Students from Golda Och Academy will join hundreds of other students representing 20 middle schools and 16 high schools from throughout Northern New Jersey at the New Jersey Institute of Technology today to compete in the New Jersey Science Olympiad Regional Tournament.
Teams will participate in events designed to make science, technology and math more enticing, relevant and exciting from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“The New Jersey Science Olympiad brings together over 600 students with strong interests in the STEM fields for a fun day of team competition,” says John Carpinelli, professor of electrical and computer engineering and executive director of the Center for Pre-College Programs, which organizes the competition. “As New Jersey’s Science and Technology University, NJIT has a great deal of experience in these fields and is well suited to run this competition. Service is one of the four pillars of NJIT’s mission, and this competition is an important service to New Jersey’s K-12 educational community.”
Some of the events students will be participating in include; elastic launched glider, where high school students will design, build and test two elastic launched gliders; helicopters, where middle school students will construct and test in free flight, rubber-powered helicopters prior to the event to achieve maximum flight times; Mission Possible, where teams must design, build, test and document one "Rube Goldberg®-like Device" that completes a required final task using a sequence of consecutive tasks; among others.
Judges will select six winning teams from the high schools, and six from the middle schools. Each team will win a trophy and the top scoring teams will have the chance to compete in the State Finals Tournament on March 11 at Middlesex County College.
Nearly 50 NJIT students have volunteered to help organize the Olympiad, and several NJIT professors will act as supervisors and judges, according to Carpinelli.
The New Jersey Science Olympiad has been on the leading edge of educational innovations since its inception in 1993, and NJIT has been hosting the regional contest since 2007. These innovations include high academic standards; demonstration of skills through performance testing; learning through hands-on activities; cooperative learning through events that require teamwork; improved self-concept through success in achieving high standards and making applications and connections to the real world. Events are closely aligned with New Jersey Education Standards and include strong components for problem-solving, critical thinking and use of technology.