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State finals of Illinois Science Olympiad to be held April 7

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
(217) 244-1073;


The state finals of the Illinois Science Olympiad will be held April 7 at the University of Illinois. The event, which begins at 9 a.m., is part of a national competition in which middle and high school students compete in 24 events involving science concepts and engineering skills. The public is invited to attend.

About 1,300 of the top technical students from around the state are expected to participate in the event, said Chad Stevens, coordinator of special programs in the School of Chemical Sciences. "The day will be filled with academic competition, spiced with the spirit of a track meet," said Stevens, who is university liaison and site coordinator for the Olympiad.

Area schools that qualified for the competition are Bloomington High School; Blue Ridge Junior High School, Farmer City; Glenn Raymond Junior High School, Watseka; St. Matthew School, Champaign; Edison Middle School, Champaign; Urbana High School; and Urbana Middle School.

The competition covers science and engineering disciplines from astronomy to zoology. Many of the activities will be hands-on, with student teams launching 2-liter bottle rockets, racing homemade airplanes and building bridges. Other events will test the students’ knowledge in areas such as cell biology, chemistry, crime science, experimental design, map-reading, physics, qualitative analysis and water quality.

Most of the tournament competition will take place on the Quad or in nearby buildings. A schedule of activities will be available in 161 Noyes Lab, 505 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana. An awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. in Huff Hall, 1206 S. Fourth St., Urbana.