beyond the Classroom
At the Middle School, there are many activities that cannot be located on a curriculum list. These activities not only support our efforts in the classroom but also add an important social dynamic, further enriching the daily experience for students.
The Science Olympiad is a national, nonprofit organization designed to promote scientific literacy among all students, a goal shared by education, business, industry and government. The Science Olympiad competitions bring out the talents, resourcefulness and skills of top young scientific minds. Members of the Science Olympiad team compete in 23 events applying the principles of biology, chemistry, physics and earth science, as well as problem solving and the use of technology. Competitors may participate in a variety of events, including building the most efficient tower, investigating crimes, tracking diseases, working with lasers, aquifer research and fossils, to name a few.
Participation in Science Olympiad is optional and open to any Middle School student. Recent team accomplishments include:
- 2012: 1st Place State Tournament; 26th Place National Tournament
- 2011: 2nd Place State Tournament; 18th Place National Tournament
- 2010: 3rd Place State Tournament
- 2009: 2nd Place State Tournament; 20th Place National Tournament
- 2008: 3rd Place State Tournament
- 2007: 2nd Place State Tournament; 17th Place National Tournament
- 2006: 4th Place State Tournament
- 2005: 1st Place State Tournament; 9th Place National Tournament
- 2004: 1st Place State Tournament; 3rd Place National Tournament
- 2003: 2nd Place State Tournament; 20th Place National Tournament
Additional information about the Science Olympiad can be found at: http://www.soinc.org
The MATHCOUNTS competition program is an enriching and challenging program for Middle School students with an interest in mathematics. The program prepares students throughout the year to represent Shady Side Academy at MATHCOUNTS events. The MATHCOUNTS program, under the leadership of the National Society of Professional Engineers, has more than 500 chapter competitions, 57 state competitions and one national competition. These competitions provide students with the opportunity to compete against their peers from other schools, cities and states.
Participation in MATHCOUNTS is optional and open to any Middle School student. Shady Side's program has been awarded Gold Level status. Additional information about MATHCOUNTS can be found at www.mathcounts.org .
FIRST LEGO League
Shady Side Academy Middle School participates in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Competition at the National Robotics Engineering Center in Lawrenceville, Pa. FLL is a global program created to get kids excited about science and technology. FLL utilizes theme-based challenges to engage kids in research, problem solving and engineering. The cornerstones of the program are the core values, which emphasize the contributions of others, friendly sportsmanship, learning and community involvement. Each annual challenge has two parts, the Project and the Robot Game. Working in teams of up to 10 kids, team members have about 10 weeks to:
- Build an autonomous robot that will complete pre-designed missions
- Analyze, research, and invent a solution for a given assignment
- Create a clever presentation about their solution to perform in front of a panel of judges
Participation in FIRST LEGO League is optional and open to any Middle School student. Additional information about the FIRST program can be found at www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/fll.
Team America Rocketry Challenge
The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is the world's largest rocket contest, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR). Approximately 7,000 students from across the nation compete in TARC each year. Teams design, build and fly a model rocket that reaches a specific altitude and duration determined by a set of rules developed each year. The contest is designed to encourage students to study math and science and pursue careers in aerospace. The top 100 teams, based on local qualification flights, are invited to Washington, D.C. in May for the national finals.
Participation in Rocketry is optional and open to any Middle School student. Additional information about the TARC program can be found at: http://rocketcontest.org/
Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) and Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair (PRSEF)
Students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade will have the opportunity to participate in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) and/or the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair (PRSEF). Middle School science faculty members will be available to serve as mentors for science fair projects. Projects will be judged during an in-school science fair, and selected projects will represent Shady Side Academy Middle School at regional competitions.
Additional information about the PJAS program can be found at: http://pjas.net/
Additional information about the PRSEF program can be found at: http://www.scitechfestival.com/mainsf.asp
Visit the Media Gallery page to see photo and videos from recent events around the Academy!