Snow postpones Science Olympiad

The Science Olympiad is rescheduled to Feb. 28 due to inclement weather.

Physics Professor John Winfrey said changes in events will occur if an event supervisor becomes unavailable, but he is polling coaches to determine which primary events need re-staffed.

The Olympiad was originally scheduled for Saturday. The opening ceremony was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and the closing ceremony at 4:00 p.m.

Registration has been extended to Feb. 27. Winfrey said the extension was implemented to ensure everyone who wanted to register could do so.

“We want as many people as possible to participate, so we will hold off,” Winfrey said.

The event marks the first time the Science Olympiad will happen in West Virginia. It will be on Marshall University’s campus.

The event will challenge the scientific abilities of middle and high school students in fields of air trajectory, anatomy and physiology, bottle rocket building, elastic launched glider building, wheeled vehicle design, designing and building contraptions on the spot and many more challenges.

Winfrey said a total of 15 high school teams and 13 middle school teams are expected to participate in the event. One team from each level will win the opportunity to go on to the Olympiad Nationals this May in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Winfrey said he started the event with the assistance of College of Science Dean Charles Somerville. Winfrey said he organized events during his time in Texas and wanted to bring the Olympiad to West Virginia after he moved.

“I used to work in Texas and I opened two complete centers. I know how to do it,” Winfrey said. “Here it was finding the right person who heard what I said to get up to the dean’s level. The dean got excited when he heard about this. He’s fully behind it.”

The opening ceremony will be conducted by Tony Cavalier, chief meteorologist at WSAZ. The closing ceremony was to be conducted by Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp.

Schools register for $250 per team and $150 for each additional team. Scholarships are available on a first come, first serve basis for those who cannot afford the registration fee.

According to the Science Olympiad, 7,000 teams of middle and high school students participated in last year’s events. A total of 380 invitational, regional, state and national tournaments occurred in 49 states with 23 events for each division.

Dhruba Bora, college of science associate dean, said he hopes the Olympiad attracts future science students to Marshall.

“We may be smaller than our competitor, but I think we have a top notch College of Science,” Bora said. “We have award-winning faculty, we have state of the art facilities. We have a lot to offer science students. This will be a great recruiting tool for us. Hopefully, in the end, we can get some of them to come here.”

Bora and Winfrey said the main goal is to promote science education. Winfrey said he hopes this event acts as an anchor to help students progress through the sciences.

Patrick Breeden can be reached at breeden16@marshall. edu.