Congratulations to the 2016 South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament Champions: Yankton Middle School and Yankton High School. Good luck to both teams at the National Science Olympiad Tournament in May.
Division B schools scheduled to compete at the 2017 South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament
Division C schools scheduled to compete at the 2017 South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament
South Dakota Science Olympiad is a program devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science, and providing recognition for outstanding achievement. Science Olympiad as the name implies is the Olympics for science based events. Team competition is patterned after track tournaments with challenging and motivational events ranging from earth science through physics. Events range from hands-on labs to student built machines, from outdoor events to paper and pencil tests. There is also a balance between events requiring scientific knowledge and understanding, and others requiring process and application skills. Although some events require an individual from one team to compete against other individuals from other schools, most events require teamwork, group planning, and cooperation. The emphasis is on learning, participation, interaction, having fun and team spirit.
Schools participating in the South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament will compete with a team of up to 15 students and up to two alternates. There is one major tournament in the state: The South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament which is held at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Currently, there are four national Science Olympiad divisions: Division A1 (grades K-3); Division A3 (grades K-5); Division B (grades 6-9); and Division C (grades 9-12). However, there are only two divisions that participate in the South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament, a Junior High/Middle School (Division B) and a High School (Division C). If a South Dakota elementary school has an interest in participating in any Science Olympiad activities, then please click on the South Dakota Science Olympiad Elementary School Initiative link on the left side of this web page. For Division B, up to five (5) ninth graders are allowed to participate in the state tournament. For Division C, up to seven (7) twelfth graders are allowed to participate in the state tournament. Students must be from the membership school. Recruiting from neighboring schools, districts, counties or states is not permitted. A school is considered to be a separate school if it has a separate administrator. Because middle schools that do not have grades 8 or 9 are at a slight disadvantage, they may invite back any combination of up to five of their last year's seventh or eighth grade students to be part of the team (e.g., a school with grades X-9 can have only 5 students from grade 9; a school with grades X-8 can invite only 5 students back from grade 9 (their last year's 8th grade students); a school with grades X-7 can invite only 5 students back from grade 8 or 9 (their last year's 7th or 8th grade students). However, any given eighth or ninth grade student can compete at only one division level. Students are allowed to move up a division (from Division B to Division C) to participate in the state tournament as long as the school is all in one building K-12. There is no national tournament for elementary schools, so they may wish to initiate local, school district or regional competitions. In previous years, over 14,000 elementary and secondary school teams from the United States and Canada competed in the Science Olympiad program.
A membership fee of $100.00 per team must accompany the completed registration form. The membership fee registers your team with the National Science Olympiad allowing you to advance to nationals, covers the cost of awards, rule books, and helps cover administrative costs for Science Olympiad.
First, second, and third place medals (gold, silver, and bronze) will be given for each event at the South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament. In addition, championship trophies will be awarded to the teams compiling the most total points during the state competition. The winning team (or top two teams if enough teams register) from each division at the State competition will be invited to the National Science Olympiad Tournament. The sites for the upcoming National Science Olympiad Tournaments are: The University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI, May 20-21, 2016; Wright State University, Dayton, OH, May 19-20, 2017; Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, May 18-19, 2018.
Science Olympiad National Policy on Team Qualification as of 9-20-2011
This policy provides guidelines that are to be used with all schooling options and in all states. Primary enrollment at a school will be determined by what school holds the student's records and matriculates the student (a general definition of primary enrollment), and a student may only be primarily enrolled at a single school.
A Team Endeavor
Science Olympiad requires all participants in Science Olympiad competitions to participate as members of a team, not as individuals.
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 the state in which a cyber/virtual school student resides allows cyber/virtual school students 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: If the state in which a cyber/virtual school student resides 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.
Option 1 - Participation through a Local Public School: If the state in which a home schooled student resides 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 2012 Science Olympiad National Tournament and Science Olympiad will no longer qualify multi-county or multi-state Home School Teams. (This home school portion of the policy was adopted in 2008 and a three-year grace period of qualification followed.)
Registering and Qualifying Teams
The state Science Olympiad organization is responsible for registering and qualifying all Science Olympiad teams. In the case of a public school Science Olympiad team, a roster signed by the principal of the school is considered proper validation. In the case of a Home School Team, a roster signed by the President of the home school association or the head of the independent home school is considered proper validation.
Investigation of Team Qualifications
If a state Science Olympiad organization suspects that a team is comprised of students who are not members of that school’s student body or that a team is not legitimate, the Science Olympiad State Director may ask the coach to provide verification of that team’s qualifications as follows:
1) A public, private, virtual or charter school student’s qualification may be verified by some form of school identification, school roster, recent report card, evidence of residence in the school district or other similar documents appropriate to the situation.
