In spring of 2013, the Stephen F. Austin High School (Sugar Land, Texas) SciOly team qualified for the 30th annual Texas Science Olympiad competition for the first time. The competition, held at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, had the Stephen F. Austin SciOly team competing against 31 other student teams from around the state. The team placed 9th in the overall competition, winning 4 medals. Competition events included the Robot Arm, the Gravity Vehicle, an Elastic Launch Glider and demonstrations in Thermodynamics, Astronomy and Entomology, just to name a few. The team has already started planning and studying for the Texas Science Olympiad competition in 2014 and are determined to exceed their 2013 performance.
Receiving the donation from a company with a reputation like Clariant Oil Service helps to validate the Stephen F. Austin Science Olympiad as a group. It also shows that Clariant is committed to supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and science programs by partnering with a SciOly for the second year. SO is not just a science competition, it takes on the feel of a track meet-like experience. It gives these students some authentic team experience that they might not otherwise get if they are not enrolled in sports. It’s also very hands-on and exploratory, which helps activate important critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can be transferred to other areas.
On November 13, 2013, the SFA SciOly Club got an added bonus. They were invited to Clariant’s office to see what real scientists (chemical engineers) get to do at work, as well as how chemistry helps to facilitate mining processes. Visiting a science-based company gave the student insight in how what they are learning in the classroom translates to the workforce. Mr. Matt Wilson, SFA SciOly, said, “Field trips like this give the team a chance to see chemistry being used for practical and applicable purposes. For all those that are interested in chemistry, but unsure of what real chemists go to work and do every day, this event shed some light on what it would be like to grow up and be a chemist.”
Clariant Oil Services is committed to its ongoing support of local students in science, technology, engineering and math, and is proud to be part of the team’s journey this year. Clariant Oil Services celebrates the students’ dedication to science and math and congratulates the Stephen F. Austin SciOly team on their outstanding achievements! For more information about SFA SciOly, contact Mr. Matt Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.