Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-03-28

Top high school science students from across Alabama will compete in the state Science Olympiad finals at Samford University Saturday, March 31.

Sixteen teams will compete to represent Alabama at the national Science Olympiad May 18-19 at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kan.

The public is invited to observe any of the 23 events, which will take place throughout the day at various sites on campus. Opening ceremonies will be at 8:45 a.m. in Wright Center Concert Hall. Closing ceremony and awards presentation will begin at about 4:45 p.m. in the concert hall.

Competition involves individual and team events representing biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, computers and technology. Five new events this year include entomology (insect identification), oceanography, experimental design, a contest to design and a build a lightweight, but strong, cantilevered wooden structure, and an academic pentathlon testing understanding of five major science content areas.

Competing schools are: Auburn High School (two teams); Bayside Academy, Daphne; Briarwood Christian, Birmingham; Florence High School; Grissom High School, Huntsville; Hartselle High School; Jefferson County International Baccalaureate, Birmingham; John Carroll Catholic High School, Birmingham; Loveless AMP School, Montgomery (two teams); Randolph School, Huntsville (two teams); St. James School, Montgomery; Trinity Presbyterian School, Montgomery; and Wetumpka High School.

Each team qualified for the state finals by winning eliminations held in five geographic regions earlier this year.

Sponsors for the state finals are Samford's Howard College of Arts and Sciences, AdTran, Alagasco, Alabama Power Company, Alfa, Honda and Science Applications International Corporation.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.