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Science Olympiad Invitational This Saturday | Arts & Culture

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Science Olympiad Invitational This Saturday
Science Olympiad Invitational This Saturday

The following information was sent to us by Dian Nelson:

The third annual Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) Maryland Science Olympiad Invitational tournament is Saturday, January 28, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Crestwood Middle School. Attending are FCPS middle school teams from Ballenger Creek, Crestwood, Oakdale, Thurmont, Urbana, Walkersville, West Frederick and Windsor Knolls and teams from New Life Christian School, Frederick and Pilgrimage home-schooled groups and North Bethesda from Montgomery County.

A challenging "hands-on" science program for students in grades kindergarten through 12, the Science Olympiad features rigorous academic interscholastic events. Scientists and engineers from Maryland corporations, organizations and universities often help to oversee the Maryland Olympiad, designed to strengthen students’ science skills based on Maryland's Common Core and National Science Education Standards.

Science Olympiad teams are similar to school sports teams in that coaches and students practice continually to prepare for tournaments. The tournaments occur on Saturdays and have about 23 competitive events that cover the various science disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, earth/environmental science, engineering and technology.

Next month on February 25, middle and high school teams will compete at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Successful teams will move on to compete against the best teams at the state finals. On March 31, the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering will host the statewide tournament, from which the top middle and high school finalists will be invited to participate in the National Science Olympiad at the University of Florida in Orlando, May 18-19.

Students from Frederick County public schools have participated in Division B Maryland Science Olympiad tournaments since the 2007-08 school year. That year, Thurmont Middle students ranked first overall statewide and returned from the national tournament at George Washington University with a combined scholarship award of $300,000.  More recently, Monocacy Middle students ranked third overall in last year's state competition.

The Maryland Science Olympiad is managed through a partnership among Maryland science and technology organizations, the Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland Science Olympiad, Inc. According to its Web site, the Olympiad’s purposes are to teach team skills, make science and technology fun and ensure equal opportunities for high-quality science and technology education regardless of a child’s ethnicity, household income or geographic location. Additionally Maryland Science Olympiad seeks to motivate students to expand their competence and enable them to “do” science through inquiry-based exploration. The Olympiad's goals also include promoting student interest in STEM-related careers, increasing community involvement in schools and recognizing students’ and teachers’ outstanding STEM achievements.

For more information about this weekend's tournament, please contact FCPS science teacher Jason O.L. Johnson at Jason.Johnson@fcps.org, 240-236-5100.  Mr. Johnson, or "Mr. J" as students call him, directs the Maryland Science Olympiad Tournament for FCPS.

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