Two students from Jacobsen Middle School in Tehachapi carefully release their entry in the Science Olympiad's "Rotor Egg Drop" competition from the second story of a college building. The rotary motion of the pie plates around an axis allowed the cup suspended below to make a soft landing, preventing the raw egg inside the cup to remain unbroken. › View Larger Image
AVC Science Olympiad: Applying the STEM Disciplines
More than 500 middle school students explored the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the Aerospace Valley Regional Science Olympiad hosted by Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif., March 16.
The students participated in numerous competitive contests, games and hands-on demonstrations showing how the so-called STEM academic disciplines are played out in the physical environment, including application of science concepts and knowledge, science process and inquiry skills, and science application and technology. Among the scores of activities were bottle rocket launches, egg drops, sounds of music, mission possible, helicopters, bridge and tower building, our dynamic planet, meteorology, water quality, food science, forestry, astronomy and chemistry contests, among others.
Scores of high school students also participated in related activities and demonstrations, including the Lancaster High School Eagle Robotics Team that demonstrated one of their robotic vehicles for the younger students.
A follow-on to the former Bohn-Meyer Science Olympiad Showcase and Bohn-Meyer Math and Science Odyssey, the 2013 Regional Science Olympiad was sponsored by the college, which received a grant to stage the event from the national Science Olympiad organization, and Lockheed-Martin Corp., which provided major funding assistance and volunteers to staff the event. Other sponsors included Northrop Grumman Corp., Waste Management, the AERO Institute and NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's Office of Education.
Students participating in the 2013 Regional Science Olympiad represented 23 middle schools in the Westside Union, Lancaster, Palmdale, Keppel, Muroc Unified, Tehachapi Unified and Acton-Agua Dulce Unified school districts. Students from six high schools in the Antelope Valley Union High School District participated in the separate high school invitational division.
The team from Jacobsen Middle School in Tehachapi, Calif., was named overall winner of the middle school division at the Olympiad's conclusion.
For more information about the 2013 Science Olympiad, visit:
NASA photos by Tom Tschida
NASA Dryden aerospace education specialist Russ Billings drew rapt attention from a group of Girls Scouts as he demonstrated robotic how arms work. › View Larger Image