University Hosts K-12 Students at Science Olympiad Competition

University Hosts K-12 Students at Science Olympiad Competition
Students compete in the Sounds of Music competition on their homemade instruments during last year's L.A. County Science Olympiad.
High School students aim their trebuchet in the 2005 Storm the Castle competition.

Nearly 1,500 students representing 98 teams matched wits at Cal Poly Pomona on March 4, after months of study to compete in the 20th annual Los Angeles County Science Olympiad.

Science Olympiad competitions for elementary, middle and high school students took place throughout the day, beginning at 8:30 a.m., followed by awards ceremonies. The tournament included more than 40 different events, including bottle-rocket testing, pasta-vehicle building, bridge building, fossil identification and forensics.

The top three teams in the middle and high school divisions move on to compete in the Southern California state competition. State winners from throughout the nation will gather at Indiana University May 19-20 for the National Science Olympiad Tournament.

Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education. Through the tournaments, students in grades 6-12 demonstrate their understanding and mastery of science, mathematics and technology concepts. This year, between 2 and 3 million middle and high school students are expected to compete.

This is the third year Cal Poly Pomona's colleges of Science and Engineering have offered to host this educational experience, which is organized by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Cal Poly Pomona often works with community partners to encourage K-12 students to pursue knowledge at a young age.  

“Cal Poly Pomona is proud to host the Science Olympiad and these exceptional students,” said University President Michael Ortiz. “The university and the Science Olympiad share a common appreciation for hands-on learning, which engages students in the process of applying textbook knowledge to real world problems.”

Cal Poly Pomona faculty and staff helped with the logistics and organization of the massive event, during which nearly 2,500 people converged on the university campus. In addition the campus was assisted by parents, teachers and community partners who came to cheer the students on and support the event.