Science Olympiads and Science Fairs
Stan Tanenholtz

Whether its called science olympiad or science fair, this exciting event for students from middle school to high school enhances their appreciation of science and engineering.

On March 8,1997, a regional science olympiad took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology assisted by numerous volunteers among whom were many engineers. The Worcester County Section of the IEEE was a part of this event through the mentoring programs in which we participate.

Among the most popular projects were:

A trajectory event, in which a projectile was propelled by compressed air to strike a distant target. The pressure and distance were predefined and there were many clever devices.

An egg drop, in which students created a protective container for the egg with specific materials which was then dropped from a specified height at a target below.

The middle school students worked on these projects for many weeks prior to the olympiad and were mentored by volunteers, many of whom were engineers.

Another program initiated at one middle school by the Worcester County Section of the IEEE and has now grown to three schools, is the Solar Sprint. Students work in small teams to construct model electric cars powered by a solar panel. These are then raced in competition with other schools in the region. The regional race this year will take place on June 14 at Beverly High School.

Anyone interested in volunteering and helping to develop such programs at schools in their communities, call Stan Tanenholtz at 508-485-7185.