Science Olympiad 2024 Season Planning
We are excited to share our plans for the 40th Anniversary Season of Science Olympiad! With public health and safety always on our mind, we will continue to offer Ways to Play that allow for participation remotely or in person. We applaud everyone who signed up to participate last year and hope you'll be back for another season of engaging STEM content and competition. We're also excited to announce that the 2024 Science Olympiad National Tournament will be presented in person at Michigan State University on May 24-25, 2024!
Ways to Play for 2024
For those attending school at a physical school building, there are the options of an in-person Science Olympiad tournament or a Satellite SO. For students in distance learning mode, mini SO, MY SO and the 3 C’s are excellent alternatives. See below for explanations.
Event Chart for 2024
The Gold Standard – In-Person, Single-Location Tournaments
If health conditions in your region/state allow for traditional in-person, single-location tournaments, your state chapter may provide that experience, qualifying teams all the way through the National Tournament. In order to play in-person, you may have to provide accommodations due to local public health regulations, or provide a COVID-19 release. We will provide recommendations to meet many of those regulations in our revised 2024 Event Logistics Manual.
Once again, we are aware that circumstances vary across the US, and we want to meet students and teachers where they’re at.
This model requires student to be attending school in a physical building; it is intended for situations where conditions in your state allow for students to be at K-12 school but large public gatherings in a single location may still be prohibited, or vaccination thresholds cannot be met. Essentially, teams will take tests online and record/report on their devices to tournament officials, either through video or written logs. This could be done synchronously, or asynchronously, on a single day after school, or over several days.
States will be given the choice to run or to not run tournaments of this nature and be allowed to choose the platforms and methods of delivery/technology they are most comfortable with, or that their school, state or district allow.
This model is responsive to students who are distance learning from home. To protect students without faculty supervision, hands-on events should not be performed. Online tests can be prepared by Event Supervisors and delivered through a variety of tech platforms; Scilympiad is by far the most common choice and worked well for hundreds of Science Olympiad Tournaments over the past several pandemic-affected seasons.
In order to preserve as much equity as possible, when choosing a tournament style, all players should play the same way within a single tournament, whether it’s a Satellite SO, mini SO or an in-person, single-location tournament. We expect and understand that multiple models may be used within a state to meet varying conditions; the various options should allow you to quickly respond to a changing landscape.
MY SO is a 9-month, calendar-based set of supports to keep students engaged in Science Olympiad at home, at school and after school. Each themed month is connected to a popular Science Olympiad subject like Forestry, Cybersecurity or Anatomy & Physiology, and contains free resources like Lesson Plans and STEM Sessions. For three years 2021, 2022 and 2023, we hosted online STEM Showdowns and STEM Quizzes, national-level online Science Olympiad tests students take in real time to gauge their knowledge against their peers. MY SO can be used as a standalone or to support any regular Science Olympiad season. For the 2024 season, MY SO is offered as a free resource library aligned with our STEM categories!
We’ve had discussions with many of you about what it means to be part of the Science Olympiad Community over the past few years - across the board, people told us that Science Olympiad was what kept them going. The friendships, the purpose, the togetherness, even in the digital space. The bottom line is that even if school is in session, or if campuses can host us, many teams, teachers and students may just not have the ability or willingness to compete in Science Olympiad. Once again, we're asking you to use your incredible network to stay engaged.
If competitions aren’t possible, you can still focus on 3C’s which are hallmarks of our program – Citizenship and Character in the Community. Keep in contact with your coaches; elevate the accomplishments of students who are doing amazing things, like making 3D printed face shields for medical workers and face coverings for the elderly; setting up STEM tutoring sessions and summer camps; raising funds for local food pantries like our Smart to Be Good campaign, which raised $6,000 for the St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank in Phoenix, $48,000 for STEAM:CODERS in Los Angeles and $6,000 for Arts Partners Wichita!
We are looking forward to keeping everyone engaged and inspired!
Regional and State Tournament Info - see State Websites
All Tournament Winners Chart by Year
Previous National Tournament Winners Websites by Year, 1985 to now
Science Olympiad Ways to Play Survey - 2020 Results
When the pandemic was new, the Science Olympiad Innovation Task Force released two surveys in July and August 2020 for tournament directors, event supervisors, teachers, parents and students. After compiling more than 3,500 responses, we found:
- The overwhelming majority of all constituencies were interested in a 2021 Science Olympiad season
- Students preferred Traditional Science Olympiad tournaments while parents, coaches and directors preferred Satellite and miniSO models equally
- Event Supervisors were interested in supporting Science Olympiad regardless of the tournament model
- While there was a general decrease in the interest in Traditional tournaments from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the survey (as the pandemic worsened), interest in miniSO increased
- 80% of respondents responded favorably to the MY SO program
All results in this Excel file - check the tabs for phase-over-phase results and state-by-state data.