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 SRU polishes test tubes, beakers as high school scientists assemble 




February 20, 2008

Contact: K.E. Schwab  



SRU polishes test tubes, beakers as high school scientists assemble        


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - More than 500 junior high and high school scientists will be on the Slippery Rock University campus Feb. 23 to demonstrate their understanding of science and compete for scholarships as part of a daylong Region IX meeting of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science.

          The science academy, in its 51st year, has conducted its annual science competition at SRU for the past 11 years. The event offers more than $24,000 in SRU scholarships.

          SRU President Robert Smith will welcome the students and judges at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon in Boozel Dining Hall. William Williams, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will lead the 6 p.m. awards ceremony in the University Union. Competitors meet for an orientation session at 12:45 p.m. in the University Union then disperse to more than 60 classrooms throughout the SRU campus for the competition.

          "It is always very gratifying for me to see more than 500 junior high and senior high students present the results of their own science research projects," said William Sigmund, SRU professor of biology and event coordinator. The region cited Sigmund's dedication to the program last year by creating a $200 annual scholarship for an SRU biology student in his name.

          Competing students will be eligible for two, $12,000 scholarships to SRU. One is offered to the top senior, the other to the top junior.

          In addition, $100 awards will be presented to the top senior and the top junior by Sigma XI, the SRU chapter of the national scientific research society. The SRU mathematics department will present $100 awards in the same categories for mathematics-related presentations, and the SRU biology department will offer $100 awards for research involving a biological field.

          Top junior and senior presenters in a number of other science disciplines will receive cash awards or gift certificates from the Region IX committee and other program sponsors.

          Competition judges include college professors, high school teachers, leaders in business and medical professionals as well as college students. Each three-judge panel will spend eight to 10 minutes with the competing students, before issuing their rating.

          Students receiving "First Place" honors are eligible to attend the state competition in May.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives. --



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