1,500 middle- and high-school students will participate in Wayne County Science Olympiad at UM-Dearborn on March 4

February 15, 2006

DEARBORN / Feb. 15, 2006---Months of hard work by approximately 1,500 students and their teachers will culminate in the Wayne County Science Olympiad to be held at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on March 4.

This is the first time the event will be held at UM-Dearborn and is jointly sponsored by the campus's chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society.

"At UM-Dearborn, we are deeply committed to serving southeastern Michigan, and this new partnership with the Wayne County Science Olympiad is a logical extension of that commitment," according to Stanley Henderson, UM-Dearborn's vice chancellor of enrollment management and student life.

"We are proud of our student engagement and believe that the Tau Beta Pi members will take that engagement to new levels working with the Science Olympiad this year and in the future," Henderson said.

Opening and closing ceremonies will be held in the campus's Fieldhouse, with other parts of the Olympiad held in other facilities on campus.

Alumnus Andrew Toy is director of the Wayne County Science Olympiad and alumni advisor to the UM-Dearborn chapter of Tau Beta Pi.

"I am a graduate of the Science Olympiad and I know first-hand the value of this activity in supporting students' experience with and knowledge of science," Toy said. "It promotes and supports students to be leaders, go to college and to consider, maybe for the first time, a career in science or a technology-related field. These college graduates then have the potential to lend their expertise and leadership working for businesses and corporations in southeastern Michigan."

Toy, who received his bachelor's degree in engineering at UM-Dearborn in 1995, works for Ford Motor Co. He is coordinating the program with Andrew Flowerday, who received three bachelor's degrees from UM-Dearborn in 2002.

The Wayne County Science Olympiad has been held in the South Redford Schools under the leadership of Thurston teacher Eleanor Sheposh. Sheposh is the longest serving member of the Michigan Science Olympiad executive board and served as regional director of the Wayne County Science Olympiad for more than 20 years. The event has been moved to UM-Dearborn to allow it to expand further.

Winning teams selected at the event will move on to the state competition in April at Michigan State University. The national competition will be held in May at the University of Indiana.

Students taking part in the Science Olympiad work together in teams to compete for time and accuracy in a wide variety of challenges across different areas of science and math. The mission of the Science Olympiad is "to promote and improve student interest in science and to improve the quality of K-12 science education throughout the nation."

Volunteers interested in working at the event should e-mail scienceolympiad@umd.umich.edu or visit scienceolympiad.umd.umich.edu.

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CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: (313) 593-5518
The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn