STM students participated in the 23rd annual McMaster University Engineering Olympics on October 11, 2012. This event allows high school students to enter the world of engineering and science through involvement in a full day of competitions and activities.
It is a great opportunity for high school students to meet faculty, staff, and undergraduate students at McMaster University while enjoying friendly competition aimed at developing students’ creativity and problem solving skills. McMaster’s annual Engineering Olympics includes labs, demonstrations, and tutorials on a variety of topics, and provides students with opportunities to find out more about McMaster's engineering and science programs, departments, and facilities.
STM physics teacher Ms. Newberry attended the Engineering Olympics with a number of her science students. She thinks it is a beneficial experience since “it gives the senior students a chance to win scholarships to Mac." Ms. Newberry pointed out that it also benefits McMaster University because it is “an opportunity for Mac to recruit students.” Students were put into groups of three or four and participated in a total of 10 events. The Engineering Olympics are open to grade 11 and 12 students interested in science or engineering.
Erik Korber, a grade 12 student, attended the event for the first time this year. He, along with his group, participated in a total of three events: The Civil Canada Arm, Engineering Jeopardy, and Chemical Forensics.
The Canada Arm event consisted of the group being given straws and tape with which they had to create, in 20 minutes, the longest “arm” possible that could hold a specific mass. In the Engineering Jeopardy event, the team earned points when it got a question right but lost points if the answer was incorrect. The Chemical Forensics competition was made up of three stations. At the first station, the team had to draw biochemical structures in all ways possible, since there are more than one. At the second station, the students were given a substance and were asked to rate its acidity level. Finally, at the last station of the Chemical Forensics competition, the team was given a variety of elements and had to identify them. Jessica Bozzo, a grade 12 student attending the event for the second time, said, “It was rather difficult since some of the metals looked the same.”
Eric Korber enjoyed his first time at McMaster's Engineering Olympics, ecstatically saying that he “would want to go again. It was really fun and a great experience.” Ms. Newberry said that although STM didn’t win the competitions, the McMaster students were very supportive. During the Canada Arm event she said, “The students were complimenting their structure and design.”
Ms. Newberry asks students to stay tuned for upcoming events from MORE Science in second semester. There will be a bridge building competition, the Guelph Science Olympics, science fairs, and a brain bee - a spelling bee on brain structure.