Science Olympiad Events



Science Olympiad events are varied and challenging. In the table below, find an event you might be interested in and click on the many associated links. Please note that these are 2011 events currently listed, and the events for 2012 may differ slightly. The Science Olympiad national organization does this to keep the competition challenging.

Interested in supervising an event? Find one or two in the chart below that interest you, then click here for directions. Thanks!



Building Events call upon students to construct something. They must then bring what they have engineered to the competition, and demonstrate it.

Laboratory Events ask students to apply science procedures at the competition. These might be in chemistry, physics, or earth science.

Knowledge Events ask students to use extensive science knowledge and reasoning skills on a paper-and-pencil test. Specimens for students to examine might be included.



Building Events:

Event Title

Description

Division

Event Supervisor

Links to Information

Bottle Rocket

Prior to the tournament, teams construct up to two rockets designed to stay aloft for the greatest amount of time.

B (middle school)

Rob Brown of Rockwell Collins

Official Site

Student Wiki

Gravity Vehicle

Teams will construct a ramp and vehicle capable of traveling a given distance and braking. This event is similar to the 2007 event Scrambler.

C (high school)

Arianna Downard of Oregon Science Olympiad

Official Site

Student Wiki

Helicopters

Students will construct and test free flight rubber-band-powered helicopters prior to the tournament to achieve maximum flight times.

C (high school)

Andrew Tagliafico of National Free Flight Society

Official Site

Student Wiki

Keep the Heat

Prior to the competition, students will construct a device to insulate a 250-mL beaker of hot water. There is also a knowledge test about the laws of thermodynamics, theromodynamic systems, and the units of measurement associated with the study of thermodynamics.

B (middle school)


Joe Zaworski of Oregon State University Mechanical Engineering

Official Site

Student Wiki

Mission Possible (Rube Goldbergs)

Prior to the competition, participants will design, build, test, and document a “Rube Goldberg-like device” that completes a required Final Task using a sequence of consecutive tasks by simple machines (levers, pulleys, etc.).

B (middle school)


Official Site

Student Wiki

Mousetrap Vehicle

Teams will design, build, and test a vehicle that uses one or two snap mousetraps as the sole propulsion energy source.

B (middle school)

Sheryl Lansdale of Village Home Education Resource Center

Official Site

Student Wiki

Protein Modeling

Students will use computer visualization and online resources to guide them in constructing physical models of proteins. One model will be made prior to the competition, and another at the competition, where there is also a written test. For 2011, students will model proteins involved in reprogramming adult cells to become stem cells.

C (high school)

M. Quamar Salih of Oregon State University Chemistry

Official Site

Student Wiki

Robot Arm

In this event, students build a robotic arm to grab, lift, and deposit objects into containers. The objects are a variety of sizes and weights. The robot arm may be controlled by a wired control box or remote control.

C (high school)


Official Site

Student Wiki

Sounds of Music

Prior to the competition, students will build one wind instrument and one percussion instrument based on a twelve tone tempered scale, prepare to describe the principles behind their operation and be able to perform a major scale, a required melody, and a chosen melody with each.

C (high school)

Rick Osgood of Eugene Makers

Official Site

Student Wiki

Storm the Castle (Trebuchets)

Prior to the tournament, teams design, construct, and calibrate a device that uses only the energy of a falling counterweight to launch a projectile as far and as accurately as possible.

B (middle school)

JR Pollnow of Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Official Site

Student Wiki

Thermo-dynamics

Prior to the competition, students will construct a device to insulate a 250-mL beaker of hot water. There is also a knowledge test about the laws of thermodynamics, theromodynamic systems, and the units of measurement associated with the study of thermodynamics.

C (high school)


Joe Zaworski of Oregon State University Mechanical Engineering

Official Site

Student Wiki

Towers

Team members will design and build the most efficient wooden tower.

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Jim Phillips of the American Society of Civil Engineers

Official Site

Student Wiki




Laboratory Events:

Event Title

Description

Division

Event Supervisor

Links to Information

Awesome Aquifers

Students will construct a model of an aquifer and answer questions about groundwater concepts. This event includes a presentation to event proctors.

B (middle school)

Angie Seligman and Dana Drew of University of Oregon Geology

Official Site

Student Wiki

Chem Lab

Teams will demonstrate chemistry laboratory skills related to selected topics.

C (high school)

M. Quamar Salih of Oregon State University Chemistry

Official Site

Student Wiki

Compute This

Teams will be presented with a problem that requires quantitative data capture from the Internet and the presentation of data in a graphical format.

B (middle school)

Janice Blumer of Western University of Health Sciences

Official Site

Student Wiki

Crime Busters

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.

B (middle school)


Official Site

Student Wiki

Experimental Design

Given a set of previously unknown objects, teams will design, conduct, analyze, and write-up an scientific experiment.

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Jean Goul of Oregon Science Teachers Association

Official Site

Student Wiki

Food Science

Teams will use chemical indicators to test for the presence of nutrients in various foods. These tests will accompany a written exam about the nutritional consequences of consuming theses foods and/or nutrients.

