Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad is a primarily American elementary, middle school, or high school team competition that requires knowledge of various science topics and engineering ability. Over 14,000 teams from 47 U.S. states and Canada compete each year.


Science Olympiad began as the Delaware Science Olympiad. A write-up in "The Science Teacher" of December 1977 caught the attention of Dr. Gerard Putz, who proposed that the program be expanded beyond Delaware. After tests in Michigan at the Lawrence Institute of Technology and Oakland University in 1983 and 1984, Putz and Delaware director John Cairns took their idea to the National Science Teachers Conference in Boston. The first National Tournament was attended by representatives of 17 states, held at Michigan State University in 1985. Since then, the program has expanded to reach 47 states and Ontario, Canada. [ [ Science Olympiad History] ]


There are four divisions in the hierarchy of Science Olympiad:

* Division A1 for elementary school (grades K-3)
* Division A2 for elementary school (grades 3-6)
* Division B for middle school (grades 6-9)
* Division C for high school (grades 9-12)

However, the national tournament and generally state and regional tournaments are only for divisions B and C. Division A teams usually have separate tournaments. Note that 6th, and 9th graders have the option of competing in either of the two divisions in which they meet the grade requirements and are part of the competing school. A middle school may however use up to 5 members who have graduated to the next school if they are in 9th grade or lower. Students in lower grades that those in the division the school competes in may also be on the team. Teams are restricted to five 9th graders for division B and seven 12th graders for division C. Students may not participate on multiple teams, i.e. a 9th grader on both a high school and middle school team would not be allowed. [ [ Divisions] ]


There are twenty-three events in which competitors face off on a single day. Events fall under three main categories: Science Concepts and Knowledge, Science Processes and Thinking Skills, and Science Application and Technology. They are either knowledge-based (i.e. written tests or laboratory tasks in earth science, physics, biology, and chemistry) or engineering-based (i.e. participants construct a device to do specified tasks). [ [ Events] ]

Knowledge-based events generally have two participants either taking a test, performing experiments, or mathematically analyzing data. Examples of such events are Designer Genes, Forensics, and Chemistry Lab.

Engineering-based events have a team of two to three participants. They are to construct a device following a specific event's parameters and test the device against others. Examples include Robot Ramble, Bridge/Tower Building, and Storm The Castle.

The majority of events require two team members, though some require more. If one member is unable to attend an event, the other is able to continue, depending on the event, with the competition, though at an obvious disadvantage.

The list of events, and rules for events, change and are updated every year to keep the competition interesting and to limit the advantages of older teams

Division B events for the 2008-2009 school year

Division C


External links

* [ I-SWEEEP: International Sustainable World (Energy,Engineering, and Environment) Project Olympiad]
* [ Official Science Olympiad National Home Page]
* [ List of 2007-2008 Events]
* [ Science Olympiad Student Center]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Science olympiad — may refer to:* The international science olympiads, a collection of secondary school competitions for some of the most talented pupils in the world * Science Olympiad, a high school and middle school competition held in the United States …   Wikipedia

  • Science Olympiad Foundation — The Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) [1] is an educational foundation and a non profit organisation which promotes Science, Computer Science, Mathematics and English in India and other places like Singapore, Oman, Qatar, Nepal, Bahrain, Sri… …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Science Olympiad — (NCSO) is a nonprofit organization [1] with the mission to attract and retain the pool of K 12 students entering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers in North Carolina.[2][3] Every year NCSO hosts… …   Wikipedia

  • International Science Olympiad — This article is about a loosely related group of international competitions. For the centrally organized American competition, see Science Olympiad. The International Science Olympiads are a group of worldwide annual competitions in various areas …   Wikipedia

  • International Earth Science Olympiad — The International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO), one of the International Science Olympiads, is a recently intitiated competition for secondary school students that tests their abilities in the disciplines of geology, meteorology, environmental… …   Wikipedia

  • International Junior Science Olympiad — The International Junior Science Olympiad (or just IJSO) is an international science competition for students not older than 15 years old. It was first held in 2004 and is held every year since then. Each country may send a team of up to 6… …   Wikipedia

  • European Union Science Olympiad — Die Europäische Naturwissenschaftsolympiade (European Union Science Olympiad, EUSO) ist ein fachübergreifender Wettbewerb in Biologie, Chemie und Physik für Schüler, die maximal 17 Jahre alt sein dürfen. Der Wettbewerb wendet sich wie die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • European Union Science Olympiad — Brief History Description of EUSO = The European Union Science Olympiad (EUSO) is a competitive team contest for secondary school students from the European Union Countries, 16 years of age or younger on 31 december in the year before the… …   Wikipedia

  • International Junior Science Olympiad — Die Internationale JuniorScienceOlympiade (IJSO) ist ein Wettbewerb in Biologie, Chemie und Physik für Schüler in der Sekundarstufe I, die unter 16 Jahren alt sind. Im Gegensatz zu den meisten anderen Internationalen Wissenschaftswettbewerben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Science communication — is the sum of all those processes by which scientific culture and knowledge is incorporated into the common culture. cite journal |last=Bryant |first=C. |authorlink= |year=2003 |month= |title=Does Australia Need a More Effective Policy of Science …   Wikipedia