The National Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education and increasing student interest in science. The Science Olympiad has been on the cutting edge of educational innovations for twenty-eight years. These innovations include an emphasis on high academic standards; demonstration of skills through performance testing; learning through hands-on, minds-on activities; cooperative learning through events which require teamwork; improved self-concept through success in achieving high standards; mastery learning of core curriculum goals and objectives; making applications and connections to the real world; and integrating not only the disciplines of science but the entire spectrum of learning. The Science Olympiad owes much of its success to the fact that it was developed by teachers for teachers and their students, and because it embodies the best of all educational research and innovation. Regional and State Science Olympiad competitions are held throughout the United States and Canada.
The Science Olympiad was created in 1983 by Dr. Gerard J. Putz and Jack Cairns to increase the interest in science and as an alternative to traditional science fairs and single-discipline tournaments. After successful trial Olympiads were held in their respective states of Michigan and Delaware, the Science Olympiad began to grow. The Olympiad has members in all 50 states totaling more than 13,500 actively participating K-12 schools.
Each secondary team of 15 will prepare throughout the school year to compete in Science Olympiad tournaments held on local, state and national levels. These inter-scholastic competitions consist of a series of 23 individual and team events that encourage learning in biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, problem solving and technology. Events in the Science Olympiad have been designed to recognize the wide variety of skills that students possess. While some events require knowledge of scientific facts and concepts, others rely on science processes, skills or applications. This ensures that everyone can participate, including students from technology classes or advanced science classes
Although some events in the Science Olympiad are based on individual achievement, all events involve teamwork, group planning and cooperation. That is the real essence of the Science Olympiad. Our emphasis is on advanced learning in science through active, hands-on, group participation. Through the Olympiad, students, teachers, coaches, principals, business leaders and parents are all bonded together as a team working toward a goal. We would like to provide an alternative to the “isolated scientist” stereotype and remind students that science can be fun, exciting and challenging all at the same time. In college and beyond, students will find that the team spirit and good sportsmanship they developed during Science Olympiad will be deciding factors in their success.
The Science Olympiad is 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. We hope to achieve these goals through participation in Science Olympiad tournaments, classroom activities and summer training institutes for teachers. We also hope that our efforts can bring academic competition to the same level of recognition and praise normally reserved for athletic competitions in this country.