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Competing for Scholars: Pennsylvania Science Olympiad Finals at Juniata

(Posted April 24, 2006)

Competitiors from the 2005 event compete in the Storm the Castle event.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Students from 70 high schools and middle schools in Pennsylvania will design and build a vehicle using only an elastic band as propulsion, examine the chemistry of food, and delve into the mysteries of electric circuitry at the 2006 Pennsylvania Science Olympiad Finals to be held on the campus of Juniata College, Friday, April 28.

This will be the 16th year Juniata College has hosted the state finals.

"Science Olympiad gives students across Pennsylvania a chance to see how Juniata's science facilities are the equal of any college in the state," says Ron Pauline, associate professor emeritus of education and Science Olympiad state tournament site director. "We love to host the Science Olympiad because it gives faculty, students and staff a chance to work with some of the best science students."

The students will take part in a variety of science projects across campus at sites such as the von Liebig Center for Science, Knox Stadium, the Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center and the lawn behind Ellis College Center.

The 2006 Science Olympiad begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues throughout the day, ending with an awards ceremony at approximately 4:15 p.m. in the sport's center's main gym. More than 1,000 students will compete.

Competitors are separated into two divisions: Division B (grades 6-9) and Division C (grades 9-12).
Teams attending the state finals at Juniata qualified by finishing first or second at one of six regional competitions held in March. Teams finishing first or second in the April 25 state finals will go on to compete in the Science Olympiad National Tournament at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., May 17-20.

The Science Olympiad brings out the talents, resourcefulness and skills of young scientists as teams create different science projects for competition in 23 events. The events, which can involve individuals or teams, allow students to think creatively while building an elaborate project.

For example, in Storm the Castle, students must construct a machine capable of flinging a projectile a great distance, sort of like a medieval catapault.

Other events include Mission Possible, where students build Rube Goldberg-style devices to demonstrate scientific principles; Awesome Aquifer, where students design and build a model aquifer; and Circuit Lab, where participants compete in activities centered around direct current electrical circuits.

Other events test knowledge and skills in astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, and physics.

Science Olympiad is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and recognizing outstanding achievements in science education.
For more information on the Science Olympiad, visit the Science Olympiad Web site: Juniata College also has a Web site dedicated to the event at http://projects.juniata.edu/scioly/.

The middle schools and high schools with teams in the 2006 Pennsylvania Science Olympiad State Finals are:

B Division - Grades 6 - 9

Northwestern Division
Shady Side Academy Middle School
Clarion Area Junior/Senior High School
Indiana Area Junior High School
Laurel Junior/Senior High School
Sewickley Academy

Southwestern Division
Peters Township Middle School
Franklin Regional Middle School
Finley Middle School
Plum Junior High School

Central Division
Hershey Middle School
Eastern York Middle School
Lemoyne Middle School
Park Forest Middle School
Eagle View Middle School

Southeastern Division
Bala Cynwyd Middle School
Welsh Valley Middle School
Strath Haven Middle School
Chichester Middle School
Stetson Middle School
J.R. Fugett Middle School
Haverford Middle School
Tamanend Middle School
Unami Middle School
Holicong Middle School

Central Eastern Division
Kutztown Middle School
Whitehall-Coplay Middle School
Fleetwood Middle School
East Hills Middle School
Exeter Township Junior High School

Northeastern Division
Stroudsburg Junior High School
Dallas Middle School
Wyoming Area Secondary Center
Tunkhannock Area Middle School
Greater Nanticoke Area Junior/Senior High School
Harlan Rowe Junior High School

C Division - Grades 9 - 12

Northwestern Division
Shady Side Academy
Clarion Area High School
Montour High School
Kane Area High School
Warren Area High School
DuBois Area High School

Southwestern Division
Taylor Allerdice High School
Woodland Hills High School
Plum Senior High School
Greater Latrobe Senior High School
Norwin High School

Central Division
State College Area High School
Bishop McDevitt Senior High School
Hershey High School
Susquehanna Township High School

Southeastern Division
Harriton High School
Conestoga High School
Penncrest High School
Lower Merion High School
Haverford Senior High School
Friends' Central High School
West Chester East High School
Chichester Senior High School

Central Eastern Division
Kutztown Area High School
Fleetwood Area High School
Allentown Central Catholic High School
Wilson Area High School
Exeter Township Senior High School

Northeastern Division
Delaware Valley High School
Wyoming Area High School
Stroudsburg High School
Bishop Hoban High School
Lehighton Area High School
Athens Area High School
Chambersburg Senior High School

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.