! is featured in 2014 North Carolina Science Festival (NCSF) promotions.

The NCSF, held from March 28 to April 13, is a two-week statewide series of events showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It includes hands-on activities, science talks, lab tours, nature experiences, exhibits, performances and other events for all ages.

The 2014 Festival Champion is Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds initiative. The Festival is proudly produced by UNC-Chapel Hill’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. Learn more at www.ncsciencefestival.org.

“The North Carolina Science Festival is about communities coming together to celebrate the wonders of science,” said Jonathan Frederick, NCSF director. “Thanks to the talents of our event hosts across the state, there’s something for everyone.”

For more information about the event, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org/2014_event/introduction-to-science-olympiad/.

To enroll in this free event, parents are encouraged to contact Rockingham Middle School at 910-997-9827 and provide their child’s name, grade and the elementary school they attend.

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