2) A home-schooled student’s qualification may be verified by the student’s annual notice of intent to home school and some proof of residency within two contiguous designated counties. State Directors or officials may not contact individual students to determine qualification. All inquires must go through official channels that are relevant to and can confirm the student's enrollment status, such as the administrative offices of a school district, private school, charter school or virtual school, or the registered Home School Team coach or head of an independent home school.
Sanctions for Non-Qualified Participation
If, after investigation, the State Director determines that a team or its members are not qualified, it may impose a sanction that may include disqualification of a student team member, disqualification of a team coach, or a team’s disqualification from a tournament. In the event of multiple cases of disqualification, a coach or team may be barred from future competition.
South Dakota Science Olympiad Policy on Small School Teams
Science Olympiad requires all participants in Science Olympiad competitions to participate as members of a team, not as individuals. It is recommended that all 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. However, very small schools in the same state may combine students to form one team if and only if the total enrollment of the combined schools is less than 300 students. This policy only applies to public schools. South Dakota Science Olympiad is responsible for registering and qualifying all Science Olympiad teams. In the case of a public school Science Olympiad team, a roster signed by the principal of the school is considered proper validation. If South Dakota Science Olympiad suspects that a team is comprised of students who are not members of that school’s student body, the Science Olympiad State Director may ask the coach to provide verification of that team’s qualifications as follows: A public school student’s qualification may be verified by some form of school identification, school roster, recent report card, evidence of residence in the school district or other similar documents appropriate to the situation. If, after investigation, the South Dakota Science Olympiad State Director determines that a team or its members are not qualified, it may impose a sanction that may include disqualification of a student team member, disqualification of a team coach, or a team’s disqualification from a tournament. In the event of multiple cases of disqualification, a coach or team may be barred from future competition.
South Dakota Science Olympiad Policy on All-Star School Teams
Currently each Science Olympiad member school can enter up to 15 students as a team at each tournament. The school teams with the highest overall scores advance to the next level. There has been some interest from the inception of the Science Olympiad about the possibility of an "All-Star" team whereby the gold medal winners from one level advance to the next level. After much discussion and debate at a meeting with the National Executive Board, national captains and coaches it was unanimously voted to support the existing school team approach instead of an All-Star team for the following reasons:
1) The team concept philosophically is more acceptable to most educators rather than emphasizing individual competition, which has negative connotations to many of them. The team concept emphasizes cooperation, teamwork, and the development of team spirit. The other over-emphasizes the individual and certain events.
2) The Science Olympiad Constitution states that one of its purposes to improve the quality of science education. Having a balance between content, process and technology and all of the science disciplines promotes the development of a quality K-12 balanced science curriculum. If a school were allowed (encouraged) to bring only the best airplane thrower, egg dropper, or rock hound, it would encourage the fragmented and limited instruction of isolated skills to the neglect of the whole science curriculum. And, furthermore, it would be difficult to rally school and community support to fund the advancement of one paper airplane thrower versus the support for the overall state champion. But, worse, it would damage one of the major purposes of the Olympiad and it could detract from the regional and state team's efforts and possibly be an embarrassment if all gold medals were won by individuals and not teams?
3) Finally, the management of an all-star team would be far more difficult and costly. Conceivably the worst case situation would result in 44 students from 24 schools from each state advancing to the national's which would mean 1,760 students from 960 schools for each division rather than 600 students from 40 schools.
This would not only present nightmares for tournament organizers but also for local school supporters attempting to make plans for all these students not to mention the increased cost of medals, material, and travel expense.
South Dakota Science Olympiad Policy on Constructed Devices
This policy applies to events that require a device to be constructed and brought to the South Dakota Science Olympiad State Tournament. The student who is primarily responsible for the design and construction of the device must be present in order to operate the device when it is used for scoring. The event supervisor or supervisors may extensively question the lead student as to the design and construction of the device. The questioning may include: the overall design and construction, the component parts, how those parts operate, and their function in the device. Other students on the team may also be questioned. If the students are unable to answer the questions correctly, then the event supervisor or supervisors will have grounds to believe that the students did not design and/or construct the device. The team will be disqualified from the event and scored accordingly.
South Dakota Science Olympiad Policy on Cell Phones (Smartphones)
This policy applies to all events. Cell phones may not be used while the student is participating in an event. Evidence and/or suspicion of student cell phone usage during the student's participation in the event will result in disqualification for that student's school in the specific event.
For more information, please contact:
South Dakota Science Olympiad
414 E. Clark St.
Dakota Hall, Room 314
Vermillion, SD 57069