The Leesville High Science Olympiad team is back for another year of competitive, critical thinking.
The initial tournament takes place on February 4 at Wakefield High School. The seven best teams in the regional tournament will proceed to the state level, at North Carolina State University. Success at the state level awards the winners partial scholarships to N.C. State.
“The competitions consist of a variety of events — twenty-three total — from anatomy to firing a catapult at a castle. Recently instituted was the Fermi questions category, a challenge of wrapping one’s mind around huge numbers and estimating the exponent used to describe the value,” said Kyle Tracy, junior.
During competitions, participating students split up into their respective groups for their events to answer questions on paper or to build engineering challenges.
Gabriel Argao, teacher advisor of the team, said, “We’re still forming our team. There are two types of members, test-takers or builders. We can have a maximum of eighteen members, we have ten so far. The main thing about Science Olympiad is it is a self-guided competition. Members who wish to practice need to meet with other members.”
The best teams in the state may also proceed to the national competition, a chance to see how they stack up against the best and brightest minds from across the country.
Because of the education budget cuts last year, the North Carolina Science Olympiad organization is funded mainly by donations and borrowed money. The lack of funding has forced various teams around the state to forgo participating in the tournament this year.
Students interested in engineering or simply solving problems should definitely consider participating in Science Olympiad.