Team Size & Grade Levels
Currently, there are three Science Olympiad Divisions:
- Division A (Grades K-6)
- Division B (Grades 6-9)
- Division C (Grades 9-12)
Students on the team must be from the membership school; and a school is considered to be a separate school if it has a separate administrator. [See individual state Science Olympiad web sites for registration information] Recruiting from neighboring schools, districts, counties or states is not permitted. If you are home-educated or attend a virtual school, please see team qualification requirements under the national Home and Virtual School Policy. Any student can compete at only one Division level (either Division B or C, not both) at a single school.
Division C Team Membership Rules
A team may have up to fifteen (15) members. A maximum of seven (7) 12th grade students is permitted on a Division C team.
Division B Team Membership Rules
A team may have up to fifteen (15) members. A maximum of five (5) 9th grade students is permitted on a Division B team. Because middle schools that do not have grades 7, 8 or 9 are at a slight disadvantage, they may invite any combination of up to five (5) of their last year's 6th, 7th or 8th grade students to be part of the team. Possible examples/scenarios:
- A school with grades X-9 can only have 5 students from grade 9 (in their current enrollment)
- A school with grades X-8 can only bring back 5 students from grade 9 (from the previous year's enrollment of 8th grade students)
- A school with grades X-7 can only bring back 5 students from grade 8 or 9 (who had been previously enrolled in that school as a 7th grade student)
- A school with grades X-6 can only bring back 5 students from grades 7, 8 or 9 (who had been previously enrolled in that school as a 6th grader)
Division A Team Membership Rules
Each school participating in Elementary Science Olympiad Competitive Tournaments or Fun Day/Fun Night events must make a one-time purchase of an Elementary Science Olympiad Manual. There is no national tournament or national membership fee for Division A elementary schools. Once an Elementary Science Olympiad manual is purchased, educators may initiate local, school district or regional competitions.
Students Below Grade Level Designations
Science Olympiad encourages students to participate in the Division that matches current Science Olympiad grade level designations. However, to support the inclusion of students who wish to participate in Science Olympiad, schools with grade levels lower than those stated in a Division are permitted to invite members below the grade level designations. (A K-8 school could enlist a Division B team of all 5th graders) Participation is limited to age-appropriate events (as determined by a coach, principal or tournament director) and prohibited where safety is a concern (such as the use of chemicals).
Science Olympiad Team Membership
Since 1985, Science Olympiad has required that all teams (up to 15 members) competing in any Science Olympiad tournament (Invitational, Regional, State or National) must be a member of Science Olympiad and pay the national fee (currently $75 for 2024). There is no exception to this requirement, regardless of what a single team or multiple team from the same school is called (Varsity, Junior Varsity, Alternate Team, Extra Team, Team Two, Team B, etc.). If a school does permit multiple teams from the same school, Science Olympiad recommends that the best team or at least the best members from the school be permitted to advance to the next level of competition. No school, region or state Science Olympiad organization is allowed to alter or amend these national membership requirements. Please see the Science Olympiad Copyright Statement outlining use of Science Olympiad Rules and procedures at sanctioned tournaments. No part of the National membership fee has been used to pay for the Science Olympiad National Tournament or administrative office expenses, which are generously supplied by sponsors, contributions, host institutions, thousands of volunteers and other income.
Benefits of Membership
- Each team receives a Science Olympiad Rules Manual - developed by the six Rules Committees which meet, plan and write year-round; aligned to the National Education Science Standards
- Each team receives eligibility to participate and advance in Local, Invitational, Regional, State and National Tournaments
- Each team is provided access to resources on the national Science Olympiad web site, including Power Point presentations, sample tests, videos, surveys and the Frequently Asked Questions forum
- Each team is provided the opportunity to win scholarships (more than $3M from universities offered to date; nearly $1M in direct awards from Science Olympiad sponsors and partners)
- Each sanctioned Science Olympiad tournament is granted access to the $2M Science Olympiad Chapter and Club Liability Policy
- Each state receives first, second and third place medals and trophies free from Science Olympiad
- Each state organization receives training and materials throughout the year and at the annual State Directors and Event Supervisors Meeting (room, board and materials courtesy of Science Olympiad)
- Each state organization receives marketing materials such as brochures, grant templates, press articles, administrative materials and videos
- Each state organization receives public relations, grant-writing assistance, director communication and national policy writing
- Each state organization and its members benefit from Science Olympiad National Partnerships and Sponsors, which provide workshop presenters, free equipment and technology, dedicated web sites, educational resources, videos, books, school visits, access to grant programs, free trips and awards, national publicity, in-kind support, event supervision and regional funding
Athletic-style medals will be given for each event. In addition, championship trophies will be awarded to the Division B and C school teams compiling the lowest number of total points during a Science Olympiad tournament (first place is awarded one point, second place is two points, and so on). A team may participate in one or all of the events within its division.