Science Olympiad team to compete at state on Saturday |

Science Olympiad team to compete at state on Saturday

Teri Vance
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Some classes can seem routine to 11-year-old Emily Chandler. Not so when it comes to Science Olympiad.

“I get to learn something new for once in my life,” said Chandler, who is studying for the bio-process lab competition, one of 23 events in mathematics, science, engineering and other technology in the Olympiad. She and the other competitors will be tested on lab procedures, including observing, measuring and classifying specimens.

Carson Middle School’s Science Olympiad team won the regional competition in Reno on Feb. 13 and will compete at the state level in Las Vegas on Saturday.

“The whole goal of Science Olympiad is to show kids that math, science and technology can be fun,” said adviser Mary Stanley. “Those of us who are mathematicians, scientists and engineers know they’re great careers, but they don’t necessarily know that yet.”

She said the different events lead students to explore areas they wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to in a traditional science class, like ornithology.

Students spend an hour and a half after school up to three days a week to prepare.

Genoa Donaldson, 13, spent Tuesday practicing for the Write It, Do It event where competitors are given a structure made out of building materials, such as toothpicks.

They must then write a line-by-line description of how to build the structure. A partner must re-create the structure using only those instructions.

“It gets frustrating sometimes when she doesn’t get the instructions right away,” Donaldson said. “Then I know I didn’t write it right.”

While Donaldson’s partner, Huma Firdhos, 12, waited for the instructions, she practiced for her other events.

“My favorite is Physical Science Lab,” she said.

In that event, students are tasked with building the most efficient wind generator.

“I think it’s fun because you get to build something,” she said. “You get to test it out and take it apart. It’s fun to see how it works out.”