Science Olympiad is an exciting, hands-on, team based program for grades 6-12 that encompasses all areas of science. A team of 15 students investigate up to 23 different events. Events focus on learning concepts in physical, earth, and life science—some of which take the form of engineering design challenges.
In March, a tournament at College of Lake County in Grayslake takes place. It looks much like a track meet but with an academic focus. Each student participates in one to four different events. Depending on the event, this might take the form of a paper/pencil test, lab practical, or demonstration of a pre-built device.
Medals are awarded to student competitors for each event and championship trophies go to the school whose team earns the highest overall point total in each division. The Regional Tournament at College of Lake County is one of ten regional competitions in Illinois and leading teams are selected to advance to the State Tournament in April at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
What Would Science Olympiad Look Like at My School?
Science Olympiad programs can take many forms and vary in intensity based on the needs and parameters of both school and student body.
Science Olympiad could be part of the regular classroom curriculum as a series of lesson plans that are incorporated into the existing curriculum to meet Next Generation Science Standards.
Science Olympiad could be integrated into activities of an already existing science club.
Science Olympiad could be introduced as an entirely separate extra curricular activity with regular practices outside school hours.
At some point in the school year, a group of 15 students would be selected by the school sponsor to attend the Regional Science Olympiad Tournament. We also highly recommend participation in Invitational tournaments earlier in the season.
What Benefits Are There to Participating in Science Olympiad?
Enriches the science educational experiences and opportunities for students, especially for those interested in science.
Provides ideas for teachers to drive new and high quality lesson plans that integrate core STEM principles that align with the Next Generation Science Standards.
Can provide a support network like other extra curricular teams do but for students who enjoy science.
Allows for students to learn from professionals within the field of science and gain insight on future potential careers.
Allows students to meet students from other schools and exchange ideas in much the same way scientists do in the professional world.