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MCC to Host Region V Science Olympiad March 23

03/20/2019

Mott Community College will host hundreds of young scientists and engineers at its Flint campus Saturday, March 23, at the 34th annual Region V Science Olympiad. These complex problem solvers, also known as middle school and high school students, will spend the day competing in individual and team events.

“We’re excited about the new events this year, including the Sounds of Music, Codebusters and Designer Genes events,” said Todd Troutman. “We are also happy to have Longway Planetarium come to campus to help with our new Solar System event.”

MCC serves as host and organizing sponsor of the Region V Science Olympiad, which includes participation from middle and high schools from Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston and Shiawassee Counties. The Science Olympiad competition starts at 8 a.m. and ends with an awards ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Ballenger Field House on the MCC main campus, 1401 East Court Street in Flint.

Top teams will advance to the state tournament of the Science Olympiad at Michigan State University on April 27th. Teams that perform well at the state level of competition then advance to the national competition May 31 – June 1 at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Science Olympiad events cover three broad areas of science standards: science concepts and knowledge; science processes and inquiry skills; and science application and technology. The events are balanced among disciplines such as biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, engineering, computers and technology.

Participants function much like a football or soccer team, which requires preparation, commitment, coaching and practice throughout the year. On the day of the competition, students, usually in teams of one to three, test their devices or participate in activities or tests to see how much they have learned or achieved.

The national organization of the Science Olympiad is a nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and their teachers.

MCC is proud to have a long history of supporting the Michigan Science Olympiad since its inception in the mid-1980's. The first competition for Region V was held at MCC on March 1, 1986. MCC faculty members worked hard to establish the local Region V competition during the Michigan Olympiad's second year of existence, and are pleased to continue hosting the event. Faculty from Mott Community College, Kettering University, University of Michigan-Flint and Baker College serve as event supervisors as do MCC staff members, K-12 teachers, college students, club members and local business and community members.

The Science Olympiad features a number of unique challenges that will give students a chance to show off their scientific skills. Most events are not open to the public; however, some of the events with greater visual effects which can be viewed by the public, are noted with asterisks in the list of interesting events (with times and locations) that follow:

*Indicates Open to the Public on a formal schedule that will be posted the day of the Regional Competition. Events of this type run from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

Anatomy & Physiology – Teams will demonstrate an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of selected body systems, this year limited to nervous, sense and endocrine systems.

Astronomy - Teams will demonstrate an understanding of stellar evolution and Type Ia supernova events.

Battery Buggy - Teams will construct a vehicle that uses electrical energy as its sole means of propulsion, quickly travels a specified distance, and stops as close as possible to the finish point.

*Boomilever – Teams will design and build a boomilever meeting requirements to support a minimum load and achieve the highest structural efficiency.

Chemistry Lab- Teams will demonstrate chemistry laboratory skills focused in the areas of gases and thermodynamics.

Circuit Lab – Teams will complete tasks and answer questions about electricity and magnetism.

Codebusters – Teams will cryptanalyze (decode) encrypted messages using cryptanalysis techniques and show skill with advances ciphers by encrypting or decrypting a message.

Crime Busters- Teams will identify the perpetrators of a crime or crimes by using paper chromatography and analysis of unknown solids, liquids, and plastics found at the scene of a crime.

Density Lab – Teams compete in activities and answer questions about mass, density, number density, area density, concentration, pressure and buoyancy.

Designer Genes – Teams will solve problems and analyze data or diagrams using their knowledge of the basic principles of genetics, molecular genetics and biotechnology.

Disease Detectives – Teams will use investigative skills in the scientific study of disease, injury, health and disability in populations or groups of people with a focus on food borne illness.

Dynamic Planet - Teams will demonstrate an understanding of the large-scale processes affecting the structure of Earth’s crust.

*Elastic Launched Glider – Teams design, construct and test elastic-launched gliders to achieve the maximum time aloft.

Experimental Design - Given a set of unknown objects, teams will design, conduct and report the findings of an experiment conducted on site.

