Brandon Gibson was among several Killdeer students who recently attended the North Dakota state Science Olympiad competition at the North Dakota State University.
NDSU hosts the state-level competition for teams that have successfully advanced from regional competitions, which are held throughout the state.
The Science Olympiad engages students in competitions that expose them to numerous areas of science and engineering as well as help them learn communication skills and how to interact with a team. Competition topics change every year and fall under broad topic areas including Earth and Space Science, Technology and Engineering, Life Personal and Social Science, Physical Science and Chemistry, Inquiry and Nature of Science.
“It is probably the best way to introduce kids to science,” said North Dakota Science Olympiad co-director Guy Hokanson.
“It’s popular in middle schools and high schools – it makes science fun!”
Hundreds of students attended the state-level Science Olympiad competition, including Killdeer high school student Brandon Gibson. Killdeer High School participated in a range of activities such as Mission Possible that allowed the students to gain hands on and teamwork experience.
“I’ve learned to work with another person. You can’t have one strong person. Mainly just teamwork and the strengths and weakness of each other”, commented Gibson. “If you like hands on, we have building events. There are events to fit everyone. Engineering. The whole stem field is there.”
The competitions are designed to be a fun and interactive for students to learn how to communicate and work together as a team, in addition, to learning about Science and Engineering. Killdeer high school took 2nd place in Write To Do It, and 3rd place in Thermodynamics. In Write To Do It, students work as a team to build structures.
“Through participating in the Science Olympiad, students get the opportunity to begin to see themselves in the role of a scientist or engineer,” commented North Dakota Science Olympiad co-director and NDSU assistant professor Jeremy Straub. “This is critical to filling shortages in key science, technology, engineering and math job roles.”
Science Olympiad prepares students, at any early age, to start formulating ideas and thoughts of how they might pursue a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math career in the future. Nationally, the first Science Olympiad tournament was held in 1985. Over 7,800 schools in all 50 states participate each year.