This September, North Hollywood is hosting tryouts for the 2016-2017 North Hollywood Science Olympiad Team. Science Olympiad is a team competition that facilitates bonding and teamwork between aspiring scientists. Participants select a couple of events they excel at to compete in. The competition consists of events with both a study portion and a building portion so that both knowledge and practical application can be assessed. Although the competition starts in late spring, it is essential for people to start preparing early in the fall due to the competitive nature of Science Olympiad. Each year, the competition is held on various regional college campuses, and schools that perform well are invited to state and national competitions.
The tryouts begin on Wednesday, September 7. Students must choose at least two of the six subjects that are provided. This year, the possible study events are Optics, Dynamic Planet, and Microbe Mission. Optics will test the students’ knowledge of geometrical and physical optics. Dynamic Planet will test the students’ understanding of the movement, history, and phenomena of the Earth’s crust. Microbe Mission will have various questions on microbes and microbiology.
The building events are Game On, Towers, and Hovercraft. In Game On, students will have 50 minutes to make a video game using a program called Scratch. In Towers, students will plan a sturdy wood tower to hold a bucket that becomes heavier by constant addition of sand. In Hovercraft, the student will build a levitating, self-propelled vehicle that can fly down a track.
In addition to taking these tests, students must take a timed math and logic test to test their speed and thinking abilities under pressure.
After testing, the top scoring students have an opportunity to participate in an interview conducted by the Science Olympiad captains. The interviewing process screens for the students’ abilities to work with others and their dedication to Science Olympiad. Of the participating students, usually around three to five are accepted.