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*  College of Science K-12 Outreach Program

February 16, 2006

Students from across Indiana to go for gold in Science Olympiad

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - More than 150 junior high and high school students from throughout Indiana will test their scientific knowledge in the Science Olympiad regional competition at Purdue University Feb. 24.

The event, sponsored by the College of Science and the Science Olympiad Club, will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry and Brown Laboratory of Chemistry. It features 23 science and technology events and is open to the public.

Students will attend a presentation from the Ship of Fools Improv Comedy Troupe at 3:30 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow at 5 p.m.

"The Science Olympiad is a great opportunity to see students participating in exciting and challenging science activities," says Bill Walker, director for College of Science K-12 Outreach. "Events such as Mission Possible and Robot Ramble are quite popular and fun to watch."

Mission Possible challenges students to build a device prior to the competition that allows energy transfers to occur in order to complete a task. This year, students will lift a can by pouring marbles into a device that activates a paddlewheel. Robot Ramble requires competitors to design and build a robot capable of performing a task on a prescribed playing field.

"The events are designed to stress science concepts, science processes, problem solving skills and applications of technology," says Mindy Hart, computer science outreach coordinator and supervisor for the Purdue University Science Olympiad Regional competition. "Several events involve hands-on activities."

Teachers and parents coach each team, which consists of 15 students. Local scientists and engineers also assist some teams.

The Purdue University, College of Science K-12 Outreach Program began in 1990 to support teachers and inspire students. Since then, 5,000 teachers and 500,000 students throughout the state have participated in its programs.

For information about the Science Olympiad Regional competition and times for specific events, contact Mindy Hart at (765) 494-7802, mhart@cs.purdue.edu or Bill Walker at (765) 494-5890, wswalker@purdue.edu

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704, mforbes@purdue.edu

Sources:Mindy Hart, mhart@cs.purdue.edu

Bill Walker, (765) 494-5890, wswalker@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: For information about the Science Olympiad regional competition and times for specific events, contact Mindy Hart at (765) 494-7802, mhart@cs.purdue.edu or Bill Walker at (765) 494-5890, . wswalker@purdue.edu

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