Science Olympiad 2023

UAF Makerspace
Photo by Cherissa Dukelow
UAF Makerspace C3 Lab Tech Petie Deveer shows off 3D printing samples to students.

In 2023, Alaska Science Olympiad took place for the first time at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Eight teams competed in 16 events, and the first place winning team travelled to Wichita State University in Kansas to compete in the national tournament.  Over 120 students, chaperones, volunteers, and event coordinators came together to create an inspiring and memorable event!

Student teams stayed overnight in the UAF dorms after dancing at a make-your-own-mask masquerade ball hosted by UAF's The MIX, interdisciplinary innovation initiative, and DJ'd by Fairbanks-based DJ Tati.

In between events, teams were able to spend some down time visiting the UAF bookstore, the UAF Makerspace, and played the Fire & Ice Firewise Virtual Reality game.

Anatomy and Physiology
An assessment of the anatomy and physiology for the human Cardiovascular, Lymphatic, and Excretory systems.

Teams designed and built a Bridge (Structure) meeting requirements specified by the rules to achieve the highest structural efficiency.

Can't Judge a Powder
Students tested and characterized one pure substance and then, based only on data they collect, answered a series of questions about that substance.

Teams cryptanalyzed and decoded encrypted messages using cryptanalysis techniques for historical and modern advanced ciphers.

Crave the Wave
Competitors demonstrated knowledge and processed skills needed to solve problems and answer questions regarding all types of waves and wave motion.

Disease Detectives
Participants used investigative skills in the scientific study of disease, injury, health and disability in populations or groups of people.

Experimental Design
Participants challenged their ability to design, conduct and report the findings of an experiment entirely on-site.

Teams ran test flights on a free flight rubber-powered aircraft they constructed prior to the tournament. They collected data on the test flights, analyzed and optimized the aircraft to achieve maximum time aloft.

Green Generation
Students demonstrated an understanding of general ecological principles, the history and consequences of human impact on our environment, solutions to reversing trends and sustainability concepts.

Participants will use scientific process skills involving qualitative and quantitative analyses to demonstrate an understanding of the factors that contribute, cause and influence severe weather and storms.

Rocks and Minerals
Participants demonstrated their knowledge of rocks and minerals.

Solar System
Participants demonstrated an understanding and knowledge of habitability within and beyond the Solar System.

Sounds of Music
Teams constructed and tuned one device prior to the tournament based on a one-octave 12-tone equal tempered scale and completed a written test on the physics of sound and music concepts.

Storm the Castle
Teams designed, constructed, and calibrated a single device capable of launching projectiles onto a target and collected data regarding device parameters and performance.

Wheeled Vehicle
Teams tested a vehicle that they designed and built prior to the competition using a non-metallic, elastic material as the sole means of propulsion to travel a distance as quickly and accurately as possible.

Write It Do It
One participant from each team wrote a description of an object and how to build it. Another teammate constructed the object from this description.
School School District
Aurora Borealis Charter School Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Barnette Magnet School Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Colony Middle School Matanuska Susitna Borough School District
Discovery Peak Charter School Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Fairbanks BEST Homeschool Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Joe Redington Sr. Jr/Sr High School Matanuska Susitna Borough School District
Ryan Middle School (2 teams) Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
1st Place: Bazinga, Discovery Peak Charter School, North Pole, AK

2nd Place: Barnette Blazers, Barnette Magnet School, Fairbanks, AK

3rd Place: Fairbanks BEST Science Team, Fairbanks, BEST home school, Fairbanks, AK


First place team Bazinga
Photo courtesy of Maynard Maglaya
First place team "Bazinga!" posing with Bus 142 in the High Bay Structural Testing Lab at UAF's Joseph E. Usibelli Engineering Learning and Innovation Building.



DJ Tati
Photo courtesy of Bill Schnabel
DJ Tati brought the jams to the dance floor.