State Tournament - Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Science Olympiad is North America’s most prestigious team science and technology competition. Dozens of events invite great ideas. Students can demonstrate their skills and knowledge by participating in events such as Disease Detectives, Dynamic Planet, Sounds of Music, Scrambler, Helicopters, and Rotor Egg Drop.

male in lab settingYou’ll be in good company. Last year over 270 teams representing more than 4,000 Ohio students and teachers participated in the fun and learning that are inherent in the competition. Ohio has been part of the National Science Olympiad program for 29 years, and state participation ranks in the top seven of 48 states currently involved in this program.

What is the Science Olympiad?

Science Olympiad is an international non-profit organization 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. These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, training workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state and national tournaments. Science Olympiad tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of team events, which students prepare for during the year. These challenging and motivational events are well balanced between the various science disciplines of biology, earth science, chemistry, physics and technology. There is also a balance between events requiring knowledge of science concepts, process skills and science applications.

One of the goals of the Science Olympiad is to elevate science education and learning to a level of enthusiasm and support that is normally reserved only for varsity sports programs. Although Science Olympiad is a competitive event, most events are team competitions requiring teamwork, group planning, and cooperation. The emphasis is on learning, participation, interaction, having fun, and developing team spirit.

Team Membership in Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad requires all participants in Science Olympiad competitions to participate as members of a team, not as individuals. Each school team must register and pay a membership fee. The team membership fee entitles one team to participate in the Science Olympiad program and includes the state tournament. No more than two teams from an individual school may register, space permitting at the regional tournament, and each team must pay the full membership fee. Only one team per school may advance from the regional level to the state level.

Divisions/Grade Levels/Team Composition

A team consists of a maximum of 15 students. A maximum of two teams per division per school may compete. Schools with less than 200 students may combine with another small school (total attendance of both schools not to exceed 500 students) in order to create one team of 15 students. Each team must participate in a regional tournament in order to qualify for state or national competition. A team may participate in one or all of the events within its division.

Currently, there are three Science Olympiad Divisions:

Division A (Grades K-6)
There is no national or state tournament for “Division A” elementary schools. 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. Once an Elementary Science Olympiad manual is purchased, educators may initiate local, school district or regional competitions. For more information on Division A, please contact the State Science Olympiad office at 614-688-3071 or visit

Division B (Grades 6-9)
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 C (Grades 9-12)
A team may have up to fifteen (15) members. A maximum of seven (7) 12th grade students is permitted on a Division C team.

Public School Students

Public school students may participate in Science Olympiad only as members of a team that is formed in the local public school that they attend. In the case of 9th graders, public school students may compete on the team from the middle school that they most recently attended. Public school students may not opt to participate on another school’s team.

Private, Charter and Alternative School Students

Private schools, “governor” schools, charter schools, and any other school that is qualified by the state and is housed in a single geographic location, may form Science Olympiad teams from among the students in their student body, regardless of where that student's home of origin is located. Such schools may not solicit or enlist public school or home-schooled students on their teams.

Cyber or Virtual School (Online) Students

Option 1 - Participation through a Local Public School. If cyber/virtual school students are allowed to participate in local public school activities, Cyber/virtual school students may either (1) choose to participate as a member of the Science Olympiad team at the local public school they would attend were they not enrolled in the cyber/virtual school, or (2) form a cyber/virtual school team from among the students in that school's student body as if they were students in a private/charter school as set forth above. A student may only participate on a single team.

Option 2 - Participation solely through a State-Recognized Cyber or Virtual School. The State of Ohio recognizes and financially supports cyber/virtual schools, Science Olympiad will also recognize cyber/virtual school teams consisting only of students who are enrolled at that cyber/virtual school. Such schools may not solicit or enlist public school, private school or home-schooled students on their teams.

Home-Schooled Students

Option 1 - Participation through a local public school. The State of Ohio allows home schooled students to participate in public school activities, home schooled students may either (1) choose to participate as a member of the Science Olympiad team at the local public school they would attend were they not home schooled, or (2) form a home school team as set forth in Option #2, below.

Option 2 - Participation through a home-school team. Science Olympiad will recognize Home School Teams consisting only of students who live within the boundaries of two contiguous (side-by-side) geographic counties in a single state. As of July 20, 2011, the two-contiguous-county/single state policy will apply to all Science Olympiad Home School Teams who wish to attend to the Science Olympiad National Tournament and Science Olympiad will no longer qualify multi-county or multi-state Home School Teams.


For online registration click the "Registration" tab in the left side menu. New this year! New schools or teams which have not participated in the program for the last five years will pay a discounted registration fee of $150.00, a savings of $50.00. For returning teams the registration fee is $200.00 per 15 member team before November 16, 2013. The fee increases to $225.00 per team if registration and payment are received between November 17, 2013 and December 31, 2013. The registration deadline is December 31, 2013. Teams must compete in a regional tournament in order to qualify for the state competition. Regional tournaments are held in eight locations throughout the state. Once a team’s registration and payment are received, the Science Olympiad Rules Manual for the appropriate division will be sent to the coach, and the team will be assigned to a Regional Tournament. Registrations cannot be accepted over the phone.

The registration fee includes:
Eligibility to participate in the 2013-2014 Science Olympiad Program One copy of either the Division B or Division C Science Olympiad Rules Manual.

Sixty dollars ($60.00) of each registration fee is sent to the National Science Olympiad office to cover costs of administering the overall national program including the development of new programs, fund raising, printing the manuals and organizing the national tournament. The remainder of the fee stays in the state Science Olympiad office to cover costs of administering the overall state program.

Cancellation Policy

A $50.00 processing and manual fee will be charged for any team cancellation prior to January 1, 2014. Teams cancelling on or after January 1, 2014, will not receive a refund of the registration fee.

Rules Manuals

The manuals are printed by the National Science Olympiad office in late August. The manuals are then sent to the state directors for distribution. Manuals will be sent when registration and payment have been received.

Regional Tournaments

Each county has been assigned to a specific tournament. Teams must participate in the regional tournament to which they are assigned in the email message that precedes the rules manual. Changes in regional tournament assignment will not be made for any reason. Assignment to each regional tournament will be determined on a first come basis, and several regional tournaments will accept one team per school with the second team being placed on a waiting list and accommodated if space is available. Please see the Regional Tournament schedule at for specific information. If your regional site is filled, your team will be placed on a waiting list. Position on the waiting list will be determined by the date on which the registration is received.

Each regional tournament is funded through different local sources. Depending on the funding available in your region, it may be necessary for your team to pay an additional regional tournament fee. You can find information about your specific regional tournament and any additional fees at and click on Regional Tournaments. Organizing and conducting a regional tournament requires significant resources. Science Olympiad at all levels relies on donations, grants, in-kind donations, and volunteer efforts. Costs that are not covered by any of these means must be passed back to the teams.


First, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth place Olympic style medals will be given for each event at the state tournament. In addition, trophies will be awarded to the top ranking Division B and Division C school teams during the state tournament.

Further Information

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact The Ohio State University Office of Distance Education and eLearning at 614-688-3071 or We ask that only coaches/teachers contact us and not students or parents.