From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


430 youths expected for Science Olympiad

Invitational at Manchester College

More than 430 young science and math stars from throughout Indiana will converge on Manchester College this Saturday.

They’ll discuss fungi, bacteria and viruses. They’ll consider climate change, volcanoes and tsunamis. They’ll identify turtles and snakes, bones and blood. They’ll calculate genetic ratios.

They’ll gather data, diagram, predict, interpret, solve, compare, formulate and evaluate.

They’ll come bearing carefully crafted wood elevated bridges. How much sand can they bear? And, yes! There will be robots!

It’s the Manchester College 2009 Science Olympiad Invitational … a warm-up for February district contests for youth from the area and schools as far away as Bloomington, Indianapolis and Hammond. A total of 22 schools with 29 teams will tackle as many of the 46 challenges as they can fit into the day.

The Manchester College Invitational also is a team effort of about 40 volunteers (MC faculty and students, school coaches, teachers and parents), said coordinator Heather Schilling, instructor of education. Aggressive leadership by Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School science teacher Sue Gnagy is luring schools throughout the state.

Science Olympiad, in its 25th year, is a national non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education and interest in the sciences. Forensics, herpetology, fossils, ecology, anatomy, health science, meteorology, physics … the events are as diverse as the sciences.

The events are inquiry-based. “That’s good teaching,” said Schilling, who delights in the enthusiasm of the competitors and the event leaders. Who knows? Perhaps some will return to study in the College’s Science Center. Brooke Hurlburt of Winamac discovered Manchester College when she competed in the 2008 Science Olympiad Invitational. Now she’s a first-year student majoring in biology-chemistry – and leading two of the 2009 Olympiad events Saturday.  

To learn more about the competition, which culminates in the National Science Olympiad in Augusta, Ga., in mid-May, visit the website at For more about education and science at Manchester College, visit

Participating schools:

Middle and junior high school teams: Southport and St. Simon the Apostle (Indianapolis), LaSalle Intermediate Academy (South Bend), Grimmer (Schererville), R.J. Baskett (Gas City), Clifford Pierce (Merrillville), St. Mary’s (Griffith), Winamac, Manchester and Hanover Central.

High schools: James Whitcomb Riley (South Bend), Bloomington South, Beech Grove, Morton (Hammond), Northridge (Middlebury), Manchester, Mississinawa (Gas City), Peru, Hammond, Hanover Central, Winamac and Columbia City.

January 2009


Office of Public Relations

News Releases

About Manchester

Mission Statement



at Manchester


at Manchester

Directions to campus

Campus Map