Graduate and Advanced Studies Co-Hosts Science Olympiad

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Twenty New England high schools compete in STEM challenges at Dartmouth on Dec. 16.

a female grad student working in a science lab
In this file photo, Laura Spector ’10 works in the biology lab at the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, where many Science Olympiad events will take place. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)  

The School of Graduate and Advanced Studies and Lebanon High School are hosting the first-ever Science Olympiad invitational tournament on campus.

Twenty teams of middle and high school students from around Northern New England will come to Dartmouth to participate in some two-dozen STEM challenges on Saturday, Dec. 16.

Students will compete to win medals in their individual events and vie for team tournament trophies. There will be events in all branches of science, including materials chemistry, physics and astronomy, engineering, and earth sciences, for a total of 23 events held in the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center and other venues on campus.

F. Jon Kull ’88, the Rodgers Professor of Chemistry and dean of Graduate Studies, says that science graduate students, alumni, and undergraduate have embraced the project, volunteering to judge events or design STEM challenges. They have been, he says, “brought together by a passion for STEM K-12 engagement, as well as a desire to give back to the Science Olympiad community.”

Dartmouth embraces the opportunity to help future scientists demonstrate their mastery of scientific concepts and principles, says Kull, who will preside over the closing awards ceremony. “It is critical for our country to train the next generation of scientists, as they will go on to make discoveries and create inventions that we can only dream of today,” he says.

Rebekah Guevara, a PhD candidate in molecular and cellular biology, says she signed up to volunteer because of her commitment to science outreach, as well as her experiences as a contestant in Science Olympiad events during grade school.

Chemical engineer Todd Lloyd, Thayer ’05, PhD, is returning to Dartmouth to supervise the thermodynamics event. “I was flattered to be asked to participate, and the Science Olympiad sounds like a great way to stay engaged with the next generation of engineers,” he says.

The tournament, co-organized by Lebanon High School teacher John Tietjen, was made possible by funding from the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation. Science Olympiad is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing male, female, and minority interest in science, creating a technologically literate workforce, and providing recognition for outstanding achievements by both students and teachers.

Contact for more information on how to get involved.

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