Mix together 14 elementary school teams, 300 students and more than 90 pizzas. Add a pinch of science, a dash of technology and math, and large doses of excitement and fun.
What you have is the sixth annual Elementary Science Olympiad, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at John Pittard Elementary School, 745 DeJarnette Lane, in Murfreesboro. Registration will be held in the lobby from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m., with medals and trophies for first through 10th place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium.
Dan Royse, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assistant director in the forensics division, plans to attend and be a part of the awards’ ceremony, event director Dr. Pat Patterson said.
The Elementary Science Olympiad is held to stimulate elementary school students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM disciplines.
Twelve teams from 11 Rutherford County elementary schools and two teams from Robertson County are registered to participate. Teams can bring up to 30 students. Outside events may be canceled because of rain, Patterson said.
The entries include six Murfreesboro City Schools: Black Fox, Bradley Academy, the Discovery School at Reeves Rogers, John Pittard (two teams), Northfield and Scales; five Rutherford County Schools: Barfield, Buchanan, Christiana, Homer Pittard Campus School and Thurman Francis Arts Academy in Smyrna, Tenn.; and two teams from Dayspring Academy in Greenbrier, Tenn.
Patterson, associate professor in the MTSU Department of Chemistry, also coordinates the annual Science Olympiad for middle and high school students in February.
More than 10 MTSU faculty, staff and community supporters and 50 MTSU students volunteer to assist Patterson with the Elementary Science Olympiad competitive tournament.
Patterson said funding for this year’s Elementary Science Olympiad is from an MTSU Public Service Grant and money still available from a $3,000 donation from General Mills in 2012.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)