UNCW’s Watson College of Education to Host Annual Wilmington Regional Science Olympiad on March 7

Monday, March 02, 2015

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 on March 7 at UNCW. The event will kick off at 8:30 a.m.

Sixty-four teams of students will demonstrate their skills in 46 activities designed to enhance their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). For the first time in the event’s history, many activities, including the engineering competitions and the closing awards ceremony, will be held in Trask Coliseum. Other events will be held in Bear, Dobo and DeLoach Halls and on Hoggard Lawn.

The Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CESTEM) at the Watson College of Education coordinates the Wilmington Regional Science Olympiad in partnership with campus and community volunteers from General Electric, Corning, New Hanover County Schools, the UNCW College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services.

“We are so thankful for broad community interest in this long-standing academic event that features true STEM integration into practice,” said Dennis Kubasko, CESTEM director. “We are indebted to our middle school and high school STEM teachers who sacrifice many hours after school and over weekends to prepare their kids for the competition.”

The student teams will launch bottle rockets, build gliders, analyze forensic evidence, identify fossils and compete in many other categories determined by the North Carolina Science Olympiad. Top finishers will qualify to compete at the April 24-25 state tournament at N.C. State University in Raleigh. The state tournament winners will represent North Carolina at the National Science Olympiad Tournament at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in May.   

“I don’t think I can overstate the importance of an opportunity for our community to engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Kubasko said. “This academic competition brings together the most talented and motivated STEM-infused middle and high school students from across southeastern North Carolina. This is a great chance for CESTEM and the Watson College of Education to showcase our university and our faculty, staff and students. Volunteers from a multitude of academic departments are involved in Science Olympiad.”