NASA's Universe of Learning Supports Astronomy Events at the National Science Olympiad Tournament
Science Olympiad is one of the nation’s most prestigious STEM competitions. The competition, hosted by Caltech in 2022, is comprised of knowledge events designed by experts from government agencies, top universities, and industry, covering topics in engineering, physics, epidemiology, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology, and coding. For the second time in Science Olympiad’s 38-year history, the pandemic took the National Tournament into the digital space. Instead of traveling to the Caltech campus in California, 120 Science Olympiad teams, 2000 participants from diverse backgrounds across the United States, logged on to an online platform and engaged in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) challenges on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
This year, the NASA's Universe of Learning (UoL) National Science Olympiad (NSO) project team developed tests, materials, videos, and webinars for and provided access to the NASA's Universe of Learning National Science Olympiad JS9 image analysis website, to be used for the 2022 National Astronomy Events. Members of the NASA’s UoL team working on the NSO project included a volunteer ‘A-team’, many of whose careers in space science were inspired by the discovery of interesting subjects through Science Olympiad.
Dr. Frances Arnold, 2018 Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry, delivered an Opening Ceremony Keynote Address this year, during which she encouraged Science Olympiad participants to “put science to work for the benefit of all people” and to focus on finding equitable solutions that positively impact the economy, the environment, and society.
Stoller Middle School in Portland, Oregon took first place in Solar System, Mason High School in Mason, Ohio took first place in Astronomy, and, along with Sierra Vista Middle School in Irvine, California, Mason High School also took top honors for National Tournament – the first national win for Sierra Vista Middle School and a back-to-back championship for Mason, who also took the title in 2021.
"Students participating in the Science Olympiad National Tournament represent the best of the best, often following career pathways in STEM and becoming leaders in their fields," said Jenny Kopach, Science Olympiad CEO.
- About Science Olympiad: https://www.soinc.org
- About the 2022 National Tournament: https://www.soinc.org/2022-national-tournament
- About the Universe of Learning program: https://www.universe-of-learning.org/resources/projects/national-science-olympiad
- Watch: Inspiring Science Olympiad / NASA STEM Learner Experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMh-hgSLYW0&list=PL1t-RzwecjdOi0jyo2k-itASsUTef_er-&index=7&t=107s
Many thanks to the NSO “A” team and to Caltech for hosting the competition. NASA's Universe of Learning project is supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number NNX16AC65A and is part of NASA’s Science Activation Portfolio.