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U. of I. to host state finals of Science Olympiad April 21

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Released 4/9/2007

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The state finals of the Illinois Science Olympiad will be held April 21 at the University of Illinois. The event, which begins at 8 a.m., is part of a national competition in which middle and high school students compete in 23 events involving science concepts and engineering skills. The public is invited to attend.

“About 1,100 of the top technical students from around the state are expected to participate in the event,” said Howard Guenther, associate vice chancellor for research at Illinois. “The day will be filled with academic competition, spiced with the spirit of an athletic event,” said Guenther, who is university liaison and site coordinator for the Olympiad.

Area schools that qualified for the competition are Campus Middle School for Girls, Urbana; Centennial High School; and Urbana Middle School.

The Science Olympiad is devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers.

The competition covers science and engineering disciplines from astronomy to zoology. Many of the activities will be hands-on, with student teams launching bottle rockets, flying homemade airplanes and building bridges. Other events will test the students’ knowledge in areas such as chemistry, forensics, genetics, health science, meteorology, mineralogy, physics and qualitative analysis.

Most of the tournament competition will take place in buildings near the Quad. A schedule of activities will be available in 161 Noyes Lab, 505 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

A science and engineering information fair will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. in Huff Hall, 1206 S. Fourth St., Champaign. Representatives from many U. of I. science departments and local student organizations will be available to talk with prospective college students.

Provost Linda Katehi will be the featured speaker during the awards ceremony, which will begin at 5 p.m. in Huff Hall, 1206 S. Fourth St., Champaign.

Editor’s note: To reach Howard Guenther, call 217-333-0030; e-mail: