News Releases

November 10, 2010
For Immediate Release
For additional information: 
Barbara Kerr, APR
Executive Director of
Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 360-992-2921


How far can a gummi bear jump?

Elementary Science Olympiad banner

From chopper challenges to mystery architecture, the focus will be on learning and fun 
as Clark College hosts the regional 2010 Elementary Science Olympiad on Saturday, Nov. 13


VANCOUVER, Wash. – It’s a question that has perplexed scientists for generations:  How far can a gummi bear jump?

That’s just one of the burning questions that some of Southwest Washington’s youngest scientists will strive to answer during the regional 2010 Elementary Science Olympiad (ESO), which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Clark College’s main campus.

The ESO, which will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., is an inquiry-based, hands-on program covering science, technology, engineering and math.   Between 250 and 300 students are expected to attend from the Battle Ground, Camas, Hockinson, Ridgefield, Vancouver and Washougal School Districts. 

Clark College is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver.  Driving directions and parking maps are available at

Through the Science Olympiad format, students are given the opportunity to participate in highly engaging activities that naturally generate interest, enthusiasm and passion for scientific exploration.

Teams of students will participate in the following events:

  • Chopper challenge: Contestants build and test 2 choppers (rotary flying devices) using only materials provided at the competition.  Pencils, a straight edge, paper clips, and scissors will be provided.

  • Gummi Bear Long Jump: Using a pre-made catapult device, students will collect data and determine the best angle of the launching arm to land a gummi bear in the center of a target.

  • Leaf and Tree Finder: Participants will be asked to identify various trees by using an identification key and leaf and tree part samples.

  • Mystery Architecture: This event is designed to test the students’ ability to think on their feet. They will be given a bag of materials to build a freestanding tower as high as they can. The tower should be constructed to support a tennis ball at its top.

  • Pondering Powders: Participants will be asked to make observations and identify common white household powders.

Since 1993, Clark College has also welcomed middle and high school students by serving as host for either the Southwest Washington Regional Science Olympiad or the Washington State Science Olympiad. Organizers say the Science Olympiad program has increased student knowledge about science and interest in science-related careers.