Wayne State University hosts first Science Olympiad event for area middle and high schools
The Department of Chemistry made Wayne State history by hosting the inaugural Science Olympiad event on campus. The Wayne/Monroe County Tournament, held on March 2, 2023, welcomed approximately 300 students from local middle and high schools. This marked a significant milestone for the university as it had long been a goal of Chemistry Professor Regina Zibuck, an advocate and 25-year supporter of Science Olympiad.
This year's event was long overdue. The initial event, planned for March 2020, was canceled due to COVID. "It was really exciting to finally see this event come together," said Zibuck.
Wayne State students and faculty played a critical role in the competition, serving as event supervisors and volunteers. Their contributions and enthusiasm added to the overall success of the tournament. The event showcased a wide range of science-related activities, aligning with the National and Michigan Science Education Standards and promoting a passion for learning science among participants.
Teams of up to 15 students, led by a head coach, participated in events covering life, physical, and earth sciences, as well as technology. Science Olympiad encouraged active, hands-on, group participation, fostering teamwork, problem-solving skills, and cooperative learning strategies. The competition resembled an academic track meet, where teams competed in a series of events across various disciplines.
In addition to being the first event of its kind on campus, Wayne State awarded ten $1,000 scholarships to high school gold medal winners through a drawing. To qualify for the scholarships, students must enroll full-time at WSU in the fall.
Participating schools included Meads Mill and Hillside Middle Schools as well as Grosse Pointe South, Canton and Northville High Schools.
Following the resounding success of the first-ever Science Olympiad event at WSU, plans are already in place for the next tournament, scheduled for March 2, 2024. With the continued dedication and support of Zibuck and the university community, WSU aims to further inspire young minds and foster a love for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.