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Short Event Descriptions

Science Olympiad Events are balanced among the three broad areas of the Science Standards. Click on Event Name for a short description of the event for the 2016-2017 school year. Individual Event Info Pages for the 46 events are updated with 2017 content throughout the fall.

Science Concepts and Knowledge

Anatomy & Physiology (B/C)
Ecology (B/C)
Invasive Species (B/C)
Meteorology (B)
Microbe Mission (B/C)
Reach for the Stars (B)
Remote Sensing (C)
Road Scholar (B)
Rocks and Minerals (B/C)

Science Processes and Inquiry Skills

Chemistry Lab (C)
Crime Busters (B)
Disease Detectives (B/C)
Dynamic Planet (B/C)
Experimental Design (B/C)
Fast Facts (B)
Food Science (B)
Forensics (C)
Game On (C)
Hydrogeology (C)
Materials Science (C)
Optics (B/C)
Write It Do It (B/C)

Science Application and Technology

Astronomy (C)
Bottle Rocket (B)
Electric Vehicle (C)
Helicopters (C)
Hovercraft (B/C)
Mission Possible (B)
Robot Arm (C)
Scrambler (B)
Towers (B/C)
Wind Power (B/C)
Wright Stuff (B)


Anatomy & Physiology (B/C) - This event encompasses the anatomy and physiology of selected body systems, this year limited to nervous and endocrine systems and sense organs.

Astronomy (C) - Teams will demonstrate an understanding of stellar evolution and Type Ia supernova.

Bottle Rocket (B) - Prior to the tournament, teams construct up to two rockets designed to stay aloft for the greatest amount of time while carrying a raw Grade A large chicken egg that survives impact.

Chemistry Lab (C) - Teams will demonstrate chemistry laboratory skills and answer questions related to thermodynamics and gas laws.

Crime Busters (B) - Teams will identify the perpetrators of a crime or crimes by using paper chromatography and analysis of unknown solids, liquids, and plastics found at the scene of a crime.

Disease Detectives (B/C) - Students will use investigative skills in the scientific study of disease, injury, health and disability in populations or groups of people with a focus on Food Borne Illness.

Dynamic Planet (B/C) - Students will demonstrate an understanding of the large-scale processes affecting the structure of Earth's crust (Tectonics).

Ecology (B/C) - Students will answer questions involving content knowledge and process skills in the area of ecology and adaptations in featured North American biomes.

Electric Vehicle (C) - Teams must design, build and test one vehicle that uses electrical energy as its sole means of propulsion to travel as quickly as possible and stop close to a Target Point.

Experimental Design (B/C) - Given a set of unknown objects, teams will design, conduct, analyze and write-up an experiment.

Fast Facts (B) - Teams will fill in a grid of terms that begin with a given letter to match given science categories.

Food Science (B) - Students will answer questions about the chemistry of food and food grains and build a simple calorimeter to determine the energy content of a solid foodstuff.

Forensics (C) - Students will identify polymers, solids, fibers, and other materials in a crime scenario.

Game On (C) - This event will determine a team's ability to design and build an original computer game incorporating the theme provided to them by the supervisor using the program Scratch.

Helicopters (C) - Prior to the tournament teams design, construct and test free flight rubber-powered helicopters to achieve maximum time aloft.

Hovercraft (B/C) - Competitors may construct a self-propelled air-levitated vehicle with up to two battery-powered motors that turn one propeller each to levitate and move the vehicle down a track. Competitors must also be tested on their knowledge of classic mechanics and related topics.

Hydrogeology (C) - Students will manipulate a groundwater computer model, answer questions about groundwater concepts, and evaluate solutions, based on hydrogeological evidence, to reduce anthropogenic effects on groundwater.

Invasive Species (B/C) - This event will test student knowledge of invasive species in local and national ecosystems.

Materials Science (C) - Teams will answer a series of questions or complete tasks involving the science processes of chemistry focused in the areas of materials science.

Meteorology (B) - This event is about the meteorological topic Severe Storms.

Microbe Mission (B/C) - Teams will answer questions, solve problems and analyze data pertaining to microbes.

Mission Possible (B) - Prior to the competition, participants will design, build, test and document a Rube Goldberg-like device that completes a required Final Task through an optional series of simple machines.

Optics (B/C) - Teams must participate in an activity involving positioning mirrors to direct a laser beam towards a target. Teams must also be tested on their knowledge of geometric and physical optics.

Reach for the Stars (B) - Students will demonstrate an understanding of the properties and evolution of stars especially star forming regions and supernova remnants and their observation with different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Remote Sensing (C) - Participants will use remote sensing imagery, data and computational process skills to complete tasks related to climate change processes in the Earth system.

Road Scholar (B) - Teams will answer interpretive questions that may use one or more state highway maps, USGS topographic maps, Internet-generated maps, a road atlas or satellite/aerial images.

Robot Arm (C) - Prior to the competition, teams must design, build, document and test one robotic device to move scoreable items.

Rocks and Minerals (B/C) - Teams will demonstrate their knowledge of rocks and minerals.

Scrambler (B) - Competitors must design, build and test a mechanical device which uses the energy from a falling mass to transport an egg along a track as quickly as possible and stop as close to the center of a terminal barrier without breaking the egg.

Towers (B/C) - Prior to the competition, teams will design and build a Tower meeting requirements specified in the rules to achieve the highest structural efficiency.

Wind Power (B/C) - Teams will build a blade assembly that consists of any kind of propeller/pinwheel/rotor attached to a CD which will be used to capture wind power. Students will also be tested on their knowledge relating to alternative energy.

Wright Stuff (B) - Prior to the competition teams design, construct and test free flight rubber-powered monoplanes to achieve maximum time aloft.

Write It/Do It (B/C) - A technical writing exercise where students write a description of a contraption and other students will attempt to recreate it using only the written description.