|Hunter GT/AIG Magnet Elementary Varsity|
|Hunter GT/AIG Magnet Elementary JV1|
|Harris Creek Elementary Varsity|
|Harris Creek Elementary JV1|
|Conn Magnet School of Entrepreneurial Design Varsity|
|Powell Center for Play and Ingenuity Magnet Varsity|
|Brassfield Elementary School Varsity|
|Brassfield Elementary School JV1|
|Wakefield Elementary Varsity|
|Brentwood Magnet Elementary Varsity|
|Woods Charter Varsity|
|Woods Charter JV1|
|The Raleigh School Varsity|
|The Raleigh School JV1|
|The Raleigh School JV2|
|Leesville Road Elementary School Varsity|
|Leesville Road Elementary School JV1|
|Lynn Road Elementary Varsity|
|Brier Creek Elementary School Varsity|
|Brier Creek Elementary School JV1|
|The Oakwood School Varsity|
|Thales Academy Varsity|
|Thales Academy JV1|
Q: What events can I watch?
A: TBD (Most likely to include Ramp & Roll, 3-2-1 Blast Off, Duct Tape Challenge, and maybe a couple more depending on space)
Q: Will there be food available for purchase at the tournament?
A: Yes. Kona Ice and Heritage HS’s athletic boosters (lunch menu below) will be returning this year.
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!
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 might not have that much space; so they might need 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.
Note that we might run this event as we did last year’s, where each team will have space with its own course set up with which to test. Then, when a team is ready, their official run would be at the same spot as their testing spot. (If you have feedback about this, positive or negative, please let me know. From what I saw, it seemed to work well, but it also requires a bit more set up for the event leader.)
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 (9 and 11), neither of whom participate in Science Olympiad (although I have hopes that they will!) My husband, Jason, was volun-told for my past NSCO tournaments, and he’ll be back again this year . We have an ornery dog named Luna and a bearded dragon named Melody.
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!