by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., February 13, 2002 -- Dreams of winning gold, silver, and bronze medals will not be limited to this year's Winter Olympics, since some of the hottest wintertime rivalries this side of Salt Lake City will be played out at the 16th Annual New Mexico Science Olympiad on Saturday, February 23, on the New Mexico Tech campus.

Nearly 800 student "intelletes" representing 25 middle schools and 26 high schools from throughout New Mexico will tax their brain power and motor skills in 54 spirited academic contests at this year's science competition.

Teams of Science Olympians will drop raw eggs from tall buildings, launch rockets powered by compressed air and water, build Rube Goldberg contraptions, and construct efficient cantilevers, bridges, and robots in a quest for Olympic-style medals and the chance to be among the two top teams that will represent New Mexico at the National Science Olympiad, being held May 17 - 18, at the University of Delaware in Newark.

Science Olympiad is a nationwide program that uses tournament competition as a means of challenging and motivating
science students in their academic pursuits. The competition requires teamwork, cooperation, planning, and months of practice,
providing students with a working knowledge of facts, concepts, and processes, as well as helping them develop thinking skills
through practical applications of science and engineering.