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Young Scientists Prepare For Olympiad
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Budding young scientists from throughout the region are gearing up for the 29th Annual Stanislaus County Regional Science Olympiad slated for Saturday, March 7 at Modesto Junior College (West Campus new Science Center). The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and will end with the Awards Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. held inside the Agriculture Pavilion. More than 550 students representing area junior and senior high schools – including Riverbank students – will participate in the day-long event. The public is invited to attend. Admission and parking are free.

This year’s Science Olympiad is sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE), US Bank, Modesto Junior College, and the Education Foundation of Stanislaus County. Brian Sanders, MJC Dean of Science, Mathematics and Engineering, Derek Madden, Biology Professor from MJC and Cheryl Goulart, Student Events Program Coordinator from SCOE, are coordinating the event. They will join more than 150 volunteers, including SCOE staff and MJC faculty and students, who will judge or assist with the competition.

“Such competitions inspire the next generation of scientists,” Sanders said. “I am thrilled to see so many junior and high school students coming to our campus to participate in the Science Olympiad and I look forward to a wonderful event.”

The Regional Science Olympiad consists of individual and team events that encourage learning in biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, problem solving and technology. Some events require knowledge of scientific facts and concepts, while others rely on science processes, skills or application. According to Cheryl Goulart, several events require students to build devices prior to the competition, such as Wheeled Vehicle and Air Trajectory. For Wheeled Vehicle, students design, build and test a vehicle that uses elastic material as the propulsion energy, and for Air Trajectory, students design, construct and calibrate a device capable of launching projectiles into a target.

The following junior high/middle schools are participating: Blaker-Kinser, Cardozo Middle School of Riverbank, Hart-Ransom Charter, Hickman Charter, La Loma, Our Lady of Fatima, Prescott, Riverbank Language Academy, Sacred Heart, Savage, St. Stanislaus, Turlock, Ustach and Vanguard Academy. The following high schools are participating: Beyer, Central Catholic, Ceres, Downey, Enochs, Gregori, Hart Ransom Charter, Johansen, Modesto, Oakdale, Vanguard and Whitmore Charter.

The top four teams in each division advance to the Northern California (Nor Cal) Science Olympiad State Finals. This year’s state Science Olympiad is scheduled for Saturday, April 18 at California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock.