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Rocky Heights making rocket science at Science Olympiad

RHMS student, Henry working on a project.

RHMS students Nathan and Brenna work together to get it right.

Article by Kathy Dunker with photos courtesy of Amy Shanahan

Some great minds at Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) were hard at work during this year’s Science Olympiad Regional competition in Fort Collins last February. Of the 28 teams participating, the two teams that RHMS fielded placed 12th and 13th and both qualified to compete in the State Competition on April 24 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.

Science Olympiad is an academic, interscholastic competition designed to increase student interest in science and to improve the quality of science education. More than 100 middle and high school teams participated in the 2009 Colorado Science Olympiad tournaments.

Science Olympiad tournaments consist of twenty-three individual and team events for which students prepare during the year. These challenging and enjoyable events are very motivational and foster teamwork, group planning and cooperation. The events are balanced among facts, concepts, process skills, and applications. The emphasis is on learning, participation, interaction and having fun.

RHMS students Demri and Brenna enjoying a day of exploration.

Science teachers Chad Glidden and Brian Hall are heading up the program at RHMS. Glidden has coached four different teams in Colorado during the last six years. This will be Hall’s first year working with Science Olympiad. Both coaches are very excited and dedicated to the program’s success. This is also the first Science Olympiad teams that RHMS has sponsored. The two teams consist of about 45 students from each of the three grade levels.

There are presently very few schools in Douglas County participating in the Science Olympiad competitions. As Glidden said, “We are hoping that our program and its success will be the catalyst to bring Science Olympiad to other schools in the area.” Rocky Heights Science Olympiad teams meet weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays in Glidden’s classroom at RHMS. “We are always looking for parent and community volunteers to assist in preparing our young scientists for competition,” said Glidden.

Please contact Glidden by e-mail or Hall by e-mail if you interested in helping out these ambitious youngsters.



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