- Science Olympiad
Science Olympiad is a primarily American elementary,
middle school, or high schoolteam competition that requires knowledge of various sciencetopics and engineering ability. Over 14,000 teams from 47 U.S. states and Canadacompete each year.
Science Olympiad began as the
DelawareScience Olympiad. A write-up in " The Science Teacher" of December 1977caught the attention of Dr. Gerard Putz, who proposed that the program be expanded beyond Delaware. After tests in Michiganat the Lawrence Institute of Technologyand Oakland Universityin 1983and 1984, Putz and Delaware director John Cairns took their idea to the National Science Teachers Conferencein Boston. The first National Tournament was attended by representatives of 17 states, held at Michigan State Universityin 1985. Since then, the program has expanded to reach 47 states and Ontario, Canada. [ [http://soinc.org/aboutso/history.htm 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. [ [http://soinc.org/aboutso/divisions.htm 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). [ [http://soinc.org/events/events.htm 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
* [http://www.isweeep.org I-SWEEEP: International Sustainable World (Energy,Engineering, and Environment) Project Olympiad]
* [http://www.soinc.org Official Science Olympiad National Home Page]
* [http://www.soinc.org/events/events.htm List of 2007-2008 Events]
* [http://www.scioly.org Science Olympiad Student Center]
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