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2009 Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad 2009 saw the return of Crave the Wave, Trajectory, Physics Lab, and Reach for the Stars, along with newcomers It's About Time and Physical Science Lab.  Physics Department volunteers included Professors Sylvio May and Alan Denton, graduate students Goetz Kaehler, Stephan Loew, Demmelash Mengistu, Bekele Gurmessa, and Alemayehu Gebremariam, and Lab Technician Paul Omernik; Professor Charles Sawicki helped officiate.

Physics Lab

Stephan Loew and Goetz Kaehler led students in an investigation of the efficiency of fan-propelled objects.

Crave the Wave

Professor May wrote a test composed of twenty wave-related questions.


Students brought devices capable of hitting targets between two and eight- or ten-meters, depending on division.  Targets this year were placed at three and seven-and-a-half meters.  Demmelash Mengistu helped oversee the competition.

Reach for the Stars

Students identified objects (stars, constellations, and deep sky objects) on a sky chart and answered questions on stars and galaxies.  Challenges included identifying supernovae and nebulae and labeling the Herzsprung-Russel diagram, which describes the life cycle of stars.

It's About Time

Alemayehu Gebremariam helped out as students attempted to measure intervals between ten and three-hundred seconds using non-electrical devices.  Students were also expected to answer questions relating to time, time-keeping, astonomy, physics, and mehanics.

Physical Science Lab

The Physical Science Lab drew on a topic from our own back yard:  Alternative energy--in this case, wind!  Teams of students constructed blade assemblies and attached them to compact discs.   The compact discs were then affixed to a CD-ROM motor, and the blades were driven by box fans.  The teams with the highest voltage output from the motors won.  Bekele Gurmessa measured and recorded voltages for this event.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Published by Department of Physics

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 1:38:40 PM
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