Sunday, March 29, 2015

Science Olympiad

Having a son excell in Science has been quite an eye opener for our family.  I enjoy science, did well in biology. Love all things medical.  David is a respiratory therapist, so I guess he comes by his analytical  mind naturally.  But he far surpasses his parents in his capabilities and understanding of things.

At his middle school, Zach was put into a class called Science Olympiad.  Sounded cool... But it turns out that it's a national organization that has compititions all over the country.  Kids can win scholarships at Nationals to universities.  We encouraged him to join the club that would meet after school in addition to his class. He was a little reluctant at first.

The State Competion was this last weekend at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Schools from around the state competed (it was mostly teams from Anchorage and Wasilla.  But there was a team from Barrow (about as far north as you can get in Alaska, and one from Homer, which is further south than us.  Teams from Wasilla tended to dominate.  Their schools sent multiple teams.  Zach's schools sent one fairly small team.  

Zach participated in 2 events.  One that was called RoboCross where he had to build a Lego robot to use in an obstacle course, and the other was BioLab, where he and a partner had to solve lab 50 questions having 3 minutes for each question.  He was only told about the biology event a few days before.  He did not place in that one, we are still waiting for results to be updated online.  But the Lego Robot one he came 2 points shy of 3rd place.  They were at a slight disadvantage because they were the only team to have their controllers tethered to the machine.  So wires could have gotten in the way.  (Luckily they didn't).  

The points for each event are then counted to see how the school team faired.  Zach's school, Hanshew came in 3rd place!! Very exciting! He does not get to go off to Nationals in Nebraska however. (I didn't even realize it was an option until the awards ceremony!) 

What we realized when we were there is that for the amount of schools in Anchorage, we really only had a handful of schools represented... And NO high Schools... Including South Anchorage HS where Zach will be attending next year.  Zach wants to partipcate again ... So David and I will be talking with the school to see how to set up a team at his school! 

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