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Elementary Science Olympiad 2020

A student prepares his rocket for 1, 2, 3 Blast Off

Students from 19 Onslow County elementary schools gathered at Northside High School on Saturday, February 1 to put their science skills to the test.  

The 2020 Elementary Science Olympiad competition hosted 19 teams who competed in several events that covered several areas of STEM education including chemistry, engineering, biology, coding, ecology and more.  

OCS Director of College and Career Readiness Michael Elder said that the Science Olympiad event is a chance for students to explore the world around them and see the importance of problem solving as they think about their futures.  

“A big part of Science Olympiad,” he said, “is that kids realize, first, that science is literally the world around them, and that people make their careers and lives about improving the world around them. One of the questions we always ask our kids is ‘what problem in your life are you going to solve?’ versus ‘what career will you have?’ It’s about what problem you want to solve, and that’s what tells you what career you will have.” 
Of all the various competitions that day, there were three main, public events, all of which drew a crowd of enthusiastic supporters: Pasta Tower; Ramp and Roll; and 3,2,1 Blast Off! 

Students test their pasta tower at Science Olympiad   Students test their pasta tower at Science Olympiad

The morning started bright and early with the Pasta Tower competition, which was an exciting challenge where students put their self-built towers, made of pasta, to the test against the weight of a bucket of sand. Teams were able to control the speed at which the load of sand was added to their tower, as well as the swing of the bucket receptacle. Several towers were able to hold an impressive amount of weight, with many even holding the full 1000 grams of sand. Towers were judged not only by the amount of weight they could hold, but also the efficiency of the tower and how much material teams used to build them. Mr. Elder said that this was an important lesson for the students on the efficiency required in the real world of engineering. Dixon Elementary took first place in this event.  

Students build their car for the Ramp and Roll competition   Students put their car to the test in Ramp and Roll

Next, competitors gathered in the gym for yet another engineering challenge. For this event, students built cars that would be judged on whether they successfully transported a golf ball, how straight they traveled, as well as how close to a specific distance they could travel without going too far or not far enough. Students controlled all variables except for how far the car had to travel. So, they were able to control where the car was released from their ramp, whether or not the car had a brake system, the number of wheels, etc. After each team trialed their car twice, it was Hunters Creek Elementary that came out on top.  

A student tests his rocket in 3,2,1 Blast Off   Students test their rocket in 3, 2, 1 Blast Off

In the third public event, students tested rockets they had built out of 2-liter bottles to see whose would stay in flight the longest. A ping pong ball also had to be launched with the rocket and separate from the rocket after launch. Clyde Erwin Elementary Magnet School took first place in this competition.  

After all the scores were tallied from the public and closed events, the overall top 6 teams were announced at the awards celebration.  

Swansboro Elementary took 1st place  

 Dixon Elementary took 2nd place   Hunters Creek Elementary took 3rd place   Carolina Forest Elementary took 4th place   

Silverdale Elementary took 5th place   Queens Creek Elementary took 6th place   Sand Ridge Elementary was presented with the Spirit Award

Congratulations to the following teams:  

  • 1st Place: Swansboro Elementary 
  • 2nd Place: Dixon Elementary 
  • 3rd Place: Hunters Creek Elementary 
  • 4th Place: Carolina Forest Elementary 
  • 5th Place: Silverdale Elementary 
  • 6th Place: Queens Creek Elementary 
  • Spirit Award: Sand Ridge Elementary

Laurel Kellum, a student volunteer, received a volunteer award   Michael Elder received the Outstanding Volunteer Award

In addition to the student awards, two volunteer awards were given to people event coordinator Michelle Chadwick felt went above and beyond to ensure that the Science Olympiad event was a success. Those awards went to high school student Laurel Kellum and Michael Elder.  

Congratulations to all of the event and overall winners, and a job well done to all who competed! 

See information about the Onslow tournament here on the Science Olympiad website: OCS Tournament

A student competes at Science Olympiad   Students compete at Science Olympiad   A student competes at Science Olympiad