On Science Olympics Day, high school students will descend upon Western University. Their mission will be to compete in the annual Science Olympics and bring plaques back to their schools. This Olympics will not concentrate on track and field, although many of the events have elements of physical activity. No, these events rely primarily on problem solving and cooperative group work as teams pit their knowledge and skills against teams from other schools.
The events cover most aspects of the science curriculum. Some are based on the knowledge and skills acquired at school. For example:
- Four Grade Nine Events include events that require skills and knowledge from the units on Cells, Circuits and Chemical Change, and from the entire science course, as well as an event based on experience and intuition.
- Four Grade Ten Events require knowledge of each of biology, chemistry and physics.
- Compound Boggle encourages students to learn hundreds of chemical compounds as they train to record chemical formulae from a random 4x4 array of chemical symbols.
- London Bridge stimulates students to study construction techniques involved in building the strongest bridge out of popsicle sticks.
- Dante's Peek requires students to practise communication skills as they build a model as accurately as possible from the verbal descriptions only of a team member, who is allowed to peek for 15 seconds at a time.
- Fermi Questions challenge teams to answer a question when very little information is given, and then explain how they arrived at the answer:
How many drops of water are there in lake Erie?
- Rube Goldberg involves making a machine that performs a simple task in the most complicated way possible.