B (middle school)

Nadine Wade of Oregon State University Botany

Official Site

Student Wiki

Forensics

Students will identify polymers, solids, fibers, and other materials in a crime scenario.

C (high school)


Official Site

Student Wiki

Microbe Mission

Teams will answer questions, solve problems, and analyze data pertaining to microbes. Laboratory skills with a slide microscope are required.

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Janice Blumer of Western University of Health Sciences

Official Site

Student Wiki

Optics

Teams will compete in activities (such as a laser shoot) and answer questions related to geometric and physical optics.

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Chris Buchholz of Rockwell Collins

Official Site

Student Wiki

Protein Modeling

Students will use computer visualization and online resources to guide them in constructing physical models of proteins. One model will be made prior to the competition, and another at the competition, where there is also a written test. For 2011, students will model proteins involved in reprogramming adult cells to become stem cells.

C (high school)

M. Quamar Salih of Oregon State University Chemistry

Official Site

Student Wiki

Write It, Do It

A technical writing exercise where students write a description of a contraption and other students attempt to recreate it using only the written description.

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Jeremy Smith of Corvallis da Vinci Days

Official Site

Student Wiki

Water Quality

Students will evaluate various aspects of water quality, including physical tests (ex. turbidity), chemical tests (ex. salinity), and biological assays (ex. aquatic insects).

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Judy Bufford of Water Resources Education Center

Official Site

Student Wiki




Knowledge Events:

Event Title

Description

Division

Event Supervisor

Links to Information

Anatomy & Physiology

This event encompasses the anatomy and physiology of selected body systems. For 2012, the body systems are respiratory and digestive systems.

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Jared Nelson, MD, of Corvallis Family Medicine

Official Site

Student Wiki

Astronomy

Teams will demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of math and physics relating to galaxies.

C (high school)

Steve McGettigan of Heart of the Valley Astronomers

Official Site

Student Wiki

Disease Detectives

This event requires students to apply principles of epidemiology to a published report of a real-life health situation or problem.

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Annie Raich, Jim Gaudino of Oregon Public Health Association; Hope Hardaker

Official Site

Student Wiki

Dynamic Planet

Teams will work at stations that display a variety of earth science materials and related earth science questions.

B (middle school)

C (high school)


Official Site

Student Wiki

Forestry

The Forestry event challenges teams to identify trees and answer general questions about their habitat and commercial uses.

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Shannon Straub of Oregon State University Botany

Official Site

Student Wiki

Fermi Questions

Students perform calculations using their estimation, logic, and mathematical skills.

C (high school)

Angie Seligman and Dana Drew of University of Oregon Geology

Official Site

Student Wiki

Keep the Heat

Prior to the competition, students will construct a device to insulate a 250-mL beaker of hot water. There is also a knowledge test about the laws of thermodynamics, theromodynamic systems, and the units of measurement associated with the study of thermodynamics.

B (middle school)


Joe Zaworski of Oregon State University Mechanical Engineering

Official Site

Student Wiki

Meteorology

This event involves the use of process skills as applied to meteorology. In 2011-2012, the focus of this event is severe storms.

B (middle school)


Official Site

Student Wiki

Optics

Teams will compete in activities (such as a laser shoot) and answer questions related to geometric and physical optics.

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Chris Buchholz of Rockwell Collins

Official Site

Student Wiki

Reach for the Stars

Teams will identify and classify stars, deep space objects, and galaxies. A list of required stars and deep space objects narrows the focus of this event.

B (middle school)

Steve McGettigan of Heart of the Valley Astronomers

Official Site

Student Wiki

Remote Sensing

Teams use maps and remote sensing technology to explain the human impact on Earth.

C (high school)

Steve McGettigan of Heart of the Valley Astronomers

Official Site

Student Wiki

Road Scholar (Mapping)

This event requires the accurate interpretation and understanding of various map features using a variety of road maps and topographic maps.

B (middle school)

Mike Darin of University of Oregon Geology

Official Site

Student Wiki

Rocks and Minerals

Teams will identify and classify rocks and minerals. A list of required rocks and minerals narrows the focus of this event. Additional questions will pertain to the origin and/or commercial uses of the specimens.

B (middle school)

C (high school)

Lara O'Dwyer Brown of Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals

Official Site

Student Wiki

Technical Problem Solving

Teams will gather and process data to solve problems. This event combines advanced knowledge in science and mathematics.

C (high school)

M. Quamar Salih of Oregon State University Chemistry

Official Site

Student Wiki

Thermo-dynamics

Prior to the competition, students will construct a device to insulate a 250-mL beaker of hot water. There is also a knowledge test about the laws of thermodynamics, theromodynamic systems, and the units of measurement associated with the study of thermodynamics.

C (high school)


Joe Zaworski of Oregon State University Mechanical Engineering

Official Site

Student Wiki