Science Olympiad is a regional, state, and national competition involving thousands of middle schools and high schools across the USA. Competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events. Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. In as much as teamwork is a required skill in most scientific careers today, Science Olympiad encourages group learning by designing events that forge alliances. For example, a talented builder and a student with a good science vocabulary can excel in “Write It Do It”, one of Science Olympiad's most popular events.
Science Olympiad is offered as a ninth-hour elective both second and third quarters, and any student wishing to participate must apply. To qualify for the Science Olympiad elective class, students must demonstrate that they are self-motivated, hard workers, organized, in good standing in ALL of their classes (not just science class) and can work well with others. Students who follow the application process and are selected must be willing and available to attend competitions (held on Saturdays) and work during and outside of class in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, with work also taking place after school 4th quarter to prepare for state and nationals (if we qualify). Please note that 25 students are chosen for this elective but competitions allow for only 15 students per school team, so students within the class who best exemplify the qualities above will be chosen for the regional and state teams.
Parents are encouraged to help coach events and sponsor trips to competitions. St. Thomas typically places in the top 3 at regional and state events. In 2011, the team traveled to the University of Wisconsin for the National Tournament, where six of our students placed in the top ten in the nation!