Davis and Layton high schools return to Utah State University Tuesday, March 19, to defend their titles in the seventh annual Academic Olympiad.

Twenty high schools from northern Utah and southern Idaho compete, this year alongside a team from the Soviet Union.Participating high schools are Bear River, Ben Lomond, Bonneville, Bountiful, Box Elder, Clearfield, Davis, Layton, Logan, Morgan, Mountain Crest, North Summit, Ogden, Preston, Roy, Sky View, Viewmont, Woods Cross, Weber and West Side.

The Russian team consists of students from Troitsk, a city 40 kilometers from Moscow, and from Kerch, a city in southern Russia near the Baltic Sea.

The Academic Olympiad is an opportunity to recognize academic talent and effort in high school students, said Varnell Bench, director of the olympiad and associate dean in the College of Education at USU.

Olympians spend the morning in individual testing in math, social studies, science and language arts. The second part of the day is spent in Star Wars, a college bowl-style competition that tests detailed knowledge across the academic spectrum.

Layton and Box Elder high schools are the top seeded Star Wars teams; Layton and Davis high schols are top seeded in the curriculum-specific testing. Other past winners include Bonneville and Mountain Crest High Schools in Star Wars; Box Elder and Bountiful in the curriculum tests.

The public is invited to watch Star Wars, which begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Taggart Student Center Sunburst Lounge at USU.