Ready, set, science

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Science Olympiad is a team of students who compete in contests with different science topics and the Ozark sixth through eighth grade team meets in Mrs. Cox’s room on Thursdays from 3:00 to 5:00.

Jacob Davidson is part of the eighth grade section with Olivia Tramel, Rachel Neal, and Ethan Frye. He will be competing just like all the other members of Science Olympiad. “I will be making a hovercraft that has to fly up 2 feet, crime busting where I have to solve crimes using chemicals, and also roller coaster which is creating a roller coaster that has to carry a marble up and bring it back down in 20 seconds,” Davidson explains.

Mr. McPheeters, the coach for this team, works at Ozark Middle School as a science teacher. He has divided up the topics in a way. “There are many different events. I think of it in three categories: building stuff, doing experiments, and using knowledge. Some are mix of all of those,” Mr. McPheeters adds.

Science Olympiad isn’t just like another science class and all work and Davidson would agree. “It is very fun. I get to see my old teachers, hang out with friends, and the teachers are super fun to be around,” says Davidson.

All this science does get the wheels spinning in the head. “It really helps me a lot throughout the school year in science and it really starts up my brain to think more majestically,” Davidson included.

This is the first year that Ozark has done sixth grade on the Science Olympiad team and two years since seventh grade has participated. Mr. McPheeters wanted to have this age group participate because he enjoyed it when he was younger.

The coaches, Mr. McPheeters and Mrs. Cox’s, jobs are to ensure that the members of Science Olympiad have everything the need to be prepared, give them tips and methods in their projects, and make sure they do everything safely and smartly.

Competitions are what the members are preparing to attend. The southwest regional competition will be held on Feb 24, and the Missouri State University state competition is on April 7. There is most likely a national competition to follow.

This may seem like a lot. Work is constantly put in by the participating students and it takes time and effort explains the coaches. “Anyone can join, but it takes a person that is self motivated and dedicated,” Mr. McPheeters adds.

For the students it is exciting and the coaches have their views as well. “Eye-opening. For the students I think it gives them a tiny taste of what a career in science could be like. They also see how much work they need put in in-order to be good at something. It shows the students how much they don’t know about a subject and how to research topics on their own,” Mr. McPheeters concludes.