Helicopters will Fly and Eggs will Drop Saturday

UC Riverside will host more than 1,000 students from Riverside and San Bernardino counties for regional science competition

Students test a rocket at Science Olympiad competition

Students at last year’s Science Olympiad competition at UC Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — More than 1,000 students from middle and high schools in Riverside and San Bernardino counties will converge at the University of California, Riverside on Saturday, Feb. 23 for the Inland Empire Regional Science Olympiad.

The competition will he held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the UC Riverside campus. It involves 48 science/engineering-themed “tournaments,” in which teams of students work on projects in fields including anatomy, meteorology, food science, forestry, water quality and robotics. Events will include everything from helicopters to mousetrap vehicles to dropping eggs.

“We’re inspired by the number of future scientists, doctors and engineers that will grace our campus,” said Victor Rodgers, chair and professor of bioengineering and the faculty advisor for the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) at UC Riverside, which is hosting the event. “Let the games begin.”

Students taking part at last year's Science Olympiad competition at UC Riverside.

Students at last year’s Science Olympiad competition at UC Riverside.

Nearly 20 teams of 10 to 15 students each will participate in each tournament at the competition. The students will come from school districts including: Temecula, Chaffey, Riverside, Corona/Norco, Redlands, Murrieta and Upland.

The student projects will be judged by UC Riverside faculty and local science teachers. Medals and trophies will be awarded for all tournaments. The four top winning teams will qualify to compete at the state-level competition April 6 at Canyon High School in Anaheim.

Among those speaking at the event are: Rusty Bailey, the mayor of Riverside; Jane Close Conoley, interim chancellor of UC Riverside; Steven Brint, vice provost of undergraduate education at UC Riverside; and Reza Abbaschian, dean of UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering.

In addition to Rodgers, organizers of the event include: Prashanthi Vandrangi, a founding member of the SACNAS chapter who earned her Ph.D. in bioengineering from UC Riverside in December; Nicole Carvajal, president of UC Riverside’s SACNAS chapter, and an undergraduate senior in bioengineering; and John Gifford, a science teacher at Poly High School in the Riverside Unified School District.

About 150 UC Riverside students, undergraduate and graduate students, have planned and will volunteer at the event.

This year, most of the events are being judged and coordinated by student organizations, including: Biomedical Engineering Society, National Society of Black Engineers, California Alliance for Minority Participation, Society of Women Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Association for Women in Science and, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Institute of Navigation.

Sponsors of the event include: The Office of Undergraduate Education at UC Riverside, the Bourns College of Engineering, Associated Students of UCR and the Inland Area Science Teachers Association.

Parking for the estimated 1,400 visitors is free in lot 24. School buses can park for free in lot 26.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-4756
E-mail: john.warren@ucr.edu

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