One of the largest science and engineering tournaments for middle and high school students is coming to UW-Madison in May.

School officials announced on Tuesday that the 27th annual Science Olympiad National Tournament will be hosted by UW-Madison, with 120 teams from across the country taking part in the four-day event May 18-21.

"We are delighted to advance participation in science and engineering while showcasing UW-Madison, the city of Madison and the state of Wisconsin to some of the nation's brightest young minds," UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin said in a news release from the university news service.

About 6,000 students, educators and parents are expected to come to Madison for the Science Olympiad, which will utilize various facilities on campus, including the new Union South, the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and the Kohl Center.

Teams will compete in more than two dozen events, ranging from human health, ecology, chemistry, cell biology, geology and engineering.

The opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympiad are on May 20 and 21 at the Kohl Center, and are free and open to the public.

UW-Madison's "showmen of science," chemistry professor Bassam Shakhashiri and physics professor Clint Sprott, will take center stage during the opening ceremonies to put on their "Science is Fun" and "Wonders of Physics" programs.

The competition, with many events on May 21, includes more than a dozen events that are open to the public, in UW-Madison's engineering and athletic facilities, including "Helicopters," a flight endurance contest among rubber band-powered vehicles; "Storm the Castle," a precision catapult competition, and "Sumo Bots," where robots push each other out of a ring.

Organizers are looking for volunteers to help during Science Olympiad; go here for more details.