Polymer Outreach hosts Science Olympiad and hundreds of local students


Five-hundred fifty students and forty-four teams: the Akron Regional Science Olympiad hosted by the Akron Global Polymer Academy is a scientific competition that challenges young students to use their teamwork and ingenuity, all while having fun in the name of science! On March 9, 2019, students from dozens of local middle and high schools gathered at The University of Akron’s campus to compete in team events and have an opportunity to qualify for The Ohio State Tournament in April.

To give a little more insight into what Science Olympiad is all about, the Science Olympiad website states, “Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division (Division B is middle school; Division C is high school). Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation. Through Science Olympiad, students, teachers, parents, principals and business leaders bond together and work toward a shared goal.”

In addition to all the students and teachers, this year there were over 160 volunteers, many of which were UA students, alumni, and members of the Roo Crew. These volunteers were invaluable to the success of the day’s events running smoothly and efficiently for the student competitors.

These students, ranging from sixth to twelfth grade, began preparing months ago. They needed to learn as much as they could about three to five different scientific pursuits to compete with their team. Each school’s team of fifteen students must cover 23 events. At each event a timer is set, and within that time frame teams must design a project, finish a task, or complete a test.

Events in this competition consist of topics related to programming, earth science, chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, technology, and many others. Bringing all these very different disciplines to the competition encourages students from anywhere on the STEM spectrum to participate and allows for group learning and team building, which are both incredibly important skills in most scientific careers today.

The Akron Global Polymer Academy has hosted the competition for over ten years and would like to thank this year’s sponsors from UA: Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, and the College of Engineering. A huge endeavor like this would not be possible without the help of coaches, supervisors, and volunteers who organized events, wrote and graded tests, and judged contests. Thanks to them and to the dedication of the AGPA, the 2019 Regional Science Olympiad was a success.