Fermi Questions – Teams will provide answers to a series of “Fermi Questions”; science related questions that seek fast, rough estimates of a quantity, which is either difficult or impossible to measure directly.

Forensics – Given a scenario and possible suspects, teams will perform a series of test. The tests, along with other evidence or test results will be used to solve a crime.

Fossils – Teams will use fossils to date and correlate rock units as well as demonstrate their knowledge of ancient life by completing tasks related to fossil identification and classification.

Game On - This event will determine a team's ability to design and build an original computer game incorporating the theme provided to them by the supervisor using the program Scratch.

Geologic Mapping – Teams will demonstrate understanding in the construction and use of topographic maps, geologic maps, cross sections and their use in forming interpretations regarding subsurface structures and geohazard risks.

Heredity – Teams will solve problems and analyze data or diagrams using their knowledge f the basic principles of genetics.

Herpetology - -This event will test knowledge of amphibians and reptiles.

Meteorology – Teams will compete with their knowledge of the meteorological topic Severe Storms.

*Mission Possible - Prior to the competition, teams will design, build, test and document a Rube Goldberg-like device that completes a required Final Task through an optional series of simple machines.

*Mousetrap Vehicle – Teams design, build and test a vehicle using one or two snap mousetraps as its sole means of propulsion that can push a plastic cup forward, reverse direction and come to a stop behind the start point.

Mystery Architecture – Teams will be given a bag of building materials and instructions for designing and building a device that can be tested.

Potions and Poisons – This event is about chemical properties and effects of specified toxic and therapeutic chemical substances, with a focus on household and environmental toxins or poisons.

Protein Modeling – Teams will use computer visualization and online resources to construct physical models of protein.

Road Scholar - Teams will answer interpretive questions that may use one or more state highway maps, USGS topographic maps, Internet-generated maps, a road atlas or satellite/aerial images.

*Roller Coaster – Teams will design, build and test a Roller Coaster track to guide a ball/sphere that uses gravitational potential energy as its sole means of propulsion to travel as close as possible to a target time.

Solar System – Student will demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of the geologic characteristics and evolution of the Earth’s moon and other rocky bodies of the solar system.

Sounds of Music – Teams will construct and tune one device based on a 12-tone equal tempered scales and complete a written test on the physics of sound.

Source Code – This event combines computer science mathematics to solve problems. The objective is to develop and code an efficient computer program that finds solutions to these problems.

Thermodynamics – Teams must construct an insulating device prior to the tournament that is designed to retain heat and complete a written test on thermodynamic concepts.

Water Quality – Teams will be assesses on their understanding and evaluation of aquatic environments.

*Wright Stuff - Prior to the competition, teams design, construct and test free flight rubber-powered monoplanes to achieve maximum time aloft.

Write It/Do It - A technical writing exercise where teams write a description of an object and how to build it, and then the other team members will attempt to construct the object from the description.


Mott Community College is committed to excellence in education and offering services that cultivate student success and improve the overall quality of life in a multicultural community. With more than 100 academic and occupational degree programs, we help students prepare to achieve more in an ever-changing economy. Through university transfer agreements, high-demand associate's degree programs and one-year certification programs, we help ensure that all Mott students are ready to get more out of life.

As an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution, the College encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. The College does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, gender, national origin, veteran’s status, age, disability unrelated to an individual’s ability to perform adequately, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law. Title IX Coordinator Contact Information: 1401 E. Court St., Prahl College Center (PCC-2030G), Flint, MI 48503, (810) 762-0024. Title II, ADA, Coordinator Contact Information: 1401 E. Court St., Curtice-Mott Complex (CM-1024), Flint, MI 48503, (810) 762-0373. Section 504 Coordinator Contact Information: 1401 E. Court St., Prahl College Center (PCC-1130), Flint, MI 48503, (810) 762-0191.

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended these programs, please see the following link: https://www.mcc.edu/gainful_employ_disclosure/index.php

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March 20, 2019
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