Starting a Science Olympiad Team

Science Olympiad teams are assigned to a division based upon the grade level of the students:

  • Division A: (Grades K-6). Missouri does not sponsor a Division A regional or state tournament

  • Division B: (Grades 6-9)

  • Division C: (Grades 9-12)

Team Composition:

  • Division B: Open to students in grades 6-9. Of the 15 total students on a division B team, only 5 may be ninth graders. Division B schools are allowed to invite back up to five ninth graders if they have moved on to high school. If a division B team does invite their ninth graders back, these students are not allowed to participate on a division C team.

  • Division C: Open to students in grades 9-12. Of the 15 total students on a division C team, only 7 may be twelfth graders.

Detailed information regarding team composition can be found in the 2021-2022 Coaches Manual.

Registering Your Science Olympiad Team

Registration is REQUIRED to participate in ANY Science Olympiad tournaments or competitions!

Schools that did not sponsor a team for the 2020-2021 season may register a team using the new school discount. The regular price to register a team is $150.00. New teams may register and receive a 33% discount, reducing the registration fees to $100.00 per team.

Be sure to check with your regional tournament director as some regionals will allow schools to register more than one team. It is important to note that regardless of the number of teams that a school register, only one team per school is eligible for advancement to the state tournament.

Missouri Mentoring Program

Missouri is proud to offer a mentoring program for new Science Olympiad coaches!

Unsure where to start? How to organize your practices? Need help on setting a budget? Confused about where to get resources and how to use them? No worries, our New Coach Mentoring Program is here to help!

Regional Tournaments

The first competition that all Science Olympiad teams in Missouri must participate in is the regional tournament. Missouri is divided into eight regions and teams are assigned to a regional tournament based upon their location. Missouri does not allow schools to change regions due to competitive reasons.

Each regional tournament will invite a minimum of their top four teams to participate in the state tournament. Some regionals allow more than one team per school to register, however only one team per school may qualify to participate in the state tournament.

If a regional does not have four registered teams by the December cutoff date, the unused spots are assigned to the regionals with the highest numbers of registered teams.

Once a school pays their registration fee they are automatically registered for the appropriate regional tournament. Teams can expect to be contacted by the regional tournament director usually about a month before the competition with important tournament information.

A complete list of the regional competitions in Missouri along with links to each region's website can be found here.

Science Olympiad Event Topics

Science Olympiad features 23 different events that cover a wide variety of topics. Each year many of the events rotate out with new events taking their place. Events in Science Olympiad are aligned with the following five major categories:


Grades 6-9

Life, Personal, and Social Science

  • Anatomy and Physiology: Students learn about the human integumentary, skeletal, and muscular systems

  • Disease Detectives: Students use investigative skills to scientifically study diseases, injuries, and health in populations or groups of people

  • Heredity: Participants solve problems and analyze data using their knowledge of basic principles of genetics

  • Ornithology: Students are assessed on their knowledge of North American Birds

  • Water Quality: Participants are assessed on their understanding of marine and estuary aquatic environments

Earth and Space Science

  • Dynamic Planet: Teams compete in tasks related to physical and geological oceanography

  • Fossils: Teams identify and classify fossils and demonstrate their knowledge of ancient life

  • Meteorology: Teams display their understanding of meteorological principles dealing with severe weather

  • Reach for the Stars: Teams demonstrate an understanding of the properties and evolution of stars and galaxies

  • Road Scholar: Participants answer interpretive questions using state highway maps, topographic maps, and other types of images

Physical Science and Chemistry

  • Circuit Lab: Participants complete tasks and answer questions about electricity and magnetism

  • Crime Busters: Teams collect evidence and run a series of test to solve a crime

  • Density Lab: Participants compete and answer questions about mass, density, concentration, pressure, and buoyancy

  • Food Science: Participants answer questions on food chemistry, with a focus on fermentation and pickling

  • Machines: Teams compete a written test on simple machines, and construct a lever based measuring device prior to the tournament

Technology and Engineering

  • Boomilever: Teams design and construct a Boomilever meeting specified requirements to achieve the highest structural efficiency

  • Elastic Launched Gliders: Prior to the tournament teams design, construct and test elastic-launched gliders to achieve maximum time aloft

  • Mission Possible: Prior to the competition teams design, construct and test a Rube Goldberg type device

  • Mousetrap Vehicle: Teams design and construct a vehicle powered by a mousetrap that reaches a target as quickly as possible

Inquiry and Nature of Science

  • Experimental Design: Tests the participant's ability to design, conduct, and report the findings of an experiment conducted on site

  • Game On: Teams design and build an original computer game using Scratch that incorporates a scientific theme

  • Ping-Pong Parachute: Prior to the competition teams design and build bottle rockets to launch a ping pong ball attached to a parachute

  • Write It, Do It: One participant describes and object, the other participant attempts to build the object using the written description

Grades 9-12

Life, Personal, and Social Science

  • Anatomy and Physiology: Students learn about the human integumentary, skeletal, and muscular systems

  • Designer Genes: Participants solve problems and analyze data using their knowledge of basic principles of genetics

  • Disease Detectives: Students use investigative skills to scientifically study diseases, injuries, and health in populations or groups of people

  • Ornithology: Students are assessed on their knowledge of North American Birds

  • Water Quality: Participants are assessed on their understanding of marine and estuary aquatic environments

Earth and Space Science

  • Astronomy: Teams demonstrate an understanding of the properties and evolution of stars and galaxies

  • Dynamic Planet: Teams compete in tasks related to physical and geological oceanography

  • Fossils: Teams identify and classify fossils and demonstrate their knowledge of ancient life

  • Geologic Mapping: Teams display their understanding of topographic maps, geologic maps and cross sections of past environments

Physical Science and Chemistry

  • Chem Lab: Teams answer questions involving aqueous solutions and acids and bases

  • Circuit Lab: Participants complete tasks and answer questions about electricity and magnetism

  • Forensics: Teams collect evidence and run a series of test to solve a crime

  • Machines: Teams compete a written test on compound machines, and construct a lever based measuring device prior to the tournament

  • Protein Modeling: Teams construct a physical model of the CRISPR Cas9 and answer questions involving its uses

  • Sounds of Music: Teams construct and tune a musical device and answer sound related questions

Technology and Engineering

  • Boomilever: Teams design and construct a Boomilever meeting specified requirements to achieve the highest structural efficiency

  • Detector Building: Teams build a temperature sensing device to accurately measure and display temperatures of water samples

  • Gravity Vehicle: Teams design and build a vehicle and ramp that uses gravitational energy to power a vehicle to its target

  • Wright Stuff: Teams design and construct free flight rubber powered planes to achieve maximum time aloft

Inquiry and Nature of Science

  • Codebusters: Teams cryptanalyze and decode encrypted messages using cryptanalysis techniques for various ciphers

  • Experimental Design: Tests the participant's ability to design, conduct, and report the findings of an experiment conducted on site

  • Ping-Pong Parachute: Prior to the competition teams design and build bottle rockets to launch a ping pong ball attached to a parachute

  • Write It, Do It: One participant describes and object, the other participant attempts to build the object using the written description