Ranch View Science Olympiad Team Empowers Learning
Twice a week, 32 students and ten adult volunteers gather in Mrs. Kennel’s classroom at Ranch View Elementary School to collaborate and research as part of the Science Olympiad Club. New to Ranch View Elementary School this year, Science Olympiad challenges students in grades 3-5 to showcase their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in preparation for competitions.
Ranch View students have been broken into different groups to dive deeper into content areas including weather, anatomy, forensics, mechanical engineering, architecture, fossils and much more. Mrs Kennel grouped the students based on their areas of interest, but also to incorporate a variety of grade levels into each group to support the learning process.
As one student stated, “I choose to be in the architecture group, because I like to build things, but there are many other groups I was interested in as well.” Science Olympiad fosters teamwork, creativity and problem solving.
Adult volunteers also play an important role in the success of a Science Olympiad team. Ten parent and community volunteers have donated their time to support the students. Some bring a unique knowledge of a content area, like medicine for the anatomy group, while others just bring an enthusiasm for teaching and are learning right along side the students.
“The hope is that next year, we will have subject area experts as students who can help new groups formulate their Science Olympiad plans,” said Mrs. Kennel, staff sponsor of Science Olympiad. “We currently are using adult mentors to support the students, but in future years it could be a combination of adults and peer support as well.”
Students have worked since November to acquire knowledge in their content area to prepare for competition against other school teams. During the competition, they had access to a certain amount of their research, but needed to be prepared to review that information quickly if needed. Organization is critical to Science Olympiad success.
This group of first time competitors did great at their competition with several groups placing in the top three of their subject area.
Anatomy - 1st.
Biologists - 4th.
Circuit - 4th
Crime buster - 1st
Expd - 4th
Fossils - 3rd.
Junk cars - No place
Mystery architecture - 3rd
Noodling with towers - 3rd
Ready aim fire - No place.
Wild weather - 1st.