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About MSO

About MSO

  • Asia, a 9th grader from Georgia: "Science Olympiad helped me decide that I wanted a career in the medical field.  I loved Disease Detectives!"
  • Paige, a 7th grader from Indiana: "Science Olympiad helped me form new interests and gave me a head start in school by teaching me new material and giving me new study skills."
  • Julia, a college freshman from Colorado: "I chose to study mechanical engineering because of Science Olympiad.  It was my most important and time-consuming extracurricular activity throughout high school. I met a lot of my closest friends through the SO team.  It was a wonderful experience and my favorite part of high school!

Maryland Science Olympiad is 501(c) non-profit organization that implements a "hands-on" K-12 science program including rigorous academic interscholastic tournaments. We are devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. Scientists and engineers from Maryland corporations, organizations, and universities collaborate with K-12 science teachers to oversee the various teamwork-oriented tournament events geared toward reaching these goals.


Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing student interest in science, creating a technologically literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers. The Science Olympiad was created in 1983 by Dr. Gerard J. Putz and Jack Cairns to increase interest in science and as an alternative to traditional science fairs and single-discipline tournaments. Now, Science Olympiad has members in all 50 states, totaling more than 12,000 actively participating K-12 schools and almost 200,000 students.

The Tournament

Science Olympiad provides science experiences through incorporating Olympiad into classroom curriculum, attending professional development workshops, and- most prominently- hosting tournaments at the Regional, State, and National level. Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events, which are performed by a small group, usually two or three team members. Each year, the selected subset of events is rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of science topics, including genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, astronomy, mechanical engineering and technology.

Each team of 15 will prepare throughout the school year to compete in Science Olympiad tournaments. Unlike some science competitions, Science Olympiad requires that students DO science during the competition rather than just report about a science project.  By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on, group participation. Excelling teams have the opportunity to advance and compete against the top science students from around the country.

Types of Events

Events in the Science Olympiad have been designed to recognize the wide variety of skills that students possess. While some events require knowledge of scientific facts and concepts, others rely on science processes, skills or applications. This ensures that everyone can participate, including students from technology classes or advanced science classes.

Lab-based events are those like Chemistry Lab, Forensics, or Can't Judge A Powder By Its Color, which require students to complete a lab activity during the competition.

Research based events events are those events like Astronomy, Disease Detectives, and Fossils, which encourage students to prepare research materials prior to the competition and use them in the event.

Pre-built events are engineering events in which students build a device, such as a bridge, rocket, or robot, to accomplish a task or goal, and the device is tested on-site at the competition.

Team Spirit

Although some events in the Science Olympiad are based on individual achievement, all events involve teamwork, group planning and cooperation. That is the real essence of the Science Olympiad. Our emphasis is on advanced learning in science through active, hands-on, group participation. Through the Olympiad, students, teachers, coaches, principals, business leaders, and parents are all bonded together as a team working toward a goal.

We would like to provide an alternative to the "isolated scientist" stereotype and remind students that science can be fun, exciting and challenging all at the same time. In college and beyond, students will find that the team spirit and good sportsmanship they develop during Science Olympiad will be deciding factors in their success.

Our Goals

Maryland Science Olympiad is devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and technology, fostering knowledge and interest in pursuing science and technology-related careers, and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. Furthermore, we seek to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity for high-quality STEM education regardless of their ethnicity household income, or geographic location. We hope to achieve these goals through participation in Science Olympiad tournaments, classroom activities, and training institutes for teachers.









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