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Area students compete in Regional Science Olympiad
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Denair High School students Alex Khack and Brian Dudley quiz each other on identifying over 50 forms of rocks in preparation for the Regional Science Olympiad, being held today at CSU Stanislaus. - photo by NANCY ANGEL / The Journal

Future scientists will put their skills to the test today, as the CSU Stanislaus campus hosts the 27th annual Stanislaus County Regional Science Olympiad.

More than 550 students representing 16 middle school and 14 high schools from across Stanislaus County will be participating in a series of events that will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. inside the gym.

“This is a wonderful event for our junior and high school students in the area and I am looking forward to welcoming our future scientists to our beautiful campus,” said Dr. Reza Kamali, dean of the College of Science at CSU Stanislaus.

The Regional Science Olympiad is a rigorous academic competition that consists of individual and team events in biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, problem solving and technology.  There is also a balance between events requiring knowledge of science concepts and science applications.

Among the participating schools are Denair Middle and High School, whose students have been preparing extensively for a big win today.

“The students have worked really hard these past few months in preparation for the event,” said Denair High School science teacher Maria Rickard.  “Our 15 students have been working on their events during and after school hours.  We are hopeful for a positive outcome.”

More than 150 volunteers including members from the Stanislaus County Office of Education and CSU Stanislaus faculty and students will judge or assist with the competition.

With four years of Science Olympiad competition behind her, Rickard formed a Science Olympiad club at Denair to better prepare for the series of events.

“I think we’re doing really good,” said DHS student Alex Khack.  “We help each other out and quiz one another on topics we are uncertain about.”

The top four teams in each division will advance to the Northern California Science Olympiad State Finals hosted by the Tulare Region on April 13 at Mission Oak High School.