What is Science Olympiad?
Science Olympiad is an academic competition where a team of up to 15 students compete in a total of 23 different events that range from building devices to studying specific scientific disciplines.
The Science Olympiad program is divided into two regions in Missouri. Students in grades 6-9 compete in division B and students in grades 9-12 compete in division C. Each year the event line up changes and a current list of events can be found in the links below:
Students on a Science Olympiad team should work to become experts in their events, studying in both school designated practices and on their own to prepare for the competitions.
Science Olympiad Tournaments
Three types of tournaments are held in Missouri for our Science Olympians:
Invitational Tournaments: Sponsored by individual schools and not sponsored by the state Science Olympiad. Schools at the invitational tournaments each sponsor an event and students are typically allowed to compete in as many events as they wish. At the end of the day awards are given and teams receive a copy of their tests to take home and study.
Regional Tournaments: Regional tournaments are fully sanctioned Science Olympiad competitions. Teams participate in regional tournaments in order to earn the right to advance to the state tournament. Click on the link to learn more about the regional competitions in Missouri
State Tournament: The top 32 Science Olympiad teams from across the state of Missouri compete each year in this tournament. The top division B and C school(s) at this competition earn the right to compete in the national Science Olympiad tournament. Click on the link to learn more about the state competition.
The Top Ten Ways Succeed in Science Olympiad
Encourage your student to match personal interests with their events. Students are more likely to work hard and study more when they are able to explore their interests.
Set aside time for your student to practice. While many schools will practice after school, this won't be enough time to fully prepare for the competitions and to build their devices.
Offer to assist your student in learning the material. There are many ways to accomplish this, from researching material to providing personal/professional experience.
Help your child organize a schedule of life/school balance. Successful students in Science Olympiad should be well balanced, making sure to devote appropriate amounts of time to school work, Science Olympiad and a rich personal life.
Attend competitions with your student. This is a great way to show your support and to be a voice of encouragement.
Never be afraid to let your child fail. Part of building a device is trying multiple options and evaluating them. Failure is part of the game, and students learn from their mistakes. This also means not to build devices for the students. Not only are parent constructed devices a violation of the rules, but they also remove any student learning from the equation.
Communicate with the coach. Science Olympiad coaches want parent involvement and support. There are a myriad of opportunities for parents to help out with the team. Volunteer your time, your child and team will appreciate it.
Remember that the event judges, regional directors, tournament directors and state director are all volunteers. Please be respectful and courteous to all of the Science Olympiad volunteers.
Respect that there is a chain of command in Science Olympiad. Issues regarding an event should be taken to the head coach not an event or tournament director. All appeals and requests for score inquiries must come from the head coach.
Review the event rules for all the events that your child participates in, and also review the Science Olympiad policies on the national website. Violating rules and policies, even if unintentional, can have severe consequences that can range up to disqualification from the competition.
How to Help the Team
There are number of ways to volunteer to help your child's Science Olympiad team at their tournaments. Some suggestions for parents are:
Volunteer to carry equipment in your car instead of the school bus. Some items such as the Mission Possible machine or ramps for gravity vehicle can be fragile or very large and difficult to transport on a bus.
Provide snacks for the team. Encourage team members to donate a small amount of money before each tournament and then use that money to purchase snacks and candies for the team members to have during the tournament.
Use your expertise to help prepare students for events. Many parents have a background that can be used to help coach students in their events.
Contact your child's coach. There are any number of roles that a parent can play to make the team successful.