This course is designed for students in grades 5-6 interested in learning physics at an accelerated pace and Science Olympiad events. The 10-week long session introduces physical science, combined with Science Olympiad building events. The topics for each lesson are approximately one to two grade levels ahead of the science taught in school. It is designed for students to explore science and engineering early and get ready for transition to the new Next Generation Science Standards, as well as making the Science Olympiad team in Middle School. The hands-on program emphasize observation, experimentation, building, and research.

Middle School Science Olympiad Syllabus

Course Overview

This course is designed for students in grades 5-6 interested in learning about Science Olympiad and experimental physics at an accelerated pace. The 10-week long session involves lessons approximately one to two years ahead of science taught in school. This class will cover two Science Olympiad events: Optics, Towers, Roller Coaster, and Battery Buggy. Classes are structured as forty-five minutes of lecture and an hour and fifteen minutes of lab. The lab always involves hands-on experimentation or building activities. For more information about Science Olympiad, visit the official Science Olympiad website at

Course Materials

  • A notebook or notebook paper for class notes
  • Pencil
  • An open mind ready to learn science!


  • Ardent Academy E-Learning website

Course Schedule

The topic for each week will be disclosed about one day before class on the Ardent Academy E-Learning website. We will not have class on Sunday, 4/1/18, as a spring break.

Spring 2018 Schedule:

Week Sun
1 03/04/18
2 03/11/18
3 03/18/18
4 03/25/18
BREAK 04/01/18
5 04/08/18
6 04/15/18
7 04/22/18
8 04/29/18
9 05/06/18
10 05/13/18

Homework Policy

Homework is estimated to take about thirty minutes to one hour to complete for each week. Homework is expected to be turned in at the beginning of class or online, depending on the assignment. There is no penalty for late assignments, but it is recommended that students stay on top of the homework, since it will continuously accumulate. 

Grading Policy

Parents and students are responsible for checking their grades online on the E-Learning website. Grades will be visible one week after it has been turned in, and will be returned to the student in class. If there are any issues regarding how an assignment has been graded, parents and students can talk to the teaching assistant, Ms. Jenny, during office hours.

Session Topics




Introduction to Motion and Energy


Light Energy: Reflection and Rarefraction

3 Science Olympiad Activity: Optics


Stability of Structures 


Science Olympiad Activity: Towers


Potential and Kinetic Energy


Science Olympiad Activity: Roller Coaster


Electricity and Circuitry


Science Olympiad Activity: Battery Buggy


Final Project: Battery Buggy

Office Hours

Students may attend office hours if the homework was particularly difficult or if there were discrepancies during the lecture. Students will work with the teaching assistant, Ms. Jenny. Office hours is also a time where students can make up the lab if they were absent the previous week. Parents and students can also meet with the instructor to discuss student’s performance in the class.

Class Announcements

The instructor will be primarily using the E-Learning website to communicate with individual students and the entire class. The instructor will contact the class through announcements on E-Learning, which will alert the email on the E-Learning account. Therefore, please frequently check your email and E-Learning for updates about the class. An individual message on E-Learning will alert the email account as a message, instead of an announcement.

Absent Policy

It is important that the parent or student contact the instructor before a student’s absence as early as possible. The student will be exempt from the lab worksheet, but they may complete a shorter version of the lab during office hours. This is not mandatory, but recommended. Once it is confirmed that the student will attend office hours, the instructor will send the PowerPoint slides, and the student should read over them to prepare for the lab. Any questions about the lecture material can be directed to the instructor or TA during office hours. Homework should still be completed.

Additional Information

Any questions or concerns about the overview of the class should be directed to instructor’s email:


Here is the class outline:

Welcome to Ardent Academy for Gifted Youth

Lesson 1: Experimental Design

Lesson 2: Optics

Lesson 3: Towers

Lesson 4: Towers

Lesson 5: Tower Project Presentations

Lesson 6: Roller Coaster

Lesson 7: Circuitry

Lesson 8: Advanced Circuitry

Lesson 9: Battery Buggy

Lesson 10: Final Project-Battery Buggy