Science Olympiad

IMPORTANT Science Olympiad 2018-2019 Practice Information

New Hanover County's Elementary 
Science Olympiad Tournament on 
Saturday, February 23, 2019

 3, 2, 1, Blast Off!
Build Event
Prior to the tournament, teams construct two rockets designed to stay aloft for the greatest amount of time. Rockets are made from       2-liter soda bottles and pressurized with air and water. In 2019, parachutes are allowed and rockets will be launched at 60 psi. 

321 Blast Off Event Rules

How to build a water rocket

2014 Coaches Institute Handout (2015 Rules)
2012 Coaches Institute Presentation (2013 rules)
2010 Coaches Institute Presentation (2011 rules)
See the event help page for the Middle and High School version of this event (with more pictures)
Nerds, Inc (excellent rocket launchers like the ones used at NCSO tournaments)
NASA Water Rockets – general info, not specific to NCSO event rules

Wiki How – Step by step videos on how to build a bottle rocket – not specific to NCSO event rules

Tim Hesterberg’s How to Make a Water Bottle Rocket Page – not specific to NCSO event rules

Backyard Biologist
Study Event
Teams will be assessed on their knowledge of living organisms that they may encounter in their own backyard. In 2019, the focus will be on trees, plants, and insects. Teams will be required to identify organisms from a provided list and know about the habitat and conditions required for growth of the organisms. 

Backyard Biologist Rules 

Official Species List

2018 Backyard Biologist Test
2017 Coaches Clinic Presentation
Backyard Biologist test from 2015 (birds and plants)
Flora & Fauna of NC – iNaturalist
FREE, really good, printable tree guide
FREE really good ebook on species of the Southeast
Tree id app – scroll to the bottom of the webpage
NCSU / NC Cooperative Extension Tree Fact Sheets
Plant Information Center: North Carolina Trees
Plants by Janice VanCleave
The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds
The Teachers Guide- Lesson plans on Plants
Learn NC -Lesson plans on Plant Growth
Project Learning Tree
Missouri Botanical Garden
Carolina Nature: Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of NC
NC Natural: Wildflowers and Plants of NC
Great series of YouTube videos about leaf identification
LeafSnap – an Apple app that lets you take a picture of a plant and get an identification. Sorry, no Android version yet.
The Right Diet for your Plants
Types of Soil by Texture

Spotify Playlist of Bird Calls

All About Birds– From Cornell University, bird identification and calls.

Body Builders
Study Event
Teams will demonstrate knowledge of the major systems of the human body in terms of their functions necessary for human life.

Body Builder Rules

How Stuff Works: Digestive System – animation traces the path of food along the digestive system and explains how each major organ contributes to the absorption of nutrients and the removal of waste.

The Bloodmobile.  Introduction to the circulatory system.

Body Systems.

Carolina Biological: Human Body Systems

 Digestive System Video

A fun and messy demo for the digestive system

 Data Crunchers
Study Event
Data Science is an important part of an engineer or scientist’s ability to understand the world around them. Teams should be able to create and interpret data tables, bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, and pictographs and perform simple experiments to collect data, graph their results and make predictions.

2018 Data Crunchers Test

NY Times: What’s going on in this graph?

2017 Coaches Clinic Presentation (with Work It Out and Science Password)
Example Stations from 2014 Institute
LEARN NC – Graphing and Measurement Lesson for Grades 2 and 3
I Teach Bio – List of skill-building activities for metric measurement, graphing, data, and more
Math Goodies – Bar graph practice
The Science Spot – Lesson plans on length, volume, density, etc.
Estimation practice game
Think Metric 
How to use a micrometer
2016 Data Crunchers test and answer key
2012 Coaches Institute Presentation (2013 rules for similar event, Measurement Mania)
Sample Event (Station Test from Measurement Mania 2010)

 Describe It, Build It
Build Event
This is a 2 part event. In the first part, one team member will view a constructed object (k’nex, legos, tinker toys, pipe cleaners, styrofoam bowls, magnets, beads, etc) and write a description of how to build it without using any pictures, diagrams, or symbols. The written description will then be given to their teammate who has not seen the object. Given a corresponding set of materials, the team member will then attempt to rebuild the object from the written description.
Describe It Build It Event Rules

Fun English Games – Games to practice writing instructions
Print and Use lined paper
Games for learning how to communicate clearly
See the event help page for the Middle and High School version of this event
Can you talk your partner through the maze?
 Ecology Experts
Study Event
 Teams will be assessed on their knowledge of Marine, Freshwater, Estuary and Arctic ecosystems and biomes. Topics include but are not limited to the ecology of the biomes and the roles and interactions of living and nonliving things within them.
Ecology Expert Rules

2018 Ecology Expert Test

2017 Coaches Clinic Presentation

University of California Museum of Paleontology – The world’s biomes
NeoK12 – Games, study tools, videos, on ecosystems

