Return of Science Olympiad is great for ECHS

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dear Editor:

First, please let me apologize that this letter is about 7.5 years late and also apologize for sharing a misconception that many of our citizens have of our public high school.

I am now beginning my eighth year as a science teacher for the Escambia County High School, and during this time have found that we have a bounty of well-behaved, courteous, polite, respectful, and — most of all — intelligent students. I have also found that many of our students have strong work ethics.

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Don’t believe me? Then just go to the grocery store, fast food businesses or any other place of business and you will probably be served and served well by a high school student working after school and on the weekends, plus maintaining their school work. I have also begun to see that these children are coming up in a time that is probably much harder than when folks my age had to meet the same obligations.

Overall, I have been greatly impressed with what our county has to offer our citizens in the way of education. I sincerely wish the success stories that return to us could be known throughout our community, and not tarnished by the many naysayers in our community that prefer to not be confused by the facts.

Well, speaking of success stories and hoping for the same, here is another reason for this letter. With ECHS principal Dennis Fuqua’s blessings, the Science Olympiad team has been revived. The Science Olympiad is basically an academic track team where the students/participants compete in 24 different science events.

The Science Olympiad at Escambia County High School was present approximately 20 years ago under the direction and guidance of Mrs. Jane Nall and Mrs. Pam Dees — incidentally, Mrs. Nall now serves as the state Science Olympiad director. The events mentioned cover topics of astronomy, geology, physics, chemistry, and practical application events where the students build and compete with their projects.

Some of the projects are magnetic levitation, bridge building for strength, building a vehicle to travel a certain distance then stop without breaking an egg on the front, building a launch device to throw a projectile accurately a set point, and build and fly airplanes with the goal of longest time aloft.

Watching the students so far has been exciting as they get into their projects and actually teach other as to the how-to’s of the projects. The program is exciting, time consuming and expensive, but what isn’t that has so much potential for so great of a return?

I am looking for interested people that may have some expertise in the mentioned fields, as we are allowed input and instruction from outside sources and it offers a community wide effort in promoting these students. And naturally any monetary assistance would be great as well. So, if you can help in any way, please contact me through the Escambia County High School. Go ECHS!

Dr. Rodney Owens