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Posted 7/3/2017

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By Mike Jazdyk
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Public Affairs

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (June 27, 2017) -- Fifteen employees, retirees and spouses from the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois spent a Saturday recently on the University of Illinois campus to volunteer to share their time, knowledge and dedication to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The volunteers from CERL, an element of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, supported the Illinois Science Olympiad State Tournament. ISO is a nonprofit organization 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.  

ISO accomplishes its goals through classroom activities, research, training workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state and national tournaments.  ISO tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of team events, which students prepare for during the year.  These challenging and motivational events are well balanced between the various science disciplines.  There is also a balance between events requiring knowledge of science concepts, process skills and science applications.

Forty eight middle and junior high schools, along with 50 high schools from around the state of Illinois competed in the event.  CERL volunteers judged a variety of competitions:

  • Geocaching - John Mudrick, Susan Johnston, Elizabeth Goa, and Carey Baxter
  • Electric Vehicle - Mike Kemme, Pat Kemme, Bruce MacAllister, and Brenda Mehnert
  • Crime Busters - Ashley Boyd and Dr. Kathryn Guy
  • Herpetology - Brett Degregorio
  • Pentathlon - Vincent Hock, Chandler Armstrong, Matthew Ziemann, and Miranda Jazdyk

“This was a great opportunity to give back to our community but more importantly to these young adults who came to compete today,” said CERL’s Mathematics Outreach Coordinator John Mudrick. “We are looking forward to supporting this event again next year.

CERL ERDC Illinois Science Olympiad ISO USACE