Monday, May 2, 2011

Science!!! (and the science of baking)

 Mac with 3 Science Olympiad medals and one ISSMA gold medal

 This was Mac's second year to participate on his school's Science Olympiad team. There are fifteen team members and each team member participates in at least three events. For the regional competition Mac's events were Junk Yard Challenge (technology and engineering), Can't Judge a Powder (chemistry), and Experimental Design (inquiry & nature of science). 

The regional competition took place at Butler University in Indianapolis. This year was unusually challenging for Mac because he had an ISSMA state competition scheduled for the same day as the Sci-Oly regional competition. Fortunately the two events were 15 minutes apart in driving distance, however; his ISSMA performance time was scheduled 20 minutes after his last Sci-Oly event. Keith and I went first thing in the morning to speak with the ISSMA judge to see if we could buy some extra time. Thankfully, he was more than willing to work with us and told us to get there as soon as we could but not to worry if we were late. That helped to take some of the pressure off of Mac during his competitions.

Mac and his teammate Alex building a tower for Junkyard Challenge. For this event each team was allowed to bring in supplies from a provided list. All of which must fit inside a box with total dimensions no grater than 90cm.   They had to be prepared to build one of three things, a tower, a bridge, or  a catapult out of essentially nothing more than Styrofoam cups, paper plates, tape, straws, and craft sticks. They found out at the competition what they needed to build which turned out to be a tower. They were given 30 minutes to build, and the tower had to withstand holding a golf ball at the very top without collapsing.  

As you can tell their tower almost reached the ceiling, Alex is standing on top of a table to reach the top of the tower to place the golf ball. They came in second place, just 2cm under the winning team's tower. 

Not all of the events can be viewed by the public. Both of Mac's other events were behind closed doors which is why we didn't get photographs of those.

His team placed 1st in the regional competition. Only the top two teams go on to compete in state. Mac also received a gold medal for his ISSMA performance which made all the running back and forth from the two events worth while.

 Mac's team and coach showing off their 1st place plaque 

About 5 weeks late the team was headed off to the state competition which was held at Purdue University Calumet  in Hammond Indiana. This competition had some challenges of it's own. The very first event started at 6:30am on Saturday morning. Purdue Calumet is about a 4 hour drive from Bloomington and given the early start time we knew we needed to arrive the night before. Despite the early hours, the kids all  seemed wide awake and eager to go.

Mac and Alex in Can't Judge a Powder

Mac had to give up one of his events for state because it had a time conflict with another one. He was taken off Experimental Design and put on Write it Do it, which was also an inquiry and nature of science event.
I love this picture of Mac and his partner Scott giving each other a "high five" after winning a medal in Write it Do it. 

Mac's team received 5th place in the state competition which is quite an accomplishment, and 2 places better than their 7th place finish last year! We are so proud of all of them.


The team and trophy after taking 5th place in the state!

I had fun baking "science" treats throughout the year for the kids. Below are a few pictures of some science related cookies, cupcakes, and a cake to celebrate their hard work and achievements.



A t-shirt cake the same color as their team t-shirts with a science Olympiad medal


Steph said...

Congratulations on both accounts!

Kelly said...

Two of my favorites in this post:

1. The high five picture! Great shot!

2. The cookies! Oh my goodness! They are perfect.

Congrats to everyone! :)

Lisa said...

Just love your blog. We are moving to Indiana.
My doughter ,in 6th grade plays violin. She is appying to IU Jacobs pre college program . How do you like the program?

sweetcakes said...

Lisa- you can email me, and I will try to answer any questions you have about Bloomington. :)

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