Virginia Tech's College of Engineering and College of Science will host the Virginia Science Olympiad on Saturday, April 27. 

The event is a school-based program for students sixth grade through senior year in high school, offering them the opportunity to compete in teams, while learning to improve their understanding in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

"We are pleased to have Virginia Tech host the state tournament and to have more than 300 Virginia Tech student volunteers offering their expertise," said Karen Emmons, Virginia Science Olympiad board member and acting state director. "Our student teams are excited to explore the Virginia Tech campus."

Schools may field several teams for the regional tournaments, but send only one team to the state tournament. Each team is comprised of 15 students and could have up to 4 alternates.

In the past, all Virginia schools were invited to send one team to the state event, but for the first time in the competition's history, the regional tournaments were treated as elimination tournaments due to the overwhelming increase in statewide school involvement. Only regional teams with the highest scores were invited to attend later this month.

This year 105 teams representing 61 Virginia schools participated, although 44 were selected to advance to the state meet, reflecting a 20 percent increase in contributing schools.

Competition events are carefully chosen by the National Science Olympiad organization to reflect nationwide educational standards and are revised annually to present new challenges to the students.

"Virginia Tech is pleased to partner with the board of the event, teachers, parents, mentors, and student volunteers from the colleges of engineering and science, as we host hundreds of middle and high school students," said Vicki Langford, assistant director of outreach and educational services for the College of Engineering.

The university's student volunteers are a part of the inVenTs community, an interdisciplinary living-learning space for students interested in exploring their ability to envision, create, and transform innovative ideas into action.

The four inVenTs communities participating include students from Da Vinci and Curie of the College of Science; and Galileo and Hypatia of the College of Engineering.

"It was a natural fit for our inVenTs community to partner with the science challenge and have Hokie scientists and engineers supporting and encouraging younger students to pursue a future in STEM," said Susan Arnold-Christian, assistant director for the Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity at Virginia Tech.

The Virginia Science Olympiad was created in 2000 with only three teams and is a non-profit event. The program currently engages approximately 2,000 students.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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