SJU Welcomes Young Scientists at Regional Science Olympiad Competition

Monday, March 13, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (March 13, 2017) — For the third year in a row, Saint Joseph’s University will host the Southeast Urban Regional competition for the Pennsylvania Science Olympiad. The series of events, which engages middle and high school students in rigorous STEM activities, will be held on Saturday, March 18, from 12:30 to 5 p.m., at various locations on campus.

The Southeast Urban Regional competition is one of seven regional competitions held throughout the state. Approximately 230 students from public, charter, private and parochial schools will participate, accompanied by parents and teachers.

Events in the Olympiad include constructing small-scale, self-propelled hovercrafts from battery-powered motors; engineering and building towers with high structural integrity; and recreating contraptions based solely on written descriptions. Schools field teams of up to 15 students. At the end of the competition, medals will be awarded for first and second place in each event, and a cumulative high school and middle school city champion will be crowned.

The bulk of the competition will be held in Merion Hall on the University’s James J. Maguire ’58 Campus (campus map). Media coverage is invited at the events.

“The Science Olympiad has led a revolution in science education,” explains Scott Leggett, coordinator of the Urban Schools Initiative for the Pennsylvania Science Olympiad. “The Olympiad's ever-changing lineup of events in all STEM disciplines exposes students to practicing scientists and career choices, and energizes classroom teachers with a dynamic experience.”

“Saint Joseph’s University is pleased to host this event that celebrates science,” says Jean Smolen, Ph.D., associate dean for math/computer science and natural sciences and the SJU liaison for the event. “We hope that events like this will create a spark in young scientists.”

About Science Olympiad: The Science Olympiad is a volunteer organization of committed current and former teachers, students and experts from companies, universities and research laboratories. It has been in existence for 30 years, and has grown to include nearly 300,000 students nationwide – all working from the same collection of events each year. The top teams are invited to state and national competitions. National winners visit the White House.

Media Contact

Science Olympiad: K. Scott Leggett, PA Science Olympiad, 215-805-2649

SJU Contact: Jeffrey Martin '04, '05 (M.A.), Senior Associate DIrector, University Communications, 610-660-3223,

Event Contact

Jean Smolen, Associate Dean, Math/Computer Science and Natural Sciences,, 610-660-1785


As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.


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