Science Olympiad is an international non-profit 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. These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, training workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state and national tournaments. Science Olympiad tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of team events, which students prepare for during the year. These challenging and motivational events are well balanced between the various science disciplines of biology, earth science, chemistry, physics and technology. There is also a balance between events requiring knowledge of science concepts, process skills and science applications. In addition, during the day there are open house activities that consist of science and mathematics demonstrations, activities and career counseling sessions conducted by professors and scientists at the host institution occurring concurrently with the events. (description taken from Science Olympiad website https://www.soinc.org/about/background)
Your children (and you) will get an amazing science education and team experience! Students participating in Science Olympiad develop exceptional problem solving, test taking, and construction skills. They also learn research techniques, test taking strategies, and teamwork. In most cases, you will find even younger students covering college-level information in their study area.
We have seen bored and unmotivated students become invested in their subjects and work harder than they ever have before. We have also seen advanced, science-hungry students finally being challenged and finding camaraderie among like-minded peers. We have several graduated seniors (now college students) who are grateful for the study skills they learned, as well as having Science Olympiad on their transcript. What can Science Olympiad do for your family? Join us and find out!
Once you have expressed an interest in the team, you will be contacted by a member of the leadership team to answer any questions you have about Science Olympiad in general and the HSC team and to determine if it is a good fit for your family. Once you decide to join, you need to complete the on-line application. After being accepted to HSC, your child will be assigned to a team based on grade and math/science aptitude. Each team consists of up to 15 members. All disciplines of science including physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and engineering are covered by 23 individual events. On the C (high school) and varsity B (middle school) teams, our more competitive teams, members are assigned to a minimum of 3 events and given a partner for each event. Our junior varsity B team (middle school) offers the option for taking on fewer events. Events consist of study, lab, and building topics, or sometimes a combination of these. The events your child is assigned to are determined by their interests, their strengths, and the needs of the team. Returning members will typically be given the option to remain on the same events they competed in the previous year before these events are made available to new members.
Beginning in the fall, students prepare for their events by studying independently, meeting with partners for study or building sessions, practicing labs, and whatever else the event requires. In the spring, our teams compete with teams from other nearby schools at the Regional Tournament. Study events are tested, labs are conducted, building projects are demonstrated and rated. At the end of the tournament, medals are awarded to the top three pairs in each event, and both competitors in the event receive a medal. In addition to individual medals, event scores are totaled to create overall team scores. Teams are ranked, with trophies awarded to the top five teams. About half of the Regional teams will advance to the State Tournament, which is conducted in a similar fashion. Winning teams from each division at the State Tournament will advance to the National Tournament in May. You will be asked to share your preferences in this area, which will be taken into account. However, the Board of Directors will assign students to teams and events based on a variety of factors, including the schedule of other events, previous experience, and partner dynamics. Visit the National Science Olympiad website for information on current Science Olympiad events.
Please let us know your preferences for partners including if your students would like to share an event with a sibling to make coaching or transportation easier. Please understand that while we will try to accommodate your preferences, we may not be able to fulfill all of your requests.
The strength of a homeschool team is that the parents are the primary coaches. Resources at your disposal include friends, local experts, a good internet search engine, and high school or college level textbooks. Other parents and team leadership will share their expertise and assist you, but you remain the primary coach of your own child. Parents are expected to attend all team meetings and competitions. Parents are responsible for planning and guiding study or building sessions, and covering event costs. Speaking of which…
Our dues are $50 per year for the first child, $35 per year for the second child, and $100 total for three or more children from the same family. This covers team registration for tournaments, a team t-shirt, and rule book information. Additional expenses may vary depending on the type of event. Each family is also responsible for travel costs to the Regional Tournament in Pueblo, and the State Tournament in Denver or Colorado Springs. Additionally, a team that competes well at Regionals and State may be able to continue on to Nationals. If a team advances to Nationals, all team members and families will be responsible for those travel costs.
Team meetings for the 2020-2021 competition season will be held twice a month at Library 21C starting in September. Please see the upcoming events page for meeting days/times.
Just like a speech and debate team or a student orchestra, participation in Science Olympiad requires students and parents to devote time to individual study in each assigned event and weekly study with event partners outside of team meetings. Our goal is to have each event team ready to compete by January to make sure our students have a solid foundation in their events and to allow time for last-minute fine tuning. The amount of time and effort required to reach this point will vary between events, but all events will require dedication from both parents and students.
Again, the time required varies by team level and assigned events. Team meeting attendance is required for one parent from each family. On competitive teams, parents should expect to spend some time weekly setting up study sessions and helping their students prepare for each event. The amount of time will depend on your knowledge of the event subject as well as other factors. Your student will have regular partner study sessions for each event, which you will need to coordinate with your event partners. Expect partner study time to increase in the spring as you near competition. Construction events might take many building sessions throughout the season. Our C and varsity B teams require a larger time investment than the junior varsity B team.
While a great addition to your schooling, Science Olympiad is not designed to replace regular science classes. Your students will still need to follow a science curriculum, especially at the high school level. This will benefit them as they take on more difficult events in future years and will prepare them for college-level study after graduation. Many high school students use Science Olympiad as either an extracurricular activity or an additional science credit. Some parents take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling and allow more study time in the spring as competition nears, while others stick with a standard schedule all year.
Probably not. At the beginning of the season, each event has one or two pages of rules put out by the Science Olympiad organization, explaining the event parameters. For some events, you may be able to find textbooks or event manuals which closely match these rules. Other events may require using all the resources at your disposal. Check out our resources page for a few ideas to jump start your study sessions.
Our main forum for communication is a Yahoo email loop. When you join the team, you will be invited to join the Yahoo group and asked to follow the discussions there. Once you have joined, you will have access to the member portal which will include contact information for the coaches and other team members. We will also post announcements and upcoming events in the members portal of our website.
Homeschool Science Colorado offers an elementary-level general science class open to students in grades K-6. Classes meet on Mondays from 11:45am to 1:15pm at Library 21C an average of three times a month. The cost for the STEM class is $84 per semester for the first child and $128 per family for two or more children. The teachers are paid for teaching the classes, and the dues go toward the cost of hiring teachers. For more information about the elementary STEM program or to register, please contact us. To view the class schedule for this semester, please visit our calendar of events page.
It depends on your child: their math and science aptitude, the amount of work they are willing to do, and their ability to work well with a partner. 5th and 6th graders will definitely be considered for the team, so please contact HSC to discuss if joining the team is right for your child.
Registration for the 2020-2021 competition season will be open through mid September. While it may be possible to join later in the year, it will depend on the number of children already on the team and team needs. Please fill out our online application or contact us for more information on how to join. Non-refundable team fees are due by the first meeting in September. No events will be assigned to your child until team fees are paid. Please consider your commitment seriously. Your child will become part of a team, and will be assigned events with other students. While we recognize unexpected circumstances can arise, a team member leaving during the season affects multiple event partners as well as the team as a whole.
We cannot accept students who are enrolled in public, online schools. In addition, we ask that you live in El Paso or a neighboring county. If you have any questions about your student’s eligibility, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org