 Duct Tape Challenge
Build Event
Teams will arrive at the competition and be given a set of materials, including Duct Tape, and a task. They will then have a given amount of time to complete whatever task they are assigned, such as building the tallest tower, widest bridge, most buoyant boat, etc. The task parameters will be clearly outlined for the teams. At the end of the build time, teams will test their structures to determine the winner.
Duct Tape Challenge Event Rules

2018 Duct Tape Challenge Test

Car Challenge
Parachute Challenge
Boat Challenge
Table Challenge
Energy Matters
Study Event
Teams will be assessed on their knowledge of the physical properties of matter and the behavior of solids, liquids, and gases before and after they undergo changes or interactions as well as energy forms, transfer of energy, physical changes, and changes in states of matter due to heating and cooling. 

 Metric Mania
Study Event
Teams will demonstrate their understanding of metric measurement by estimating and measuring length (meter), mass (gram), fluid volume (liter), angles, and temperature (Celsius) and making calculations based on these measurements.

 Pasta Tower
Build Event
The objective of this event is to design and build the lightest tower, constructed only of pasta and glue, with the greatest structural efficiency, capable of supporting a load of up to 10 kg.
Pasta Tower Event Rules

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasta Tower
Tower Design
Straw Tower SO Event
Pasta Tower Division B and C Wiki
 Planet Protectors
Study Event
Teams will be assessed on their knowledge of human interaction with the earth, including interacting positively and negatively with the environment, resource use, and consequences of these interactions.

Energy Sources
The NEED Project
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

 Ramp and Roll
Build Event
Teams will build a ramp and vehicle to travel a certain distance and stop as close to the finish line as possible at the tournament.
Ramp and Roll Event Resources

Ramp and Roll Event Resources
Explore Ramps
Engineering for Kids – links for learning engineering techniques

Rock Star
Study Event
Teams will demonstrate their knowledge of rocks & minerals, the rock cycle and geologic maps.

Event Rules Rock Star

 Science Sketchers
Study Event
Team members will take turns drawing and guessing clues for scientific terms or concepts from across all Essential Standards for Elementary Math & Science.

Science Pictionary
How to use Pictionary
 Sky Quest
Study Event
Teams will be tested on their knowledge of the solar system. Topics include the sun, moon, planets, rotation and revolution, moon phases, seasons, and identification of constellations/stars based on a provided list. 
Sky Quest Event Rules

2017 Coaches Clinic Presentation
Cassini – The Grand Finale of the Saturn mission
Great resource books and lessons from NASA
 Super Sleuths
Study Event
 Given a mystery scenario, evidence, and a list of possible suspects, teams will be expected to perform a series of tests to draw specific conclusions about the scenario and suspects. The test results along with other evidence will be used to solve the mystery of the scenario.

2017 Coaches Clinic Presentation

Powder Identification Blank Chart

General sites on Forensics
Forensic checklist of links, activities, and notes
Zeno’s Forensic site with links to real world stuff
Forensics in the Classroom—activites!
Links to forensic activities for students

Polymers and Fibers:
Microscopic Images of Fibers—search for the types of fibers and select the kind of microscopic technique for the image you want.
Hair analysis—FBI
Animal Hair Images
Fiber analysis—FBI
Sample fiber identification flow chart

Intro to Chromatography
How To Do Paper Chromatography with students

Shoe and Tire Prints
Techniques for collecting evidence of shoe and tire prints
Lab activity on shoe and tire prints

Fingerprints-general information
Intro to Glass – Dr. Binishi Forensic Science Pages
Soil handout from Institute
Kids Zone – Forensics

Weather Permitting 
Study Event
This event will test the team’s knowledge of conducting investigations and using appropriate technology to build an understanding of Global Weather Patterns. 

Weather Permitting Event Rules

2018 Weather Permitting Test

2016 Weather Permitting Test

Severe Storms:

NASA – Hurricanes & Tropical storms
Tropical Tidbits – great blog explaining current weather phenomena
NOAA – National Hurricane Center click on the Education and Outreach sections on the left side bar
The Weather Channel
NASA – Meteorology Educator’s Guide
The Teacher’s Guide – Weather
Internet4Classrooms- Weather Links
American Meteorological Society – lots of good info and links
Weather Wiz Kids – Tornados, Hurricanes, Rain and Floods, Safety, and many activities.
Hurricane Sandy – a summary


NC State University – Climate Education for K-12
NOAA – Climate Education
What is Climate? Video
NOAA – Climate
NOAA – Ten Climate Science Activities

NASA Precipitation Education page

   Work It Out
Study Event
 Teams of 4 will compete in a relay race to show their overall understanding of the topics covered in NCSO events this year. Pairs of students will complete an activity or task and answer quiz questions before their teammates can begin their portion of the relay.