Annual York Engineering & Science Olympics take place tomorrow

The 29th annual York Engineering & Science Olympics will test the skills of Ontario’s brightest high-school students in the area of sustainable science and engineering tomorrow. The event will take place on York’s Keele campus from 9am to 3pm at the Computer Science & Engineering Building.

The games are a chance for students in Grades 9 to 12 to compete in six events designed and officiated by faculty members and students in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering.

Right: Competitors try out a Hooke’s cannon

Participants have a chance to win $1,000 to be spent on equipment for their science classroom and to receive a special $2,000 entrance scholarship to York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering.

Over 1,000 students from more than 60 high schools across the province will compete in the games, including a team from Keewaytinook Internet High School, an online school servicing Aboriginal students from northern Ontario. The York Engineering & Science Olympics is sponsored by the Imperial Oil Foundation and the York Faculty of Science & Engineering.

The following is an overview of some of the events:

Eco-Chef: Students will select the most ecologically-friendly ingredients for a common food dish by calculating the carbon footprint made by transporting the ingredients.

Sustainable Shuttle Launcher: Students will design and build a small shuttle out of paper and a special launcher to launch it using a specified non-hydrocarbon source of energy.

Small Footprint Robocode: Teams will program a Java-based robot to compete in a series of heats with a low carbon footprint.

EnviroGeocaching: Teams will use handheld GPS receivers to find eco-friendly objects hidden at pre-set coordinates.

Changing Tides: To investigate how the density of sea water affects movement in the oceans, students will vary the concentration of sea water from brine to pure water and determine the density of a floating object.

Questions in the Age of Global Warming: Teams will answer a series of Fermi questions, which require approximate answers about things that are difficult to measure. For example, "Given the melting rate of the polar ice cap, how long will it be before it disappears?"

For more information, visit the Faculty of Science & Engineering Web site.