|Brassfield Elementary School|
|Brentwood Magnet Elementary School of Engineering|
|Brier Creek Elementary School|
|Conn Elementary School|
|Fuller Elementary GT/AIG Basics Magnet Elementary|
|Harris Creek Elementary School|
|Hunter GT/AIG Magnet Elementary|
|Leesville Road Elementary School|
|Lynn Road Elementary|
|Millbrook Environmental Connections Magnet Elementary School|
|Poe GT/AIG Basics Magnet Elementary|
|Powell Center For Play and Ingenuity|
|Sycamore Creek Elementary|
|Thales Academy Apex K5|
|The Raleigh School|
|Underwood GT Magnet Elementary|
Q: Will there be food available for purchase at the tournament?
A: Yes. Olsen Craft Weiners and Kona Ice have both agreed to return to the tournament this year. Heritage HS’s athletic boosters will also be selling food out of a concession stand by the cafeteria.
Q: Can you tell me more about the volunteers you are asking us to find? What exactly do they need to do? Do I put them in touch with you once I’ve recruited them?
A: Volunteers with prior STEM or Science Olympiad experience are great, but none of that is required. Some of my volunteers will proctor and grade tests (given an answer key). Some will time different things, like how long a bottle rocket stays in flight. Some will just need to watch kids who are awaiting their turn at something. I need somebody who can work a camera and take some pictures throughout the day. I need help with setup and cleanup. The more involved jobs involve checking built creations and supplies to make sure they follow the specifications in the rules.
Q: Do you feed the volunteers?
A: Yes! There will be breakfast and lunch goodies provided for volunteers. If your volunteers have any dietary restrictions, please reach out and let me know!
Q: Can you tell me what the students will be using to draw their sketches? Will they be standing, drawing on a white board or paper flip chart or will they be sitting at a desk sketching on regular 8.5×11 paper? I want to make sure that we are practicing using the same set up on the competition day.
A: The supplies being used will vary by tournament.
Q: Quick ProGamer question, I see it is a trial event again, just to confirm, this means the score will not count in the total, right?
A: Yes, ProGamers is a trial event again this year. So students can still place in the ProGamers event itself, but those points will not count towards the overall team scores.
Ramp & Roll
Q: What floor surface will be used for Ramp & Roll?
A: R&R will be on a gym floor.
Q: What needs to be on the bottom of the ramps to protect the floors?
A: As long as you’ve made the effort to cover any rough spots and keep anything that could scratch the floor up and away from the floor, then you should be fine. Felt circles, a cloth covered bottom, styrofoam, etc should all work. If you’ve tried, and we think there’s a chance your ramp will scratch the floor, we’ll ask you to cover the spot we’re worried about with cardboard or something similar. I haven’t seen this be a problem on any of the ramps I’ve seen at other tournaments though.
Q: Once the kids are done building their cars, they’re allowed to test their cars on their ramps if time remains during the 30 minute build time. How much allotted space will the team have ? Will it be long enough for the kids to check how their car can go up to 4 or 6 m?
A: The gym is quite large; so I’m sure your team can find room to try their car out to 4-6m. Their building space will most likely not have that much space; so they’ll have to move their ramp and car to a different area to try it out, but that should be fine. If other teams want to do the same, they’ll need to take turns with the available space.
Rock Star and Backyard Biologist
Q: For Rock Star and Backyard Biologist they are allowed to bring binders or field guides, but does the size of the field guide matter? For example I have multiple field guides options, some are larger books, some smaller books and some pamphlets. Is there any regulation on what we can use?
A: Any commercially-produced field guide works. I’d just recommend the students practice with whatever guide they choose to bring in, as station events are usually time constrained. A bigger book might work against them if it takes too long to look up the info.
3,2,1 Blast Off
Q: Is the use of rubber bands, legos, additional cut plastic bottles, etc allowed?
A: As long as the pressure vessel is unaltered, those materials are fine. Note that gluing the pressure vessel alters it – so anything that’s attaching to it cannot be attached with glue.
Work It Out
Q: Will Work It Out be a first come first serve option? Or will teams be assigned a run time?
A: Work It Out will be on a first come first serve basis (within the period assigned on the schedule). We will have 3 lines of Work It Out happening at a time; so hopefully the wait won’t be awful.
Q: Tournament Director, who are you? And what should I call you?
A: My name is Amber Garcowski. My last name is pronounced just like it looks: gar (like the fish) + cow (like the mooing animal) + ski (like the downhill snow sport). You can just call me Amber. And so can your students 🙂 I’m from Ohio; so Ms Amber sounds funny to me, but that is fine as well if your students prefer.
I have 2 elementary-aged daughters (8 and 10), neither of whom participate in Science Olympiad (although I have hopes that they will!) My younger daughter, Genevieve, was at the tournament with me last year, and you probably saw her helping me out here and there. She’ll most likely be back again helping this year. I also volun-told my husband, Jason, for my tournament last year, and he’ll be back again this year. We have an ornery puppy named Luna and are in the process of adopting a bearded dragon.
Aside from being a mom to 2 WCPSS kids, I have no affiliation with the schools.
I work at SAS as a software developer, and I’ve been there about 12 years. I have a passion for STEM education, and love that Science Olympiad fosters scientific thinking. I like to take pictures, play strategy games, do puzzles and crosswords, read, and build Legos/metalworks/wood models.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to feel comfortable reaching out to me with comments/questions/advice!