WHAT IS SCIENCE OLYMPIAD?
Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing male, female and minority interest in science, creating a technologically-literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers. These goals are achieved by participating in Science Olympiad tournaments and non-competitive events, incorporating Science Olympiad into classroom curriculum and attending teacher training institutes.
Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division (Division B is middle school; Division C is high school). Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation. Through Science Olympiad, students, teachers, parents, principals and business leaders bond together and work toward a shared goal.
The culmination of nearly 300 Regional and State tournaments (and about 165 practice Invitationals!) is the Science Olympiad National Tournament, held at a different university each year. This rotating system gives students the opportunity to visit new parts of the country and tour colleges they might consider for their undergraduate studies, and provides a memorable experience that lasts a lifetime.
Since 2005, Athens Area Science Olympiad (AASO) has been active at both the middle school (Division B) and high school (Division C) level. During this time, hundreds of students have had success at the local, state and national level.
The mission of Athens Area Science Olympiad (AASO) is to increase student participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) with an emphasis on teamwork, continuous improvement, hard work, leadership and responsibility.
Teamwork is a required skill in most scientific careers today, and AASO encourages group learning by designing events that forge alliances. In Elevated Bridge, an engineering whiz and a kid from wood shop can become gold medalists. Similarly, a talented builder and a student with a good science vocabulary can excel in Write It Do It, one of Science Olympiad's most popular events.
Perfection is not our goal at AASO. Our goal is to encourage students to put forth their best effort. By trying their hardest, and working toward improvement, success will follow, not only in their Science Olympiad events, but in everything they do.
Learning the value of hard work is key to our program. Students have been shown time and time again that success can be theirs if they want to work hard enough for it.
Students range from 6th to 12th grade. As they grow, we encourage students to learn from mentors, follow the examples of older students and eventually become mentors themselves.
Many of our competitions will involve travel which will require students to learn responsibility. Students will need to be self motivating to organize movement of equipment, setup of homebase classrooms and ensuring they are at the proper event at the proper time.
Ultimately our program is designed to prepare students to be successful in the future regardless of whether or not they choose a career in science.
JOINING THE TEAM
We are always looking for hard working, responsible new team members. Each year, tryouts are held in September. If you are interested, check out the following dates for the 2021-2022 season.
Aug. 25, 2021 - Meet and Greet w/ Coach Slocum at Harlan Rowe Back to School Night
Sept. 7, 2021 - WIN Period Informational meeting at Harlan Rowe
Sept. 7-14, 2021 - Tryout signups at Harlan Rowe
Sept. 13 and 15th - Tryouts (attend one of two nights)
For more information, please contact Coach Slocum (607 426 5885 firstname.lastname@example.org) for middle school questions, and Coach McNeil (607 329 0119 email@example.com) for high school questions.
The first team in Athens was formed in 2003 at the Harlan Rowe Middle School by Coach Jeanine Duncan. As those students moved into the high school, they encouraged their Biology teacher Carli Yeager-Hall to start a high school team. The Harlan Rowe team earned a trip to the state tournaments in 2006, and 2008. The first high school team (shown here) finished 6th at the Northeast PA regional competition in their first year (2005) and went on to finish 15th in the state.
REGIONAL AND STATE SUCCESS
The next nine years were very successful for AASO with the Division C team finishing 1st at Regionals 8 years in a row! During that span they continued to finish higher in the rankings at states culminating at 3rd place in 2011.
During that span Athens ran the Twin Tiers Invitational drawing some of the top teams in the nation from PA, OH, VA, NY and NJ.
In 2013, Coach Yeager-Hall stepped down to be followed by Coach Susan Lockard for two seasons, then Coach Michelle Liddane.
REBUILDING AND NATIONAL SUCCESS
The years of 2015 and 2016 were a time of rebuilding. The high school team failed to make the state tournament those two years and the middle school did not have a team in 2016.
In 2017, the Harlan Rowe team was reformed under the direction of Coach John Slocum. In 2020, Coach James McNeil took the helm of the high school team.
Starting with a small, but dedicated group of students, Harlan Rowe quickly ascended the ranks. In their first season (2017), they finished 7th at Regionals earning the final spot in the State tournament where they went on to finish 23rd in the state. They followed that up with a 7th place state finish in 2018, and in 2019 for the first time in Athens history, they finished 2nd in the state and earned a spot in the National Tournament held at Cornell in Corning, NY. At Cornell, Harlan Rowe placed 15th in the nation.
After getting off to a quick start in 2020, everything was put on hold due to Covid. Both teams came roaring back in 2021. The high school team finished 1st in the Regional competition for the first time since 2013, and went on to finish 9th in the state. Harlan Rowe went on to finish 2nd in the state again earning a spot in the National Tournament hosted by Arizona State. Harlan Rowe finished 16th in the nation in that tournament.