Approximately 90 high school and middle school teams, involving more than 1,500 students from across the state, have qualified for the Wisconsin Science Olympiad tournament Friday and Saturday, March 15-16, at UW-Stout.
The tournament includes 50 high school and 38 middle school teams, along with other teams competing in the exhibition division.
The university is hosting the state tournament for the ninth time. In May 2016 UW-Stout hosted the National Science Olympiad, which attracted about 3,000 competitors from 49 states.
The state competition will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, culminating with an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. at Johnson Fieldhouse. Students will compete in dozens of categories in six buildings across campus.
The high school and middle school champions will qualify for the national tournament June 1 at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
On Friday, an opening ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. at Johnson Fieldhouse, including a parade of schools.
The opening ceremony presenter is Tyraine Ragsdale, also known as Grand Hank. The former Johnson & Johnson research scientist has given high-energy science presentations to more than 10 million students, parents and administrators.
Beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, the Stout Expo on campus will give visiting students numerous opportunities to explore various science fields. High school students have 14 classrooms and lab options to hear lectures and see university students at work, such as physics, engineering, biochemistry, biology and zoology. Middle school students have seven options.
Students also can take part in myriad hands-on activities such as cool insects, design thinking, the science of skydiving, honeybee health, extracting DNA from bacteria, analyzing cigarette smoke, Wisconsin wildlife and injection molding lab.
Also, students can take a campus tour, an Xcel Energy hydrodam tour and hear speakers and do more activities at the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts.
About 150 UW-Stout students, faculty and staff will be involved as volunteers, said tournament director Forrest Schultz, a professor in the physics and chemistry department.
Along with UW-Stout, tournament sponsors are Xcel Energy and Phillips Medisize.
Science Olympiad promotes K-12 science education throughout the U.S. with fun, competitive events. Learn more from a University of Wisconsin video.
Students from New Jersey work on an entry in the 2016 National Science Olympiad held at UW-Stout. The state tournament will be held on campus March 15-16.