WFU to host N.C. Science Olympiad tournament

Students conduct a science experiment

Nearly 400 local middle and high school students will gather for the N.C. Science Olympiad tournament at Wake Forest University on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Events like Science Olympiad encourage students to pursue science by engaging in the subject in a fun and interesting way. The Olympiad features various scientific topics and rewards students for excelling in a passion that does not always receive celebration.

Gloria Muday, Science Olympiad regional director and Wake Forest biology professor, said hosting the event on campus allows visiting students to perform experiments in university laboratories and to get a view of college science classrooms, as well as making it easy for Wake Forest students to volunteer and help lead events.

“Science Olympiad is a fun way for students to engage in science, learning how science works and applying this knowledge to design and building as well as scientific experimentation.” Gloria Muday

“The highlight of the day is the awards ceremony where outstanding performance is rewarded with medals and trophies and the enthusiastic cheers of an audience, as is more frequently seen for athletic victories,” she said.

Sixteen high school and 12 middle school teams (with up to 16 students each) from Alleghany, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties will compete in 46 different science-related events, including:

  • Bottle Rocket – Prior to the competition teams will design, build, and test up to two 2-liter bottle rockets that may not change shape or deploy a recovery system (no parachutes) to achieve the greatest time aloft (Davis Field, 8:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
  • Duct Tape Challenge – This event tests a team’s ability to design and build a structure primarily from Duct® Tape (Winston Hall room 103, 8:30 – 9:45 a.m. and Winston Hall room 121 at 12:15 – 1:30 p.m.)
  • Forensics – Students will perform tests to solve a crime, including identification of unknown powders, finger print analysis, and chromatography.  (Winston Hall room B01, 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.)
  • Wright Stuff – Students will design, build and test up to two elastic powered propeller driven planes to achieve the greatest time aloft, (Sutton Center 204, 12:15 – 3 p.m.)
  • Helicopters – Students will design, build and test up to two elastic launched helicopters capable of the greatest time aloft (Sutton Center 204, 12:15 – 3 p.m.)
  • Scrambler – Competitors must design, build and test a mechanical device, which uses the energy from a falling mass to transport an egg along a straight track and stop as close as possible to a terminal barrier without breaking the egg (Winston Hall 043, 12:15 – 3 p.m.)

Wake Forest’s Department of Biology and Center for Molecular Signaling are sponsoring the event. The day culminates with an award ceremony at 4 p.m. in Wait Chapel.

Please contact the news office to make arrangements for coverage.

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Gloria Muday

Director, Center for Molecular Signaling and Professor of Biology

Muday pursues research on how plant hormones modulate root development.

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