Middle school girls complete in Science Olympics

Lauralton Hall recently hosted the annual spring Science Olympics. Participants included 120 middle school girls from Fairfield and New Haven counties formed into 30 teams that competed for awards in multiple science-based events.

Lauralton students are required to take physics freshman year, allowing each student to recognize very quickly that science can be exciting and fun. Lauralton students volunteered at Science Olympics to encourage and demonstrate to middle school students how science has empowered them and to pique a broader interest in science. “Our students are wonderful models,” stated Lauralton science teacher and Science Olympics coordinator Susan Cavar, Ph.D. “It is so important for young girls to see people they can look up to, women who are confident and love learning.”

  Open to sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls, Science Olympics is held twice a year—in September and May—in support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for girls. Participants spend the day competing in events that focus on different areas of science. The challenges require teamwork, planning and lateral thinking.

The budding scientists recently participated in such projects as building a bird call, speed puzzling, constructing a wind powered car and creating a DNA bracelet. Experimentation, editing, re-evaluating results and logic are critical to each challenge. “It is critically important for young women to learn to think critically – this will be the essential skill in the 21st century.  I hope that this program expands their experiences so that the girls gain confidence and are more willing to attempt “scary” challenges,” commented Dr. Cavar.

One of the highlights of the day was a fun and interactive “Fire and Ice Show” from Mad Science Group. The performance included bubbly potions, cinematic special effects and chemical reactions.

First place winners include: 6th grade – Scotts Ridge Middle School (Ridgefield); 7th grade – Moran Middle School (Wallingford); 8th grade – Seymour Middle School (Seymour); Mixed grade – Worthington Hooker School (New Haven).

Lauralton is proud to broaden the interest of young girls in the field of science. Fall Science Olympics is set for September 27, 2014.

 

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