College, cantilevers and chemistry


More than 500 area middle and high school students will convene at The University of Akron on Saturday, March 15, to demonstrate their science knowledge and engineering abilities at the Time Warner Akron Regional Science Olympiad Tournament.

Students from more than 31 area schools will compete from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. in 46 science and engineering events, including activities focused on anatomy, entomology, chemistry and physics. Engineering design events include helicopters, cantilevers, gravity-powered vehicles, and Rube Goldberg-type devices. Awards will be presented at 4 p.m.

A national nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, Science Olympiad holds its Akron Regional tournament, sponsored in part by Time Warner Cable, annually at UA.

“Science Olympiad provides middle and high school students with an excellent hands-on science opportunity,” says Laurel Lohrey, Akron Regional Science Olympiad director. “It brings many students onto campus with their families and often provides them with their first taste of a college campus, classrooms and labs.”

Lohrey also coordinates outreach programs for UA’s Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA), which organizes the event. The AGPA assists the UA College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering in creating and disseminating knowledge about polymer science, polymer engineering, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education by supporting initiatives in P-16 education.

“The University has a mission to spread knowledge, and through Science Olympiad, hundreds of hours are spent in inquiry, learning and exploration of STEM topics as these young students pursue medals, trophies and the joy of discovery,” Lohrey says. “As a former engineer and middle school coach, I am delighted to see students investigate a new field such epidemiology or genetics, and discover a passion for it. There are new, exciting and potentially life-changing discoveries taking place each year.”

For more information, visit the Akron Regional Science Olympiad online or call 330-972-8178. 

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or

Science Olympiad

Nordonia seventh grader Jake Newhouse displays a mousetrap-powered vehicle he and his classmate, Matt Chilton, designed and built for last year’s Time Warner Akron Regional Science Olympiad Tournament. The team placed first in the event.