4,000 Alabama students explored the world of science through the Science
Olympiad program in 2007. The count continues to escalate each year as more
educators around the state learn of this exciting addition to their science
The Science Olympiad is a national nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science, and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. The Science Olympiad is also designed to encourage classroom teachers to explore new and challenging ways of teaching science. Students who participate in the Science Olympiad are taught advanced science through active, hands-on participation. All events involve teamwork, group planning and cooperation, and promote team spirit and good sportsmanship.
There are now over 12,000 schools from all 50 states, grades K-12, who actively participate in the Olympiad. In the past twenty years, the Science Olympiad has increased student attendance at the tournaments, encouraged students to be multi-year participants, and has increased enrollment in school science courses in many areas.
The Science Olympiad was created in 1983 to expand interest in science for students, and to serve as an alternative to the conventional science fair and tournaments. The Olympiad consists of over 100 individual and team events that require expertise in biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, problem solving, and technology.
Broken into three main divisions, Science Olympiad caters to students of all ages. Division A encompasses students from kindergarten through the sixth grade. Through a series of hands-on events, young students gain valuable experiences that encourage further exploration into the world of science. The Elementary Science Olympiad offers a unique opportunity for students to test their creative and cooperative skills, interact with other motivated students, and expand their minds with science. The emphasis is on learning, participation, interaction, and having fun.
For older students, the Science Olympiad utilizes a more competitive approach. Division B (grades 6-9) and C (grades 9-12) teams compete in regional, state, and national tournaments. Science Olympiad tournaments are academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of individual and team events for which students prepare during the year. Most Science Olympiad events are team competitions that require teamwork, group planning and cooperation. The subject matter of the 23 events selected each year is balanced among the various fields of science and among three broad areas of science education: concepts and knowledge, processes and thinking skills, and applications and technology. Each year, new events are introduced while others are dropped in an effort to keep the program fresh.
Division B and C teams consist of 15 students. Each team member generally participates in several different events at a tournament. In larger schools, students may need to compete to join the team. In smaller schools, there may not be enough students on a team to compete in every event.
Alabama Science Olympiad 2007 included 78 registered Division B teams and 76 Division C teams. At the elementary level, 52 teams competed in the A2 Elementary Science Olympiad. For the several years, the state has sent four teams (2 Division B, 2 Division C) to the national tournament.Upon registration, teams receive Coaches Manuals detailing each of the year’s events along with helpful hints for team organization and strategy. The Division B and C Coaches Manuals also list a variety of study materials available for purchase from the national Science Olympiad office.
For 2008-2009 in Divisions B and C, team registration is $120 for the first team and $100 per team for multiples from same school. This fee covers manuals and entry into regional, state and national tournaments. Registration for the elementary level A1 and A2 divisions are $25 (A1) and $35 (A2). A1 and A2 returning teams registration fee is $10 per team if no manual is needed. Registration fees rise on November 1st to account for late registration penalties. It is wise to register early to get the Coaches Manual and Rules as soon as they are available (usually late September) and the best choice of tournament sites.
Division A teams may select the Olympiad of their choice in which to participate and may take part in multiple Olympiads. Division B and C teams initially compete in regional tournaments hosted at colleges and universities around the state in February and March. The top teams in each regional advance (usually 20% of the number registered on Nov 1 or top 3) to the state tournament usually held by early to mid-April. Please visit our Tournament page for regional and state Olympiad site information and competition dates.
Science Olympiad is a team activity, not an individual one, so a child must be a member of a team. Since there is no official method to determine what grade a home school child is in, we have established that a child's equivalent grade will be determined by their birth date. Hence, a child who will be eleven years old on September 1 will be considered to be a sixth grader and so forth and so on. This calendar age will be used to determine eligibility for Division B or Division C. A child may compete with a higher division team than their age indicates, but not a lower one. For example, a tenth grader can only compete in Division C while a fifth grader could compete in Division B (or even C).
If a child has an academic
relationship (such as taking a course) with a public or private school,
they can only compete on that school's team. They may not be a member
of a home school team even if that school has no team. An exception would
be providing a letter from that school's principal that they could not
compete on that school's team whether or not there is a team.
|Last Updated: April 27, 2007|
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