(Posted April 1, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College has been chosen as the site for the 2004 National Science Olympiad by the Science Olympiad board of directors, bringing 108 teams from high schools and middle schools across the country and Canada to compete in a variety of science-based events May 21 and 22, 2004.

"Juniata has a national reputation as a liberal arts college that excels at science education and this event will help Juniata showcase that expertise to top students nationwide," says Thomas Kepple, president of Juniata College. "By 2004, we will be able to show prospective science students our state-of-the-art William J. von Liebig Center for Science as well as the new Raystown Field Station complex."

Kepple anticipates about 3,500 competitors, coaches, parents and support staff will visit the Juniata campus for the two-day competition. The students will take part in a variety of science projects across campus at sites such as Brumbaugh Science Center, Knox Stadium, the Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center, Good Hall and the lawn behind Ellis College Center.

"The prestige of bringing a national event to the Juniata campus is a testament to the strength of the Juniata science programs and facilties," says Rep. Bill Shuster (R, 9th District). "The National Science Olympiad will put Juniata and Huntingdon County on a national stage."

The 2004 National Science Olympiad begins May 21, 2004 with opening ceremonies in Knox Stadium, where competing teams and visitors will hear the tournament's keynote address. More than 1,600 students will compete May 22 in two divisions: Division B (grades 6-9) and Division C (grades 9-12). Each division has 54 teams, each comprised of 15 competitors.

"Not every state will send a team, and some of the larger states may send two teams," explains Ronald Pauline, associate professor of education at Juniata and on-site coordinator for the 2004 event. "Science education has become increasingly important throughout the elementary and secondary schools and our facilities and dedication to this event will reflect our commitment to providing top-notch science education."

The 2002 National Science Olympiad will be held at the University of Delaware May 17 and 18. The 2003 National Science Olympiad will be held at Ohio State University May 9 and 10. Juniata College will continue to host the Pennsylvania Science Olympiad, the state competition that decides which teams will compete in the national event. This year, the state finals are April 26 on the Juniata campus.

The Science Olympiad brings out the talents, resourcefulness and skills of the top young scientific minds in the state as teams create different science projects for competition in 23 events. The events, which can involve individuals or teams, allow students to think creatively while building an elaborate project.

For example, Mission Impossible asks students to build Rube Goldberg-style devices to demonstrate scientific principles. Other events include a competition to build a bridge that can hold the most weight while using the lightest materials; and Science Crime Busters, where students identify various substances in a simulated crime scene.

Science Olympiad is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science, and recognizing outstanding achievements in science education.

The Science Olympiad was created in 1983 by Gerald Putz, regional science consultant for Macomb County Intermediate School District in Macomb, Mich., and Jack Cairns, state science supervisor for Delaware's Department of Instruction.
For more information on the Science Olympiad, visit the Science Olympiad Web site, www.soinc.org.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.