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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
STOCKTON FWO: Service Biologist Coaches Science Olympiad Event to Victories
Region 8, March 27, 2010
Science Olympiad winners of the Get Your Bearings event(Matt Toman-Sager, Sam Primack, Nicholas Wikert, Camille Ramirez) (Photo: J.D. Wikert, Stockton FWO)
Science Olympiad winners of the Get Your Bearings event(Matt Toman-Sager, Sam Primack, Nicholas Wikert, Camille Ramirez) (Photo: J.D. Wikert, Stockton FWO) - Photo Credit: n/a

by J.D. Wikert, Stockton FWO
Science Olympiad is a great way to reach out to young ambitious students.  Students compete in a variety of events arranged by learn it, do it, and build it categories.  Several events are quite suitable for Service staff to act as coaches.  For the second year in a row, Service staff coached the Vinewood Elementary School (Lodi, California) teams in the “Get Your Bearings” event.  Each team consisted of a pair of students in the fourth to sixth grades.  The event is designed to test the ability to navigate using a compass and to determine distance based on standardized pacing.   Student pairs compete on a timed course 25 meters square, and are given compass headings and distances, and are asked to navigate to flags and plates within the course.  The students need to log the locations visited (marked with state abbreviations) on their test sheet and complete the course as quickly as possible. 

Out of the 52 teams competing, our teams scored first and second in the Get Your Bearings event They also placed well in many of the other events which included Don’t Bug Me, Pond Study, Rock Hound, and Science Bowl among others.  The two school-wide teams also placed third and fourth overall in the competition.

I encourage Service staff to consider participating in the Science Olympiad in their local schools, as the experience is rewarding for both the students and the coaches.  These events are a great opportunity for the Service to interact with children and help mold the next generation of Service scientists.

Contact Info: Ramon Martin, 209-334-2968 ext. 401, ramon_martin@fws.gov