ETA/Cuisenaire's $10,000 donation to Illinois Science Olympiad helps spur students' success as state, national meets await
Arlington Heights' South Middle School teams show practice makes perfect
VERNON HILLS, Ill - March 27, 2012 — Some 120 teams will be participating April 14 in the Illinois Science Olympiad (ISO) State Tournament, and one area company is doing what it can to ensure the participating middle school and high school students are well prepared for the competition planned for that day on the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus.
ETA/Cuisenaire, the Vernon Hills-based company that is the nation’s leading provider of hands-on learning products for math, science and literacy education, has made a donation of nearly $10,000 in science materials, lab equipment and microscopes to the ISO, which then used them as door prizes at regional coaches’ training clinics. Already, South Middle School in Arlington Heights has shown the value of the respective door prizes. To prepare for competition, the school’s teams practiced with ETA’s donated “Introduction to pH Measurement” kit and it paid dividends.
"The pH testing kit played a key part in our success as it was quite helpful in practice," said Kim Dyer, science teacher at South Middle School. "We have already picked up first- and third-place finishes for our teams."
The Crime Buster teams identify the perpetrators of a crime by using paper chromatography and analysis of unknown solids, liquids and plastics found at the scene of a crime, while the Water Quality team evaluates aquatic environments. Four years ago, South Middle School finished first in the ISO State Tournament.
"Receiving the donation from a company with a reputation like ETA helps to validate the Illinois Science Olympiad as a group," said Mary Allen, ISO sponsorship director. "It also shows that ETA is committed to supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and science programs by partnering with a group like ours that is dedicated to advancing science learning."
Allen added that while the ISO is a science competition, it takes on the feel of a track meet-like experience. "It gives these kids some authentic team experience that they might not otherwise get if they are not enrolled in sports. It’s also very hands-on and exploratory, which helps activate important critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can be transferred to other areas."
Two middle school and two high school teams will emerge from the State Tournament to qualify for the Science Olympiad National Tournament, scheduled for May 18-19 at the University of Central Florida.
In addition to the donation of nearly $10,000 in science materials, lab equipment and microscopes, ETA/Cuisenaire also is donating T-shirts for more than 300 volunteers working at the ISO State Tournament.
About ETA/Cuisenaire | www.etacuisenaire.com
Headquartered in Vernon Hills, Ill., ETA/Cuisenaire is recognized as the pioneer of manipulative and hands-on education. Across the preK-12 curriculum of math, science and reading, the company’s research-based products and programs support educators and make partners of parents to engage students, improve their performance, and inspire a lifelong love of learning.
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