NEWBERRY — Middle and high schools from around South Carolina are hard at work in preparation for the 34th annual South Carolina Science Olympiad (SCSO) competitions to be held on the Newberry College campus.
The middle school competition (Division B) will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17, and the high school competition (Division C) will be held on Saturday, March 17. Approximately 22 schools and 370 participants are expected on campus each day as membership in the statewide program has reached record membership.
Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. The Science Olympiad program hopes to bring academic competition to the same level of recognition and praise normally reserved for athletic competition.
The tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of individual and team events, which students prepare for throughout the year. These challenging and motivational events are well balanced between the various science disciplines of Biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, computers and technology. The 2018 competition includes such events in Life, Personal and Social Science; Earth and Space Science; Physical Science and Chemistry; Technology and Engineering and Inquiry and Nature of Science. Olympic-style medals are awarded to the top four individual places in each event and team scores are tabulated in order to award an overall state champion. The winning schools in each division will go on to represent South Carolina at the National Science Olympiad competition to be held May 18-19 at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colo.
Newberry College has been the host of the South Carolina Science Olympiad since its inception. On competition day, events will be held in the Science and Math Building, Eleazer Arena and MacLean Gym on the Newberry College campus. The events in the gyms are open to the public and will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. In addition, the public is invited to the Opening Ceremonies in Wiles Chapel at 9:30 a.m., as well as the Awards Ceremony in Wiles Chapel at 4 p.m.
In 2013, Newberry College began awarding scholarships to South Carolina Science Olympiad event winners. The winning students in each of the 20 different events at this year’s Division C competition will receive $2,000 scholarships to Newberry College. These awards are stackable from year to year, up to a maximum award of $10,000.
Piedmont Municipal Power Agency joins Newberry College as a sponsor of the South Carolina Science Olympiad for the fifth consecutive year. Their sponsorship provides assistance to offset travel costs associated with the Science Olympiad program, including funds to allow the director to travel the state and publicize the program, as well as funds to help facilitate travel of the state winners to the national competition. In addition, the SCSO received a grant from Google to introduce schools from the urban Charleston area to the Science Olympiad program.