The 10th-grader slid his cardboard ramp into a rectangle of blue painter’s tape on the floor.
Carefully, he placed a four-wheeled vehicle made of K’NEX toys and duct tape at the top of the ramp. He took a long, slow breath and began to count down.
Three. Two. One.
The car rocketed down the ramp and raced across the polished gymnasium floor. It traveled several feet at breakneck speed before coming to a sudden halt exactly over a small line of blue tape.
“Gravity Vehicle” was just one of the 46 events at this year’s Science Olympiad Invitational held on Wright State University’s Dayton campus.
More than 1,500 sixth through 12th-graders from 10 states competed in a variety of science competitions covering the fields of biology, chemistry, earth science, astronomy, engineering, physics and technology.
This was the second year that Wright State held its own Science Olympiad invitational. The university will put on one more invitational next year before hosting the National Science Olympiad Tournament in May 2013.
The teams from Solon High School and Solon Middle School both took first place in their division. Teams from Ohio, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Georgia rounded out the top 10.
Science Olympiad is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of science education, increase interest in science, attract more students to science careers, foster teamwork, emphasize the problem-solving aspects of science and develop a technologically literate workforce.
For more information, visit http://www.wright.edu/scienceolympiad/.