Mississippi College

MC Hosts Science and Mathematics Tournament

February 1, 2008

About 1,200 high school students will put their knowledge to the test and try to win scholarships at the 34th annual Mississippi College Science and Mathematics Tournament. The event is Feb. 7-8 on the Clinton campus.

"It's a great opportunity to compete and see how talented students are," said Clinton High math teacher Ann Kyzar. An MC graduate, Kyzar remembers when the competition was just getting started in the 1970s when she was an undergraduate at the private college in Clinton.

Kyzar and another sponsor will soon accompany about a dozen Clinton High students to the MC campus. The tests won't be a snap. "There are a lot of bright students out there," she said. "Competition is healthy."

Students will be flocking to MC from 125 high schools, both public and private. Delegations from Tupelo High, Jackson Academy, DeSoto Central, Oak Grove High, Murrah High and Callaway High, in Jackson, St. Andrews School, and Madison-Ridgeland Academy, are among those expected.

The MC event is the oldest and largest such competition in the state, said Jerry Cannon, chairman of MC's chemistry department, who's coordinating the program.

Each school can bring a maximum of 12 students. During the morning, each student will take two 50-minute written exams chosen from the fields of biology, chemistry, computer science, math and physics. All those placing in the top 20 percent on each test will be offered MC scholarships ranging from $300 to $2,000 per year. The afternoon competition features a college-bowl event with teams of four from each school asked challenging questions. Schools will compete for plaques.

"The tournament gives students the opportunity to bring recognition and trophies to their schools comparable to those won by sports teams," Cannon said. Overall first, second and third-place trophies are awarded to the schools with the highest number of winners on the morning tests.

The hotly contested academic tournament is also a nice recruiting tool for 4,600-student MC, Mississippi's largest private university.

Said Kyzar: "What a great way to show off Mississippi College to prospective talented students!"

For more information on the event, contact Dr. Jerry Cannon, MC's chemistry department chairman at 601-925-3425 or cannon@mc.edu

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