Fun Day and Fun Night
Science Olympiad Fun Day
Take advantage of a typical Tuesday and set up a Science Olympiad Fun Day, where the whole school (or grade) travels from classroom to classroom and participates in fun hands-on events like Gummi Bear Long Jump, Can Race, Nutrition Express, Barge Building and Rainbow Connection. Use the gym to hold a Pentathlon contest and the multi-purpose room to fly paper airplanes in Aerodynamics Aloft. Bring in parents and supplies, and you can make any day of the week a Fun Day! For a great resource, look in the Science Olympiad Store for the the all-new Fun Day/Fun Night Manual, containing 57 grade-level-appropriate events with handouts, supply lists and scripts for presenters!
Science olympiad Fun Night
During a Science Olympiad Fun Night, students in teams of three or four, led by a parent volunteer, rotate through a series of three half-hour events, each designed to meet age-appropriate skills and knowledge bases. While the Fun Night is similar to the Fun Day in that each room hosts a different event, Fun Night relies more heavily on parent volunteerism than on staff preparation. This is one way to lessen the load on teachers and staff while still having a very successful, curriculum-driven science event at your school. It's also a rare chance for working parents who cannot normally participate in volunteer activities at school during the day to experience an event with their child.
One of the most exciting factors of Science Olympiad Fun Night is the addition of real scientists to the mix! (You can also invite visiting scientists to your classroom during a Fun Day.) When a child learns to look for scientific clues in a crime scene from a police officer from the evidence unit, it makes a lasting impression. Fun Night gives students (and parents) an opportunity to get up close and personal with a geologist, a naturalist, an architect or an engineer - in many cases, this will be their first contact with professional or technical role models.
Science Olympiad Fun Night gets kids excited about science, and also about teamwork. Each group of three or four is required to choose a team name and a team color, and encouraged to dress the part on the night of the event. The Sizzling Science Sisters wore tie-dye T-shirts, while the Ladybugs wore hats covered in plastic insects. The Blue Tornadoes painted their faces and hair blue! It adds an aura of fun and a splash of excitement to science, which is great for the age group. It reinforces the team concept and gives the kids an opportunity to get together before the event to plan their theme.
In an academic environment where test prep is a part of life, it's nice for kids and parents to walk into an event with no prior study requirements. Science Olympiad Fun Night is a work-free, stress-free night of fun and exploration for the kids. Not to say that the volunteers don't have to prepare -- because they do! But it's one of the most satisfying and rewarding volunteer experiences you'll ever have! Check out the PTA and Funding sections for more information.