3M, Mayo Clinic and Xcel Energy Amongst Companies Making Science Tournament Possible

Authored by Hammers and Lafky; students of Assistant Professor Kate Edenborg’s ENGL 407: Seminar in Applied Journalism class in the professional communications and emerging media program.

In 2012, University of Wisconsin-Stout received approval to host the 2016 Science Olympiad National Tournament. Since then, Forrest Schultz, a professor and chair in the chemistry and physics department at UW-Stout, has been working with companies like 3M, Excel Energy, Mayo Clinic Health System and Harley Davidson; to create experiences for roughly 2,500 students from around the country that will engage them in different realms of science.

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The 3M Stem Cube Challenge is one exhibit that will be showcased during the National Science Olympiad.

“[3M] is going to bring in a 20 foot by 40 foot tent and creating a big video wall that will  create a game show experience, asking questions about a lot of 3M products.” Schultz said.

The students will be in their teams, gaining points for the questions they get right and those points could translate into money, which they get to donate to whatever charity they select.

Mayo Clinic Health System will be talking about technological advances in the medical industry and Harley Davidson will bring in a stationary motorcycle, which will allow students to virtually ride a motorcycle.

Xcel Energy will teach students about alternative energy; specifically wind energy since the tournament will be run solely off wind energy all weekend.

Science Olympiad faculty members will take students into the community to show students life in Wisconsin.

“As I was talking to teens I was noticing they were saying ‘we want to see the cows, we want to eat deep fried cheese curds, etc.’ ” says Schultz.

They plan on taking them to local farms, Devil’s Punch Bowl, Cedar Falls Dam and other local environmental sites.

The variety of activities are aimed at creating a welcoming, yet educational atmosphere for students to participate in.

Schultz said the campaign they’ve created called, “I Am, We Will”, is a way to let students express themselves with short video clips and then have them all come together to say “Look at all of our talent, now what can we do?”

The Science Olympiad National Tournament will consist of 120 teams, 60 high schools and 60 middle schools each with teams of 15 plus alternates; all of which will be at UW-Stout May 18 through 21.Take2 lower banner

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