Science Olympiad brings hundreds of students to UW-Stout

"I thought it was really nerdy, it kind of is but it's really fun," said Rachel Day, a student from Cambridge, WI.

She and her teammate, Megan Redford, say they are hooked on Science Olympiad.

"This year I tried something new like experimental design and water quality, so I like trying new things," Redford added.

The two students joined about 1,000 other students at UW-Stout competing in the Science Olympiad State Tournament.

Forrest Schultz, a UW-Stout Professor and Director of Science Olympiad Wisconsin, says the students compete in several events throughout the day.

"The events stretch across chemistry, physics, biology, computer science and engineering," he said.

The event takes what students learn in the classroom and give it real world application, boosting critical thinking and problem solving skills. It has gotten the attention of employers, too.

"A lot of our events are sponsored by major corporations because they see the value in those events and applied types of skills," he said.

And more students are taking an interest, too.

"And I hear back from coaches across the state that it rivals the interest of athletic teams, so students have to choose between one or the other and they sometimes choose Science Olympiad.

The students walk away having learned new, sometimes complex skills.

"I did not know how to build a hydrometer and I did successfully, so I was very proud," Redford added.

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