Science Olympiad offers hands-on learning

Science Olympiad offers hands-on learning
Posted on 10/15/2018
HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. – Science came to life at Sam Michael’s Park this week as sixth grade students at Jefferson County Schools’ four middle schools took part in the annual Sixth Grade Science Olympiad. More than 750 students took part in hands-on activities designed to show how science they learn in the classroom has practical applications in the real world.
“We’re introducing students to science and all that there is in science. Science is not just test tubes,” according to Olympiad Coordinator Candy Cane. 
Cane said the Olympiad is not a competition, but instead offers students a chance to experience science first hand at more than 17 different stations. Students explore topics like Physics, Earth Science, and Chemistry and are shown how these skills can be used in real careers. Cane said the key is the volunteers at the stations who deliver the scientific concepts to the students.
“They’re getting it from people who are passionate about these subjects, and perhaps, it may spur on an interest in a career.”
Highlights for students include stations where they dissect owl pellets and handle horseshoe crab shells. Sgt. Sell with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department runs a popular course that demonstrates how math and science help with accident reconstruction.
The Science Olympiad has its roots in an agreement between the school system and the Smithsonian Institute. Cane said she was trained to help coordinate the event when that partnership dissolved around 2000. Since then she’s organized the county’s middle schools to take part in a week-long event.
Shepherdstown Middle School came to the park Monday. Wildwood Middle School was there Tuesday. Charles Town Middle School came out on Wednesday, and the sixth grade class split up at Harpers Ferry Middle School to cover Thursday and Friday.

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