In Ash Sealy, chemistry professor Pat Patterson has found the ultimate volunteer for the Regional Science Olympiad being held for the 19th year at MTSU.
Sealy, an MTSU sophomore biology major, twice participated in the regional while a Blackman High School student. She jumped at the opportunity to assist Patterson, the regional director, during her freshman year.
The Regional Science Olympiad will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 1, all across the MTSU campus. Nearly 600 combined middle school and high school students and about 100 volunteers will be involved. The volunteers will include 50 to 60 MTSU students such as Sealy and many MTSU faculty and staff.
“I enjoy helping because I remember how important it was to me in high school and how cool it was to get to talk to college kids and professionals throughout the day,” said Sealy, who competed in four events both years at Blackman and served as the team leader for three Blaze teams (Blackman had two entries one year.). “It was always fun to prepare, compete, and try to get to state.”
Sealy will assist judge and MTSU senior Nick Montgomery with the “Sounds of Music” category for middle school (Division B) students.
“I’m a music nerd,” Sealy said. “I’ve played instruments for 10-plus years and I love music. I thought I was going to major in music for a while, but science won in the end. I competed in it both years in high school, and I’m really happy I get the opportunity to help with my favorite Science Olympiad event this year.”
Among the other 22 middle school categories will be “Boomilever,” “Crime Busters,” “Helicopters,” “Robo-Cross” and “Rotor Egg Drop.” Among the 23 high school events will be “Bungee Drop,” “Elastic Launched Glider,” “Mission Possible” and “Scrambler.”
With two teams each, Day Springs Academy of Robertson County, Smyrna and St. Henry School of Nashville will have six of 17 middle school entries, which also include Blackman, Central Magnet, Oakland, St. Rose of Lima and Rockvale from Rutherford County.
Brentwood, Central Magnet and Nashville’s Hume-Fogg Magnet each will enter two teams in the high school division, which will have 17 teams altogether and also include Blackman, Siegel and Smyrna from Rutherford County.
Six middle school teams and five high school teams will advance to the 30th annual state Science Olympiad in Knoxville, Tenn., in April.
Mike Lyttle, a special agent and forensic scientist supervisor at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Nashville, will participate in the awards ceremony, which will begin at approximately 3:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.
Patterson already is thinking about 2015’s Regional Science Olympiad. Much of he 20th annual event will be held in the university’s new Science Building.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)