LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2018) — After many years at Western Kentucky University, the Kentucky Science Olympiad State Office (KYSO) will now operate out of the University of Kentucky with dual-direction from the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences.
"Having the Kentucky Science Olympiad here on the UK campus not only allows the university the chance to recognize top middle and high school students from around the state but to also showcase what the state’s university has to offer in terms of our STEM disciplines," said Stephen Barnett, enrollment management director of orientation and outreach and KYSO co-director. "We’re excited to be administering the state program throughout the year and especially excited to host 800 Kentucky students for the state tournament on campus on April 13."
KYSO is devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. Founded in 1983 by Gerard J. Putz and Jack Cairns, the Olympiad has grown over the years with more than 8,000 participants from across the country.
"The Kentucky extension of Science Olympiad allows students all across our state the opportunity to engage in STEM-based, hands-on competitions that excite and challenge them," said Micaha Dean Hughes, College of Engineering director of outreach and community engagement and KYSO co-director.
KYSO promotes a myriad of positive skills for K-12 students as it relates to science and provides those students with overarching skills that will help prepare them for college and beyond. The move to UK will expose KYSO participants to world-class labs and facilities, a diverse audience of students, educators and community partners, and hopefully encourage students to pursue an education from the university.
"This is an exciting opportunity for our academic colleges to support and nurture the youth of Kentucky and their interest in STEM fields," said Will Bickers, College of Arts and Sciences director of recruitment and KYSO co-director. "Overall we hope to create meaningful experiences for our Science Olympiad participants that will inspire their scientific curiosity and enhance their problem-solving capabilities."
The commitment from the university and colleges to KYSO will show students and educators across the state what UK can do.
To learn more about KYSO, visit their website here.