Now for the final event of our worldwide education Olympiad, we have come to 8th grade science which shares some characteristics with the ski jump.  In this event, competitors upon skis descend a long ramp to pick up speed before then ascending a short ramp that abruptly ends, thereby sending the ski jumper through the air.  Like a bird gliding in flight, the athlete assumes a posture in the air that intends to take full advantage of aerodynamic properties in order to fly higher and farther than any other competitor.  While ski jumpers are no doubt athletes, to an extent  they are also scientists as they consider such factors as velocity, trajectory and wind resistance.  By 8th grade, students have learned a significant amount of science content in the areas of earth, life and physical sciences.


Top standardized test scores for 8th grade science among nations and states across the world.


The 2011 TIMSS provides data on 8th grade science results among nations across the world.  On the left, we see the USA finishing 10th.  Again, multiple states also took the TIMSS and top individual scores are placed on the center list.  Note Massachusetts finished with the second highest score in the world.  Montana was not one of the states that participated independently in the TIMSS, but Montana and Massachusetts both took the NAEP science test for 8th graders at about that same time.  NAEP’s interpretation of the scores indicates that there was no significant difference between the results for Massachusetts and Montana on that 8th grade science test.  Therefore, the list on the right depicts the results based on NAEP’s interpretation of scores and the hypothetical scenario of the USA having Montana as their only delegation in this event.  In that scenario, Montana-USA would impressively finish second among nearly 60 nations in the world.

Your medal winners in 8th grade science are Singapore with gold, Montana-USA silver, and Chinese-Taipei bronze.


Bar graph showing extrapolated test results


What about Swan River School?  What if the USA delegation were even smaller than Montana and they could only send our Warriors to compete in this 8th grade science event?  How might we do?  Is there a way to possibly predict this?  Well, using the MontCAS data allows for something of a data based guess at this.  As you can see, the extrapolated green bar is most impressive in this case with Swan River School finishing with achievement scores an astounding 18% higher that Montana’s.  Where Montana was already in the second place position in the world, this score that is 18% higher would propel Swan River far beyond Singapore’s TIMSS score and earn the Warriors a gold medal.  

With that as the concluding event, we next look forward to our closing ceremonies and final thoughts.