Edmonton students compete in annual Science Olympics

Students participate in the APEGA Science Olympics at the University of Alberta's Butterdome, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. APEGA, Credit

In the spirit of the Olympics, Edmonton students participated in events Saturday that centred around science.

The APEGA Science Olympics had 600 students from Grades 1-12 competing in a series of problem-solving challenges focused on engineering and geoscience. They were asked to use their skills and knowledge to develop solutions.

“We want students to focus on mastering a skill or doing the best that they can in the challenge regardless of how the team beside them is doing,” organizer Alissa Boyle said.

“In the real world, I can be successful at my job solving a problem one way and my colleague can be successful at the same thing [doing it] a different way.”

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READ MORE: Edmonton students showcase their science skills at annual competition

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The challenges have been developed by professional engineers, geoscientists and teachers, and are connected to Alberta school curricula.

“We focus on things like teamwork, innovation, creativity. Those are all aspects of the day that we are all looking for, encouraging and actually scoring them on,” Boyle said.

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Boyle said it allows participants to see first-hand how engineering and geoscience impact their daily lives.

“APEGA, our outreach program, designs this event to bring some focus on engineering geoscience careers to the students to show them the possibilities that these professions have, the impact they have on society and to encourage them to build skills that will be very useful for them in the future.”

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There are also APEGA Science Olympics happening in Calgary, Medicine Hat, Peace River and Red Deer.

Boyle said the annual competition started small but has grown exponentially over the years.

“It started very grassroots in schools and it was just a bunch of teachers that got together and decided they wanted to do something engaging and it’s grown from there,” she said.

“APEGA has jumped on board and turned it into a very big cross-province event.”

The Edmonton event was held at the University of Alberta’s Butterdome.

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