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Real-Life Challenges Bring Science to Life for STEM Students

LEHMAN TOWNSHIP -- A Science Olympiad in Luzerne County attracted hundreds of middle and high school students from 31 school districts who plan to pursue careers in the sciences.

Some Dallas School District students showed Newswatch 16 some of the experiments they used to compete in the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Science Olympias. It took place Wednesday at Penn State's Wilkes-Barre campus.

"The whole point of Science Olympiad in my opinion is just to learn things that you can use in your every day life, later on. I would say, college, after college, just using it in a career," said 8th grader Drew Lojewski.

Science Olympiad is designed to get students interested in careers in STEM fields, or science, technology, engineering and math.

"It makes your brain just get used to the fact of applying things into the real world, of complicated things, and creating many things and different things." Lojewski explained.

Events featured everything from robotics and wind power, to food science and forensics. All the experiments required skills the students can apply to the real world.

"I learned how to use different tools and just problem solving," said 8th grader Gabriela Krochta.

On International Women's Day, some of the young female scientists are hoping to take what they learn at the competition and turn it into a career.

"I've been interested in science for as long as I can remember. I want to be a trauma surgeon when I grow up," 9th grader Hannah Wolfe said.

"I want to be a biologist, and I really like building things so I thought this would be a fun event to do," Krochta added.

"In my eyes, women and men have the same brains. It doesn't really matter what your gender is, it's just what you make of inside your head," Wolfe added.

The winners of the Science Olympiad competition at Penn State's Wilkes-Barre campus will advance to the state competition in April at Juniata College.

Middle School Division:
1st- Abington Heights Middle School
2nd - Wyoming Area Secondary School
3rd - Dallas Middle School
4th - Wayne Highlands Middle School
5th - Wilkes-Barre Academy
6th - Harlan Rowe Middle School

High School Division:
1st - Abington Heights High School
2nd - Stroudsburg High School
3rd - North Pocono High School
4th - Wallenpaupack Area High School
5th - Wyoming Area Secondary School
6th - East Stroudsburg South