March 11, 2011

SIUC to host WYSE sectional competition

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Hundreds of high school students from Southern Illinois will visit the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale next week as they compete in an annual science and engineering contest.

SIUC will again play host to the sectional competition for the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering contest. The event, which consists of a series of tests in various subject areas, is set for the morning of Wednesday, March 16, at Lawson Hall.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the WYSE contest at SIUC. Testing begins at Lawson Hall about 8 a.m., wrapping up by noon. Following lunch, students and organizers will reconvene at the SIUC Student Center for awards ceremonies. For more information, contact John Brajkovich, sectional coordinator, at 618/453-7744.

The College of Engineering will play host to the event, which will bring an estimated 300 high school students from 35 high schools located in the state’s southernmost 16 counties to SIUC. Students competing in this sectional were successful in regional competitions, held last month at four community colleges throughout Southern Illinois.

John Brajkovich, an information technology manager and administrative coordinator in the SIUC College of Science, said the competition provides a potential boost to the students involved.

“It’s an academic accolade for them,” he said. “They also get to come to the University and see the campus.”

Lizette Chevalier, acting associate dean of the College of Engineering, said the WYSE competition promotes and fosters student achievements in mathematics and science.

“Hosting the competition on campus demonstrates our respect for the local teachers who are educating and inspiring students,” she said. “We all recognize the need to encourage careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The partnership keeps us engaged in many positive ways.”

Participants may compete either as a team or individuals, Brajkovich said, and both groups will take two tests. Teams may choose two tests from a field of seven academic areas, including biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, math, and physics. Individual competitors must test in the same two academic areas in which they previously competed.

The top three teams and the top two individuals will advance to the state WYSE finals, set for April 11-14 in Champaign.