State Science Competition To Be Held at Westminster College For First Time

Over 500 high school students from across the state interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will compete in the Missouri State Science Olympiad April 18 at Westminster College in Fulton, MO.

Previously held at the University of Missouri-Columbia, this statewide competition has been moved to Westminster where the event will be held for the next five years.

“The Board of Directors and I are extremely excited about the opportunities that moving to Westminster College present to us,” says Patty Palmietto, State Olympiad Director.  “Because of the well-kept secret of Westminster’s beauty and fabulous college, we will not have to compete for rooms and spaces, and with the smaller campus, students will not have to go as far for the changing of rooms during competitions.  Their new Science Center is truly a sight to see.  Very large and spacious labs with great working lab areas.”

Winners at district and regional competitions will come together at Westminster to compete in active, hands-on team activities from a wide range of subjects such as forensics, bridge building, geological mapping, bungee drops and rocket building.

“These competitions are student-centered activities as each project presents teams with problems they must solve independently,” says Westminster Education Professor Dr. Jim Concannon.  “They collect evidence and then draw conclusions that will lead to successful outcomes.”

Dr. Concannon was a high school teacher himself for five years.

Westminster faculty, staff and students will serve as judges for the competition.  Visiting students and their families will enjoy free admission to the National Churchill Museum on campus during the day.

Students will also have the opportunity to sign up for Westminster’s Summer STEM Academy, a four-day opportunity on campus June 14-18 to conduct hands-on research and lab work and receive real-world training from professionals in their field, while earning one hour of college credit.

At the end of the day an awards ceremony will be held at Champ Auditorium.

Winners will compete in the national competition May 15-16 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

 Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education; increasing male, female and minority interest in science; developing teamwork and cooperative learning strategies among students; making science education exciting; creating a technologically-literate workforce; and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers.

What began as a grassroots assembly of science teachers 31 years ago has become one of the premiere science competitions in the nation.  Currently, nearly 7,000 secondary schools from all fifty states participate in Science Olympiad with an additional 10,000 or more elementary schools holding Science Olympiad tournaments or hands-on events.

“We are excited to be the new state tournament location for the Missouri State Science Olympiad,” says Dr. Concannon.  “All of us here—administration, faculty, staff and students—are committed to making this event successful.”

More information on the Missouri State Science Olympiad can be found at



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