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News Release

Moravian College to Host Pennsylvania Science Olympiad

More than 500 students representing 37 area schools will be competing at Moravian College in a regional Science Olympiad on Friday, March 19, 1999. The students, grades six through twelve, will come from schools in Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties. The Olympiad is an academic, interscholastic event culminating in regional, state, and national tournaments, designed to increase student interest in science, recognize outstanding student/teacher achievement, and improve the quality of science education.

The program for the day starts when students begin arriving at 7:00 a.m. for registration. Introductory remarks will be given at 8:30 a.m. in Johnston Hall. The competition begins at 9:00 a.m. in a variety of locations. The majority of events will be held in the Collier Hall of Science. Additional events will be held in the Haupert Union Building, Johnston Hall, and Memorial Hall. Two events, bottle rocket and nature quest will be held outdoors in the Quad.

More than 75 Moravian College students will serve as volunteers doing everything from registration to coordinating the competition. Thirty-four area high school and middle school science teachers will serve as judges and supervisors. "The growth of the program statewide from 64 teams in 1984 to 295 teams in 1998 has led to the College’s involvement once again," said Dick Claussen, coordinator of academic camps and special programs. Joe Gerencher, professor of earth science, worked as director of the Eastern Region of the Pennsylvania Science Olympiad when it was first hosted by Moravian in 1987.

This year’s Science Olympiad will hold 34 events including: battery buggy, bio process, bungee egg drop, don’t bug me, fossils, mission possible, mystery architecture, polymer detective, propeller propulsion, redesigner genes, road scholar, surf the net, and others.

Sample test activities for the students include:

    Scientists communicate their findings in many ways: in writing, through graphs and illustrations, verbally and mathematically. Participants in this event will analyze and interpret the "message" being sent for each phenomenon presented.

    Teams will perform a series of lab activities that require the students to gather data and calculate a specific value. Programmable and/or scientific calculators are not allowed.

    Nature Quest is a combination of a scavenger hunt, orienteering and nature study. Participants will complete tasks while traversing a designated route with the aid of a compass and printed directions. Students will answer questions by observing the environment, collecting samples, making measurements or interpreting data at a number of stations along the way. Stations will be designed where students must use a compass.

    Students are asked to find information using the World Wide Web from any content area, e.g. science, math, art, music, etc. Students work individually, using the same browser.

    A map event that requires the accurate interpretation and understanding of various map features. The competition will use a state road map and one or more USGS topographic maps. The event will be an adventure storyline that requires the students to use the maps to fill in blanks in the text.

Moravian College is located at Main and Locust streets in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. For more information call, 610-861-1491.