Science Olympiad Students from Northwest Ohio Participate in Toledo Zoo Workshop

In December, the Toledo Zoo hosted a free workshop on herpetology and ecology specifically designed for Ohio Science Olympiad students. Forty students from 11 different schools participated.

Arlington High School biology teacher Amanda Miller and Paulding Schools science teacher Gary Gilbert, both Science Olympiad coaches, were chaperones at the workshop.

“I decided to take our students to help expose them to some of the information they will have to master going in to the Science Olympiad competition,” Miller said. “It is always great for high school students to meet individuals who actually work in the science field. I was also hoping they would have the opportunity to see live animals!”

Gilbert added, “since herpetology was a new event, I thought it would be beneficial to hear from professionals in the field.”

This season, the Ohio Science Olympiad state office has focused on partnering with STEM-related organizations around the state. In addition to the Toledo Zoo workshop, there have been learning opportunities through the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cincinnati Zoo, and The Ohio State University College of Arts & Sciences. The state tournament in April will also unique learning opportunities such as fun events and tours throughout Ohio State and an event run by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Miller and Gilbert both agree that this type of extracurricular activity benefits the students and teams who participate. Miller noted that “any kind of program which allows students to be actively involved in the learning process and meet individuals in the science field” is beneficial.

As one of the state’s premier science competitions, Ohio Science Olympiad allows students in grades 6-12 to demonstrate their skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

“Science Olympiad is great for any student. The amount of knowledge ­and thinking skills required to be successful are going to be carried way beyond the classroom. Being involved with Science Olympiad has definitely made me a better teacher,” Gilbert said.

Regional tournaments begin Saturday, February 24, where teams will compete for the opportunity to advance to the state tournament on Saturday, April 28.