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Frequently Asked Questions

2020-2021 Science Olympiad Events

The list of events for Science Olympiad during the 2020-2021 season can be found here

How does the team assignment process work?

Upon acceptance to TVHSOT, your student will be assigned to either division B (6-9) or division C (9-12) based on several team factors. Each team consists of up to 15 members that are each assigned to a minimum of 3 events, along with a partner for each event.

What are "events"?

All disciplines of science including physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and engineering are covered by 23 individual events. Events consist of study, lab, and building topics, or sometimes a combination of these. Beginning in the fall, students prepare for their events by studying independently, meeting with partners for study or building sessions, practicing labs, or whatever else the event requires to prepare for the state competition.

How are event assignments made?

Each student will be asked to rank their top 8 out of 23 events and will have an opportunity to list 3 events that they would not prefer. While this ranking process is taken into account, the head coaches will assign students to teams and events based on a variety of factors, including their rankings, schedule of other events, previous experience, and partner dynamics.

Do I get to pick who my students have for event partners?

Please let us know if you have preferences, and also if your students would like to share an event with a sibling to make coaching or transportation easier. Please understand that while we will try to accommodate requests, assignments depend on a variety of factors.

What is expected of me as a parent?

The strength of a homeschool team is that the parents are the primary coaches. Resources at your disposal include head coach input, friends, local experts, a good internet search engine, and high school or college level textbooks. Other parents and team leadership will share their expertise and assist you, but you remain the primary coach of your own student(s). Parents are also expected to attend all team meetings, of which there are 2-3 per season. Parents are responsible for planning and guiding study or building sessions, and covering event costs.

How much will this cost me?

Our dues are $50 per year plus ~$12 for a team shirt. This covers team registration for tournaments, CDs, event rules and some event resources. Addtional expenses may vary depending on the type of event. Costs can range from $20 for a study event to $100+ for a few build events. If a team advances to Nationals, all team members will also be responsible for those travel costs. While we may try to fundraise for this, ultimately each student needs to be able to pay for this additional cost.

How much time will this take my student?

Just like a speech and debate team or a student orchestra, participation in Science Olympiad requires students and parents to devote time to individual study in each assigned event and regular study with event partners outside of team meetings. Our goal is to have each event team ready to compete by February end to make sure our students have a solid foundation in their events and to allow time for last-minute fine tuning. The amount of time and effort required to reach this point will vary between events, but all events will require dedication from both parents and students. Generally speaking, you should plan 4-6 hours per week if you are competing in 3 events.

How much time will this take me, the parent?

Parents should expect to spend some time weekly setting up study sessions and helping their students prepare for each event. The amount of time will depend on your knowledge of the event subject, student independence as well as other factors. Your student will have regular (~2/month) partner study sessions for each event, which you will need to coordinate with your event partners. Expect partner study time to increase (~3/month) in the spring as you near competition. Construction events might take many building sessions throughout the season.

How does this fit in with my regular schooling?

While a great addition to your schooling, Science Olympiad is not designed to replace regular science classes. Your students will still need to follow a science curriculum, especially at the high school level. This will benefit them as they take on more difficult events in future years and will prepare them for college-level study after graduation. Many high school students use Science Olympiad as either an extracurricular activity or an additional science credit. Some parents take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling and allow more study time in the spring as competition nears, while others stick with a standard schedule all year.

Is there a book or curriculum I can buy that teaches everything my student will need to know for each of the events?

Probably not. At the beginning of the season, each event has one or two pages of rules put out by the Science Olympiad organization, explaining the event parameters. For some events, you may be able to find textbooks or event manuals which closely match these rules. Other events may require using all the resources at your disposal.

How does the team communicate?

Our main communication is through email. To contact the team coaches: click here

When does my student have to make a commitment to the team?

Registration will open for the 2020-2021 season in August and will remain open until September 9th. Please contact us for more information on how to join. Non-refundable team fees are due by the September end meeting if your student is approved onto the team. No events will be assigned to your student until team fees are paid.

Can I back out later if we don't like it?

Please consider your commitment seriously. Your student will become part of a team, and will be assigned events with other students. A team member leaving during the season affects multiple event partners as well as the team as a whole.

What are the benefits of participating in Science Olympiad with TVHSOT?

Your student(s) and you will get an amazing science education and team experience! Students participating in Science Olympiad develop exceptional problem solving, test taking, and construction skills. They also learn research techniques, test taking strategies, and teamwork. In most cases, you will find even younger students covering college-level information in their study area. We have seen bored and unmotivated students become invested in their subjects and work harder than they ever have before. We have also seen advanced, science-hungry students finally being challenged and finding camaraderie among like-minded peers. What can Science Olympiad do for your family? Join us and find out!

How can I find out more?

Feel free to contact the team coaches through email! You can click here to find their emails.