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It stands to the everlasting credit of science that by acting on the human mind it has overcome man's insecurity before himself and before nature. -- Albert Einstein

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Boise State University is hosting its 43rd annual Science Competition Day from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, in the Student Union Building. The event typically brings about 250 high school students to campus for a morning exam on science, mathematics and engineering, and the top two scorers are offered $18,000 scholarships — covering all fees for four years at Boise State.

Schools with the best overall tallies are up for awards and prestige as well, and the event includes a free in-service opportunity for teachers, a weight-powered vehicle contest, campus tours, a "This is Boise State" information fair, and interaction with faculty and current students about university programs in the sciences, mathematics and engineering.

"I have been bringing students to Science Competition Day for 20 years," said Larry Neznanski, a physics teacher at Bishop Kelly High School in Boise. "It is a wonderful way to celebrate academic achievement, to get students from all over the area together, and to discover more about what a great resource Boise State is to our community."

According to Erin Ryan from University Communications, the Science Competition Day tradition was started by former Boise State president John Barnes in 1967.

While it has always encouraged scholarship in math, engineering and science, the demand and need for graduates in these areas is greater than ever. Students from high schools throughout the state and beyond have answered the call over the past four decades, from Blackfoot in southeast Idaho to Vale, Ore. Only seniors are eligible for the scholarship prizes, but younger students are welcome to participate and test their knowledge or practice for competitions to come.

While Boise State's spirit may be best known for football, new this year is the in-service credit opportunity for teachers — even those who are not chaperoning students involved in the competition.

The free workshop focuses on inquiry-based teaching and learning and will be co-facilitated by Washington state K-12 science educators Mare Sullivan and Lori Stanton and Susan Shadle, director of Boise State’s Center for Teaching and Learning and professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Called "Introduction to POGIL," which stands for Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning, the workshop will examine a teaching method that has won widespread support from the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Education.

More information is available at


Originally posted to The Book Bear on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 06:27 AM PST.

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