Welcome to the 

AAH Middle School Science Team!

The central goal of the team is for motivated students to build their science knowledge while working on a team and socializing with other students who share an interest in science. Team membership also allows students to practice public speaking and provides an opportunity to learn about teamwork and sportsmanship. While the team’s activities provide some great science education opportunities, the team is not a substitute for a science curriculum or home-directed study.

The Science Team participates in two competitions: Science Bowl and Science Olympiad. Students joining the team must commit to competing in Science Olympiad; we hope many will also choose to join in Science Bowl. 

Check out the team’s website to learn more. 

Commitment to the Team

To allow the team to function well and for the students to get the most benefit, a high level of commitment is required from each student and family:

Teamwork: The team’s well-being depends upon strong team work. The team competes in small groups for Science Bowl and partnerships of 2-3 students for Science Olympiad events. Student success and happiness depends on partners (and their parents) who are responsible, respectful, and responsive. Students and parents develop and support solid team relationships by staying up-to-date on team announcements, communicating with other families and team leaders in a timely manner, meeting with partners regularly, and being supportive of all of the team members. These competitions can be intense so a vibrant esprit de corps among the students and families is both protective and powerful.   

Communication: Much of the team communication occurs online. To facilitate the smooth functioning of our team, all students and parents are expected to check their email daily and to respond to queries and requests promptly. Late responses and paperwork hold up the entire team and require extra follow up from team leaders. As soon as partner assignments are announced, partners (and their parents) should initiate and then maintain regular contact. Of course, all communication, whether in person, by phone, or electronic, should be respectful. 

Preparation for Competitions (Science Olympiad and Science Bowl): Preparation will require considerable time outside of the regularly scheduled meetings. This additional time may be spent working individually or in small groups of students to prepare for specific parts of competitions. This family commitment to coaching and studying is crucial to the success of the team and to the students’ knowledge of the related science.

Attendance: Students on the team will be expected to attend meetings regularly, arrive on time, and participate for the entire meeting. If a student is going to be absent, he or she will need to inform the group in advance. A sign-in/sign-out sheet will be posted at the door to record attendance; attendance will factor into team placement as one measure of commitment.

Volunteering: Our team runs on volunteer hours! Opportunities for parents and participants to use their talents to help run the team will arise throughout the year. All parents will be required to volunteer in some capacity, and our greatest need is coaching for Science Olympiad events. Parents must actively coach or mentor their child in their events. Coaching primarily involves helping students understand competition rules and guiding students in preparing for events through research, study, practice, and/or assistance teaching the skills used to build event devices.

Competitive Event and Team Assignments: Assignments to the competitive Science Bowl and Science Olympiad teams are based on participation and attendance at regular meetings, knowledge and performance, and the ability to be a team player, along with other factors. Complete guidelines for team selection will be available to members in the fall. The number of students allowed to compete may be restricted by tournament size, event and competition rules, and other factors. Not all qualified students are guaranteed a place on a competitive team. Students (and parents) must be flexible and demonstrate good sportsmanship, as event assignments and partners WILL change on short notice (event schedules are often not announced more than a couple of weeks in advance and are subject to change). 

General Information

Membership Requirements: Team members must be students who will be 6th – 8th graders in the fall of 2023 and who reside in Travis or Williamson County. Students who participate in umbrella schools, charter schools, or cyber/virtual schools may not be eligible. (The competitions in which we compete have age/grade, residency, and other requirements for eligibility.)

Meeting Time and Location: Fridays, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, from September through the end of May. We do not meet on holidays or across the winter break. We meet at the Northwest Recreation Center, 2913 Northland Drive, near Mopac and RM 2222.

Meeting Format: Our standard meeting format includes opportunities for students to do presentations on science topics, practice for Science Bowl, and prepare for Science Olympiad. We may also have occasional guest speakers and/or field trips.

Meeting Etiquette: All participants, parents, and siblings are expected to abide by the rules of the Northwest Recreation Center, to clean up after meetings, and to behave in a civil, polite manner. Any participant who is disruptive, uncooperative, or unsportsmanlike will be asked to leave the team. A member may also be asked to leave the team if his/her family members are disruptive. During meetings, students and families should avoid congregating in the lobby of the Rec Center as it is distracting to Rec Center staff and patrons.

Drop-Offs: This is NOT a drop-off activity! Parents must stay on the premises during the team meeting, be present to listen to announcements, play an active role in coaching students in their Science Olympiad events, and assist with Science Bowl practice.

Siblings: Siblings of team members are welcome to attend meetings with parents. However, younger siblings typically do not participate or prepare for competitions. Young children must be supervised at all times and are encouraged to play outdoors as much as possible. 

Dues: Yearly membership dues are used to reimburse costs related to competitions, meeting facility fees, and insurance and are estimated to be $170 per student. There is no family discount for multiple students. 

T-Shirt: Each team member will be required to have a team t-shirt for competitions (cost variable, but often around $15).

Additional Team Expenses: Families will have to pay additional expenses for study aids, materials, building supplies, and travel (e.g., hotels during competitions). 

Contact Information

For more information, please contact us at info@aahscienceteam.org.