Greetings, I am a sophomore starting up a new science olympiad at my high school. This is the first science olympiad team at our school and no one has attempted doing it before. I am nervous about how things would go as a new team with no experience. I was wondering if I could get some advice on how to build up a successful team, how to motivate my members to keep going, and maybe some other useful advice. Anything would work! Thank you!
Here’s some general tips:
- Find a teacher sponsor, and make sure you have enough people that are truly interested. A team takes around 15 people, each doing 2-3 events. If they/you don’t study or practice enough it’s going to be very tough to do well in the competition.
- Ask other schools in your county/region with a team for some advice from their coach, they can give you more specific and pointed info.
- Some events can be slightly expensive, especially the build events. Either fundraise or ask your school for some money out of their budget (say things like promotes stem, or makes the school known publicly)
Science Olympiad actually has their own forum and wiki, you’ll get better responses from both coaches and students there. I actually joined my Science Olympiad team sophomore year, if you have any other questions feel free to PM me. Good luck!
What state are you in? Some states have stronger Science Olympiad programs than others. Definitely talk with other schools in your area that have teams. In my experience, teams/organizers are very willing to help and provide assistance/guidance.
Search for invitationals in your state. In essence, they are just practice events. Same rules apply and teams are ranked based on results. But they typically have limited spots and you need to register before they fill up. There also are typically registration fees to be paid. Depending on your state, you may have regional tournaments that determine who qualifies for the state competition. Some states may only have state tournaments because they do not really have enough teams for regionals.
Definitely need an adviser who is willing to help (both the team and often times they help run events/score tests at tournaments). Often involves weekend events and helping teams after school. Some teams have parent volunteers as well.
You can’t really expect to go in as a first time team and do well at events. It will take time. Saw a few schools during my kids’ time who started new programs that struggled for a year or two and improved over time. Science Olympiad has middle school events as well so some schools will have high school teams with kids who have been participating for 5-6 years. And they will pass down materials from year to year which help future teams.
Good luck to you. Its a great program. My kids enjoyed their time in Science Olympiad. I was one of those parent volunteers and enjoyed the program as well. Was fun to watch young people who are excited about science.