Outreach |College of Science | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Outreach |College of Science | SIU


At SIU, we know that the path to success starts before students get to college. We know they gain the basic knowledge in primary school, develop passion as they continue their education, and become experts at the university. Thus, in order to ensure that every curious student has access to information that inspires them, the College of Science at SIU has a number of outreach programs.

ACS Olympiad

The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad is a multi-tiered competition designed to stimulate and promote achievement in high school chemistry. It is sponsored by the American Chemical Society. Each year, four students are chosen to represent the USA in the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), which is hosted every year in July in one of the participating countries. The exam begins at the local high school level, which then progress to the national level, and then finally the international. Nearly 16,000 U.S. students participate in Local Chemistry Olympiad Competitions.

Test material is drawn from high school chemistry courses. You can see past course exams here.  The local exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions administered over 110 minutes. Students compete individually for the opportunity to take the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Exam. This year, the top 10 scoring students will have the opportunity to advance to the national exam.

The local section exam typically takes place on a Saturday in Neckers room 440. Students are asked to arrive at Neckers at 8:30am, in order to participate in laboratory tours and networking events with faculty and students before the exam is administered at 1pm. If interested, please contact Dr. Gary Kinsel at gkinsel@chem.siu.edu.


The Illinois Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (IJSHS) is a regional competition conducted under the auspices of the national Junior Science & Humanities Symposia Program. The primary aims of IJSHS are to promote research and experimentation in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics at the high school level, and to publicly recognize students for outstanding achievement and effort.

Science Fair

Illinois Junior Academy of Science has the interest of the science student at heart. It is an organization that exists solely for the benefit of students. It gives to students who will not necessarily become a science specialist some insight into the problems and methods of thinking that are particular to the scientist but applicable to other occupations, information concerning new investigations and discoveries in science, and an understanding of the science-produced equipment used.

Physics' Public Astronomy Observations

The SIUC Physics Department hosts several free public observations a year on our observation deck on top of the Neckers building. Most observations are on evenings when light pollution on campus is at a minimum. We typically observe bright sky objects such as the Moon, major planets, star clusters, nebula and some deep sky objects such as the Andromeda Galaxy.

Math Day

Each Spring, the Mathematics Department sponsors a mathematics contest, called Math Field Day, for regional high school students.  Each student takes the same two hour exam on topics from beginning algebra and geometry through trigonometry and college algebra with a smattering of questions from beginning calculus, finite mathematics, and maybe a few unclassifiable 'clever thinking' problems.  At the end of the day, trophies are awarded to the schools with the best performing students.

Computer Science Day

To serve the regional community, the Department of Computer Science initiated an annual Computer Science Day (CS Day) presented each spring semester since 2005. On this day, the faculty of the department offer several different workshops and a web development competition for high school students. The web development competition has student teams design a website following certain parameters. Each participating school may enter one to three teams consisting of three to five students per team.

Southern Illinois Partnership for Achievement in Math and Science (SIPAMS)

The program aims to increase elementary and middle school teachers' mathematics and science content and teaching knowledge.  Frackson Mumba, an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Lingguo Bu, an assistant professor in curriculum and instruction, Mary Wright, a professor and distinguished teacher in the Department of Mathematics, and Harvey Henson lead the SIPAMS program.