More than 5,000 middle- and high-school students, educators and parents from across the nation will attend the Science Olympiad National Tournament at UNL through May 16. Opening events today include a STEM Expo and an Executive Egg Drop.
Science Olympiad engages students in using their minds to solve complex problems as teams and compete for scholarships and bragging rights as the best science minds in the nation. It is one of the United States’ premiere science competitions.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome Science Olympiad to Nebraska and one of the nation’s top public universities,” Chancellor Harvey Perlman said. “I invite all Science Olympiad participants to enjoy our beautiful campus and city as they get a glimpse of life at a Big Ten university.”
Science Olympiads are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of team events in different age divisions. The culmination of regional and state tournaments is the Science Olympiad National Tournament, which is held at a different university each year.
In addition to the competition, UNL will host a number of related events:
At 3 p.m. May 15, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, student participants will compete with “executive partners” including Gov. Pete Ricketts, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, UNL Professor of Physics Tim Gay and others in The Executive Egg Drop. Students and executives will work to construct a paper cage that will hold a raw egg. The caged eggs then will be dropped from a balcony onto a target below, and winners will be determined by how well their egg survives the fall.
UNL is hosting a free, public STEM Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 15 in Jorgensen Hall. Tours of laboratories, the Voetle-Keegan NanoCenter and the Diocles Extreme Light Laboratory will be available. Sponsors will offer exhibits, and there will be displays from the Society of Physics Students, the Cosmic Ray Observatory Project and the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, as well as from the departments of astronomy, biochemistry, and Earth an atmospheric sciences. For more information on the STEM Expo, click here.
As part of the expo, UNL’s popular 30-minute “SciPop Talks!” will take place in Jorgensen Hall from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 15, as speakers from UNL and Doane College discuss topics at the cross-section of science and pop culture. Topics of the free, public talks include how to survive a zombie apocalypse using chemistry, the physics of comic books, the science between high school and high-tech, chemistry in the movies and many others. For a full schedule, click here.