By Will Rosenthal
The Elementary Science Olympiad Invitational took place on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at the Orange County Fair and Events Center in Costa Mesa, California.
At 9:30 a.m. the hangar where the Elementary Science Olympiad took place was filled with over 150 eager elementary school students, along with their parents. OC Science Executive Board members Neah Lekan and Nathan Lin opened the event with a well crafted welcoming statement, thanking the OC Science Board, 14 board members that were present, both the parent and student volunteers and participants to start the Olympiad.
Designed for young aspiring scientists, the Olympiad consisted of each student being able to participate in two different events. Station leaders and a few assistant volunteers headed stations including: Crime Busters (where students could dust for fingerprints, use a UV light and solve a crime), Mystery Liquids (where students learned about acids and bases), Straw Towers, Aerodynamics (students learned about building the most aerodynamic airplane possible), Building Prokaryotes and Solid, Liquid, Gas.
“I certainly thought that it was challenging to create something unique and fun, yet something that would intellectually push the participants,” Jeff Guo, the lead instructor for the “Straw Towers” station said. “However, I really enjoyed volunteering and seeing the end result of all the hard work that the volunteers put into the event.”
“My favorite part of the event was being able to see the kids have fun with a hands on activity and learn at the same time,” Nathan Lin said. “This is not something that was necessarily always present in a classroom environment.”
As the event winded down, Alina Trinh and Shreyas Hukkeri made the closing remarks and handed out awards. Overall, the Elementary Science Olympiad Invitational was a place where students could follow their passion and interact with others who share the same interests, and the 830 plus hours of planning put into the event certainly paid off.