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Helicopters and Hovercraft Mix with Chemicals, Plants and Rocks at Science Olympiad

March 28, 2017

Chip Underhill
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7326 (Desk)

High school students at 2017 Science Olympiad at Saint Anselm CollegeSaint Anselm hosted hundreds of participants and spectators for the 9th annual New Hampshire Science Olympiad on March 25. Nicole Eyet, State Director of the N.H. Science Olympiad and associate professor of chemistry at Saint Anselm, says the event grows every year, utilizing several campus facilities and relying on dozens of student volunteers.

"For 2017, four new high schools joined the Olympiad and four new middle schools registered, as well," said Eyet. "We staged events in the Carr Center, Goulet Science Center, and the Dana Center, and the closing ceremonies with presentation of awards wrapped up the day in the Koonz Theatre of the Dana Center."

The 2017 New Hampshire Science Olympiad was won by Merrimack, N.H. in the high school competition, and Walpole, N.H. in the middle school competition.

Billed as "scientific track meets," Science Olympiad is a competition of team events emphasizing scientific disciplines. Competition draws on student skills in earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering with categories such as hovercraft, wind power, towers, crime busters and invasive species. A helicopter event was conducted in the Carr Center gymnasium due to the facility's high ceilings.

Senior Emily Fitzmeyer, a biology major from Haverhill, Mass., was among dozens of Saint Anselm students who supported Science Olympiad. She describes the event as having positive outcomes for the participating students, Saint Anselm College, and herself.

"I always enjoy seeing high school kids already so passionate about the sciences," said Fitzmeyer. "I didn't discover I wanted to be a biology major until college. It's important that Saint Anselm hosts Science Olympiad as it could benefit from growing its science programs and the event is a great way to encourage students to come here to pursue biology/chemistry/physics majors."

Fitzmeyer says the participants have fun while working to win. "I heard so many groups joking around and genuinely enjoying themselves. They are definitely competitive, but it is a friendly competition, and they all seem to have a good time!"

Nationally, Science Olympiad generate over 7,500 secondary school teams and 10,000 elementary school teams. All 50 United States participate. New Hampshire high school teams at the 2017 Olympiad were from the Academy for Science and Design (Nashua), Alvirne (Hudson), Bishop Brady (Concord), Bedford, Epping, Hollis-Brookline, Lebanon, Manchester-Central, Mascoma Valley (Canaan), Merrimack, Milford, Nashua North and Nashua South, Salem, South Merrimack Christian Academy, and Wilton-Lyndeborough. Middle school teams were from the Academy for Science and Design (Nashua), Founders Academy (Manchester), Merrimack, Somersworth, and Walpole.

In addition to New Hampshire teams, Vermont was represented by two high school teams each from South Burlington, Saint Johnsbury, and Morrisville.

Scholarships to Saint Anselm College are available to participants of any Science Olympiad as a result of a partnership between Saint Anselm College and Science Olympiad. Science Olympiad grants to the college range from $2,000 to $4,000 a year, renewable annually.

Primary conditions of the scholarship are previous participation in Science Olympiad, application to and acceptance by Saint Anselm College, and application to and acceptance by the N.H. Science Olympiad scholarship, including submission of a required short essay.

In addition, starting with the 2017 competition and continuing thereafter, Gold Medal winners of every Division B (middle school) and Division C (high school) event are eligible for a Saint Anselm Textbook Award. This award will fund the purchase of the student's first textbook at Saint Anselm College. The Saint Anselm Textbook Award is also presented in a partnership between Saint Anselm College and the New Hampshire Science Olympiad.

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