Budding scientists to visit UCCS Feb. 22

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, (719) 255-5124, (719) 660-6466, kfitzpat@uccs.edu Tom Hutton, (719) 255-3439, (719) 351-6519, thutton@uccs.edu

sologo2COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The University of Colorado Colorado Springs will host the Colorado Science Olympiad Southern Regional Tournament for middle and high school students from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. February 22.

More than 900 middle school and high school students from around southern Colorado will compete in events that range from building a Rube Goldberg machine to a “CSI”-style forensics exercise and wind and percussion instrument building contests.

More than sixty teams from communities from throughout the area including Pueblo, Walsenburg, Alamosa, Colorado Springs, Monument and south Denver are currently scheduled to participate in Saturday’s events. Each team has 15 students and two to three teachers serving as coaches.

The UCCS Physics Classic Rock and Roll Orchestra will perform while scores are tallied. Members of the band include Jim Burkhart, associate dean, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; Zbigniew Celinski, professor, Department of Physics and Energy Science; Bob Camley, professor, Department of Physics and Energy Science; Tom Christensen, professor, Department of Physics and Energy Science; Sam Milazzo, senior instructor, Department of Physics and Energy Science; Gene Abrams, professor, Mathematics Department; and Chip Benight, professor, Psychology Department.

Medals will be presented to the top three finishers in each event with trophies, plaques and ribbons to the top five teams. The winners will be eligible to proceed to that state competition on April 19 at Colorado School of Mines and, potentially, for national competition.

UCCS has hosted the Southern Regional Science Olympiad for more than a decade.

“It’s a great event, seeing so many kids excited about science and engineering,” Fitzpatrick said. “This event is fanning the fire of the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

More than 195 individuals from the UCCS community, U.S. Air Force Academy, and industry will donate their Saturday to assist with the event.

“We couldn’t make this happen without them. A special thanks to all the volunteers,” Fitzpatrick said.

Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing male, female and minority interest in science, creating a technologically literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers. These goals are achieved by participating in Science Olympiad tournaments and non-competitive events, incorporating Science Olympiad into classroom curriculum and attending teacher training institutes. For more information about Science Olympiad, visit http://soinc.org/

The UCCS Center for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Education aims to enhance the workforce of scientists and engineers through programs and activities that target elementary through college students and teachers. The center divides its activities into teacher professional development, student curriculum, teaching and learning research and development, and student success intervention.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. The University offers 37 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s and five doctoral degrees. UCCS enrolls about 10,500 students on campus annually and another 2,000 in online programs. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu.