By Jason Chen

Twenty-nine years ago, the Science Olympiad foundation was established as a small tournament in Michigan. Since then, the success of the program spread like wildfire, expanding across the nation and becoming one of the premiere science competitions in America.

Science Olympiad is a competition in which school teams can participate in various activities covering a broad range of science topics. As one of the most prestigious science competitions, it offers challenging, standards-based contests at the building, district, county, state, and nation-wide levels. Each year, Science Olympiad provides a large array of interesting events to widen the exposure of science to students across America. By holding these tournaments, Science Olympiad aims to improve the quality of science education, not only in the high school level, but also in the elementary and middle school levels. It strives to bring science to life, demonstrating how science works as well as developing teamwork skills with other members.

There are many separate physics, biology, chemistry, and other science competitions, but few have combined all areas of science into a single tournament. Science Olympiad holds many events that change every year, ranging from study events that test one’s knowledge to building events for demonstrating one’s application of science. These events are difficult but very fun, requiring a student’s top performance to beat out any competition. Examples of the unique events that Science Olympiad offers include Anatomy & Physiology, which deals with the different systems in the human body, Forensics, which requires detective skills to discover the culprit to a crime, and Write It Do It, a partner activity where one person writes building instructions while the second person builds the structure. Through these events, Science Olympiad gives a plethora of opportunities for students around the nation to experience science a different way.

Many high schools have clubs dedicated to forming Science Olympiad teams. Joining the club can allow interested people to learn more about the foundation, how the events work, and how to become part of a team. The competition isn’t only limited to high school students – middle school and elementary school students can also participate in separate divisions. 23 different events are offered every year to competitors, and students can participate in however many events they choose to do. More information on teams can be found on the Science Olympiad website.

The Science Olympiad competition is a great way to learn more about the applications of science. Many students participate in this widely known tournament, and many of them have fun while competing against their peers. Last year, over 6,400 teams of 15 people brought their science skills to use, and this year will be just as successful. To discover more about Science Olympiad, go to http://www.soinc.org and read about what the organization has to offer.