Science Olympiad returns to Wright State with tournament Feb. 7

Glider launch

Wright State will host 1,500 middle and high school students from 92 teams from 11 states during the Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament.

Gliders, wooden bridges, Rube Goldberg devices and more than a thousand bright, motivated teenagers will return to Wright State when the university hosts the 2015 Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament.

The tournament will be held throughout Wright State’s Dayton Campus on Saturday, Feb. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., concluding with award ceremonies at 4:30 p.m.

Events will take place in 10 campus buildings and one parking lot.

Science Olympiad tests middle and high school students’ ability to solve physics, engineering, math, biology and anatomy problems in complex hands-on and lab events.

It involves teams of students from public and private schools who practice throughout the year and compete in regional and state tournaments and an annual national tournament.

This year’s competition will include 92 teams from 11 states, including Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

Forty-four Ohio schools will travel to Dayton from a range of communities, including Centerville, Fairborn, Lebanon and Solon, whose schools won the national tournament’s middle school and high school divisions in 2013.

Students setting up device

Science Olympiad features hands-on activities in which students must complete a complex task and events testing competitors on their knowledge of certain scientific topics.

The tournament is expected to attract 1,500 students and up to 400 coaches and family members to Wright State.

CeAnn Chalker, the 2017 Science Olympiad National Tournament co-director, said the invitational is an important tournament for Science Olympiad teams from all over the United States.

“Teams want to bring their students to our tournament because of the high level of competition, the quality of the tournament and to be able to visit a college campus,” said Chalker, who also chairs the Science Olympiad technology and rules committees. “No other universities host an invitational every year. What a wonderful opportunity for all these middle school and high school students to spend time at Wright State University.”

This year’s tournament will feature 23 events in both the middle school and high school divisions. Many of the events are hands-on activities in which students must build and complete a complex task, while other events test competitors on their knowledge of certain scientific topics.

Preparing experiment

Wright State will host its second Science Olympiad National Tournament in May 2017. The university also hosted the national tournament in 2013 and invitational tournaments in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

For instance, “Bungee Drop” participants drop a mass attached to an elastic cord from up in the air, trying to get the mass as close to the ground as possible. “Bottle Rocket” competitors design, construct and launch rockets made of empty two-liter plastic bottles. In “Crave the Wave,” participants solve problems and answer questions about types and areas of waves and wave motion. In “Wright Stuff,” students create and fly a balsa wood airplane powered by a twisted rubber band, with the goal of achieving the longest flight duration.

Wright State previously hosted the Science Olympiad National Tournament in 2013 and invitational tournaments in 2011, 2012 and 2014. The national tournament drew to campus nearly 2,000 students representing 120 teams from all 50 states, plus one team from Japan.

The university will host its second Science Olympiad National Tournament in May 2017.

“Science Olympiad is thrilled with the success of the tournaments at Wright State University,” Chalker said. “WSU offers fabulous facilities, wonderful support and a beautiful campus to hold the national tournament. Many of the students have never been on a college campus and WSU offers them a wonderful opportunity to see what a college has to offer.”

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. It has produced a generation of alumni who fill the hallways of top universities and corporations around the globe.

More information on the Wright State Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament is available at

Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed to fill a variety of roles, including directing participants around campus, assisting with specific events and delivering lunches, at the invitational.

Volunteers can participated the entire day (approximately 10 hours) or for a half-day shift. All volunteers receive a free T-shirt and the experience of watching students compete in exciting math, science and engineering events. Sign up >>

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