23 Middle School & High School Teams Competing at PNW’s Hammond Campus

Purdue-Northwest-colorTwenty-three student teams from 18 middle schools and high schools will compete in the Purdue University Northwest regional Science Olympiad Saturday (2/11) at PNW’s Hammond Campus.

Wide-ranging competitive events Modeled after the Olympics Games, the Science Olympiad is a national initiative, featuring students from school teams competing in nearly two dozen hands-on events relating to anatomy and physiology, aeronautics, biology, health, environment, food science, astronomy, meteorology, chemistry, engineering, forensics, hydrogeology, critical thinking, problem solving and more.

Each team records a score in each event. The top five scoring high school and middle school teams advance to state competition March 18 at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Comprising the high school division are teams from Clark (Hammond), Gavit (Hammond), Morton (Hammond), Hammond Academy of Science and Technology, Munster, Westville, Whiting, Marquette Catholic (Michigan City) and East Noble (Kendallville).

Competing middle school division teams are from Gavit (Hammond), Scott (Hammond), Clark (Hammond), Hammond Academy of Science and Technology, Forest Ridge Academy (Schererville), St. Thomas More (Munster), Wilbur Wright (Munster), Westville and Wheeler (Crown Point).

Advancing STEM education “This event creates a wonderful opportunity for young people to see firsthand, through direct hands-on involvement, how exciting the field of science, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) more generally, can be,” competition coordinator Vanessa Quinn, PNW professor of biology and interim associate dean of the Honors College, said.

”The students also get to interact with members of our outstanding faculty from several of our Purdue Northwest colleges. The interactions with faculty, the information about the programs, and just the presence on a university campus for a day are valuable to these students as they start to look ahead to college.”

This year’s competition features three new events:

  • “Optics,” in which students position mirrors to direct a laser beam towards a target;
  • “Remote Sensing,” in which students use remote sensing imagery, data and computational skills to complete tasks related to climate change processes; and
  • “Hovercraft,” in which students construct a self-propelled, air-levitated vehicle and move the vehicle down a track.

Most competition occurs between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Gyte Science Building, Fitness and Recreation Center, and Challenger Learning Center. The awards ceremony takes place in the gymnasium in the Fitness and Recreation Center at approximately 5 p.m.

The competition is sponsored in part by ArcelorMittal and hosted by Purdue Northwest’s Honors College and College of Engineering and Science. Other information is available at http://academics.pnw.edu/honors/initiatives/scienceolympiad/.

Purdue University Northwest Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two campuses in Hammond and Westville in Northwest Indiana. The university was formed by the unification in 2016 of the former Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central. With more than 15,000 students and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.