Regional NC Science Olympiad Event at UNCW March 2

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wilmington, N.C. - Nearly 1,000 middle school and high school students from Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties will compete in the annual Wilmington Regional Science Olympiad, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Fifty three middle and high school teams will compete in forty-six activities that will test their skills and knowledge of chemistry, physics, engineering, technology and more.

The fun activities range from launching bottle rockets and building gliders to examining a "crime scene" to identifying rocks and minerals. The Olympiad will be hosted by the UNC Wilmington Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CESTEM).

"Students don't just memorize content knowledge," said Dennis Kubasko, regional co-director of the Wilmington Olympiad and Director of UNCW's CESTEM. "They participate in events that are meant to challenge their ability to solve problems and come up with answers to science-related challenges. Some students prepare all year for their events and the atmosphere is electrifying. It is amazing to see future generations excited about learning, engaged in science and collaborating together as a team."

Key activities include:

Forensics, 8:30-9:45 a.m. in Dobo Hall, Rooms 125 and 126
Given a scenario and possible suspects, teams will perform a series of tests. These tests, along with other evidence or test results will be used to solve a crime and name the perpetrator.

Fermi Questions, 2:00 - 3:15 a.m. in DeLoach Hall, Room 204

A "Fermi Question" is a science related question that seeks a fast, rough estimate of a quantity, which is either difficult or impossible to measure directly.

Elastic Launch Glider, 8:30 - 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. in Hanover Gym
The object of this event is to design, build and test two elastic-launched gliders designed for the highest time aloft. This event challenges students to build and test gliders that must be launched at floor level, ascend to a high point and then transition into a slow descending glide pattern.

Bottle Rockets, 8:30-11:15 am and 12:30-3:15 p.m. on Hoggard Hall Lawn
Prior to the tournament, teams design and construct up to two rockets designed to stay aloft for the greatest amount of time.

Gravity Vehicle, 8:30 - 11:15 p.m. in Hanover Gym

Teams design, build, and test one vehicle and ramp that uses gravitational potential energy as the vehicle's sole means of propulsion to reach a Target Point as quickly, as accurately, and as close to their predicted time as possible.

Mousetrap Vehicle, 12:30 - 3:15 p.m. in Hanover Gym

Teams design, build, and test one vehicle using one or two mousetraps as its sole means of propulsion to travel a distance as quickly and accurately as possible from a Start Point to a Target Point.

See the full schedule and list of participating schools here.

Media Contact: Andrea Weaver, Office of University Relations,, 910-962-7631