University to host Science Olympiad, Jan. 8

On Tuesday, Jan. 8, the University will host more than 600 middle school and high school students who will be competing in a regional tournament of the New Jersey Science Olympiad.

The event, a test of science knowledge and aptitude, will take place from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at various locations across campus, including McDonnell, Fine and Guyot halls, Schultz Laboratory and Jadwin Gymnasium.

Many of the University's leading experts in the sciences and engineering helped to design events and test questions that will challenge students' knowledge and problem-solving abilities, as well as their teamwork, group planning and communication skills.

The tournament features more than 30 events, including "Boomilever" -- for which students must create a lightweight, load-bearing cantilever-like structure -- and "The Scrambler," which challenges students to build a small vehicle that uses the energy generated "from a falling mass to transport a Grade A uncooked chicken egg along  a straight track."

Teams from approximately 40 middle schools and high schools are expected to compete. Led by the University's Office of Research and Project Administration, Princeton faculty, staff and students are contributing their time and expertise to plan and run the event along with industry volunteers from the Research and Development Council of New Jersey.

The top finishing teams at the Princeton tournament will advance to the March state finals at Middlesex County College in Edison; top finishers there will advance to the finals in May at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Science Olympiad was created 23 years ago to provide an alternative to traditional science fairs. It includes members from 14,000 schools in all 50 states, Mexico and Canada.

The tournament is hosted by the University and sponsored by the New Jersey Science Teachers Association, the New Jersey Science Education Leadership Association and the Research and Development Council of New Jersey.

Representatives of the news media who are interested in attending or want more information should contact Steven Schultz, director of engineering communications, at (609) 258-3617 or

The snow date for the event is Thursday, Jan. 10.