ELLINWOOD — Provided with a box of odds and ends such as straws, foil, paper and scissors, and armed with keen determination, seventh and eighth grade students from throughout central Kansas competed in the Science Olympiad at Ellinwood High School on Friday.
Hoisington science teacher Dennis Poland said the full day of activities "allows the students to have some fun learning about science. It is to teach ingenuity."
The students traveled to each of the four stations, and were given forty-five minutes to build and complete the task. The stations included building a robotic arm with a cup to carry pennies, flying a paper airplane with a ping pong ball attached, building a vessel to transport a 50 gram weight across a pool with wind, also known as a fan, and building a hanging mechanism to suspend a cup 20 centimeters off the base. The participants will also take a 50 question science test.
Each team received the same box. They winners were awarded medals at the end of the day.
The students were having fun too. They said they learned to work together as team through the trial and error of finding items that would work.
The top seven students in seventh and in eighth grade, for a total of 14, made up the teams from each school.
Ellinwood teachers Kelsi Harmon, Seresa Arndt and Monte Doll used the materials in the past to ensure that each task could actually be done.
"The material can get it accomplished," said Monte Doll. "The box has the materials necessary, but if they use the wrong thing at the wrong time, they may not be able to complete a later (station)."
"They are more of a critical thinking, problem solving activity," said Harmon.