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STEM showcased in River City with this year's First Coast Science Olympiad Tournament

Students from all over the state are competing in the 2016 science tournament

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Science is on the minds of elementary students all across Florida, because the Science Tournament is underway in the River City. The competition began at 9 Saturday morning and goes until 3 p.m., at River City Science Academy.

“When I grow up, I want to be an astrophysicist and a chemist,” says Olivia Brown, a third-grader from Orlando’s Seminole Science Charter School.

Olivia is one of the many competitors in the First Coast Science Olympiad Tournament.

“What I learned is to have fun. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. It’s about having fun!” says Olivia..

All teams are led by a teacher and have a dozen students. They will compete in 13 different events, categorized by physics, chemistry, earth space science, biology, and engineering. Of those, students will get the chance to engage in hands-on, interactive, inquiry-based activities.

The principal of the host school, River City Science Academy, says it wouldn't have been a success without the parents.

“They spend that extra time and we have very wonderful parents in here making sure they have emotional support and also monetary support,” says Alaaddin Akgul, RCSA principal.

RCSA is a tuition-free, science, technology, engineering and math- focused, Duval County Public Charter School. The goal of the school is by getting kids involved in STEM activities earlier in life, it will lead them to continue to have interest as they age.

Akgul adds, “We don't see a lot of girls in engineering when they are in high school. One of the reasons, I believe, is we need to prepare them at the younger ages and have those higher expectations at the younger ages so they see how fun STEM education is.”

Here’s more information on how to get your child involved with STEM-school RCSA.