OMV-SfN chapter members participate in public outreach through Science Olympiad.
The National Science Olympiad organization held its annual National Tournament at Wright State University on May 18, 2013 with many OMV-SfN members contributing to this public education and outreach event. The Science Olympiad is the premier broad-based national science competition for middle school and high school students. Approximately 14,000 schools participate in this program including several outside the USA. The competition is comprised of 23 events ranging from chemistry, physics, and biology to Earth science, engineering, and computer science. The principal focus for each of these events changes from year to year. For 2013 the Anatomy and Physiology events test students’ knowledge of neuroscience and the digestive and excretory systems.
Throughout the winter and spring of 2013, many OMV-SfN members who are students from the Neuroscience, Cell Biology, and Physiology Master’s and Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. programs at Wright State University developed tests for the Anatomy and Physiology event under the direction of Dr. James Olson. These were used at a Science Olympiad invitational competition held at Wright State University in January and the Ohio State competition which occurred in April. At the National Tournament in May, OMV-SfN members from Wright State University, University of Cincinnati,and elsewhere helped design, proctor, and grade the examination.
Wright State University also used the tournament to showcase campus facilities to the students, parents, and coaches participating in the competition. Many faculty members of OMV-SfN opened their labs for tours and presentations by graduate student members of OMV-SfN. In addition, Master’s students in the Neuroscience, Cell Biology, and Physiology Department toured visitors through the Cadaver Lab and showed human brain specimens from the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine Anatomical Gift Program. Over two days, approximately 400 Science Olympiad participants saw how this facility is used for medical education and research. The feedback from the Science Olympiad participants was overwhelmingly positive as recognized by Wright State University President, Dr. David Hopkins, who noted he received one comment from a parent stating that “…the program in the Cadaver Lab was the best she had ever seen”.
Plans are currently underway to bring the Science Olympiad National Tournament back to Wright State University in 2017. In addition, neuroscience will remain as a focus of the Anatomy and Physiology event for the 2013-2014 tournament year. We look forward to these opportunities to reach out and bring neuroscience to the public.
Students participating at the Science Olympiad National Tournament.
From left to right: Victoria Chi (Columbia University), Carley Graham (University of Illinois),Madelyn Jones (Wright State University), Emily Vore (Wright State University), Erica Stewart (Wright State University), Haley Titus-Mitchell (University of Cincinnati), and Amaal Salhieh (Wright State University). OMV-SfN members were among the over 30 other students from Wright State University’s Neuroscience,Cell Biology, and Physiology Masters and Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. programs who organized examinations for Science Olympiad Invitational, State, and National competitions.
Students from across the country participated in Science Olympiad at Wright State University.
Science Olympiad competitors complete the examination in the middle school Anatomy event focusing on neuroscience and the digestive system.