R.A. Long students are preparing themselves for the 2013 Science Olympiad regionals this March at Lower Columbia College, one of the hundreds of schools hosting the competition where over 6,000 schools across the country will begin the tournament of knowledge until one school comes out above the rest.
RAL first participated in the Science Olympiad in 2011, but started to wiggle their way to the top of the regionals by receiving medals in multiple categories such as the “helicopter” and “gravity vehicle” class.
“The students build for the constructing challenges and study for the test,” said John Tietjen, the R.A. Long Science Olympiad coach. “They can study what they want and build what they want. The sky is the limit.”
The past two years that R.A. Long has attended the Science Olympiad, they’ve came close to passing the regionals. “This year, we hope to get to State,” acknowledged Matt Davis, a senior who received a silver medal for Forestry last year. “I’ve been studying and meeting up with my partner whenever I can.”
The Science Olympiad was founded by Dr. Donald Barnes and Dr. David Wetmore in North and South Carolina in 1977. An article on it attracted attention, and Jack Cairns hosted a Science Olympiad in Delaware. In 1982, Dr. Gerard Putz, a regional science consultant for Michigan’s Macomb County Intermediate School, moved to spread the contest nationwide. In 1985, 17 states too part. Today, all states, including 6,400 schools ranging from middle school to high school, are competing in the nationwide tournament. An additional 10,000 elementary schools host hands-on events.
The regionals will be held at Lower Columbia College March 9. If RAL does well, then their next competition will be at state competition in Pullman in April.