D. Small Schools

Science Olympiad National Policy on Small Schools

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

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

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 /Headteach/erprincipal of the 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, 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.

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.

E.Building and Tools Policy



The underlying principles and intent of the Science Olympiad establish a mandated student performance.  Any project, device or assembly is to be constructed by a student or team of students.  The Rules and Code of Ethics of the Science Olympiad declares, “One or more of a 12-member team must have constructed all pre-built devices presented for judging.”  The process of design and resultant product is the students’ responsibility.  All components must be made by the student or, if permissible by the event rules, available by purchase.  Students will assemble the device.

Safety Concerns and the Use of Tools

Safety shall be of paramount importance.  Students will be encouraged to use tools and technology within their age-related safety range.  Certain tools and methods may be hazardous and beyond the abilities of various age groups.  Specific tools may include of this sort might be power drills and saws, wood or metal lathes, welding equipment, milling machines or metal casting equipment.  The use of chemicals should also follow age-appropriate use rules.

Guidelines for Adult Mentoring

Adults may act as facilitators in the building process by asking questions, offering ideas or suggestions and providing references.  The adult assistance may include teaching underlying principles, skills, use of tools and adherence to safety rules.  No component of the project shall be constructed or assembled by an adult.  The student must prepare the entire structure, including accompanying charts, graphs or notes.

However, Science Olympiad endorses adult mentoring of teams and realizes that adults do instruct students on proper techniques on the use of tools.  Providing an adult does not interfere with, alter, build or compromise the student or group design, adults MAY assist by performing restricted tasks not available to a student (such as drilling a hole in a metal plate or operating a power saw).  This type of limited help does not compromise the integrity of a student-built device.

Investigation of Suspected Violation of Building and Tools Recommendations

Tournament officials must rely on the integrity of principals, coaches, students and parents involved in Science Olympiad.  Astute and professional Event Supervisors will be able to evaluate student compliance as such:

  • Event supervisors may extensively question the lead student as to the design and construction of the device.  Questioning may include the overall design and construction as well as the component parts and how they operate and function within the device.  Other students on the device team may also be questioned.
  • Each team coach will be required to certify that all work presented for the tournament complies with the Building and the Use of Tools Recommendations.

Sanctions for Non-Qualified Participation

If the students on the device team cannot answer the questions correctly and/or the coach cannot verify the device was student-built, then the Event Supervisors have grounds to believe the students did not design and build the device.  The team will be disqualified from the event and scored accordingly.

F. Eye Protection

This Policy applies to all Science Olympiad Rules in Divisions A,B & C. Please make a note of the new classification of Categories A, B and C. 

Purpose: This policy provides details regarding EYE PROTECTION in those events where an Event Rule requires Eye Protection. The objective is to choose the type of protection specific to the task.

Competitor/Coach Responsibilities: Competitors are responsible for providing their own protective eyewear. Science Olympiad is unable to determine the degree of hazard presented by equipment, materials and devices brought by the teams. Coaches must ensure the eye protection competitors bring is adequate for the hazard. All protective eyewear must bear the manufacturer’s mark. Teams without adequate eye protection must be given a chance to obtain eye protection if their assigned time permits. Teams must not be allowed to compete without adequate eye protection. This is non-negotiable.

Corresponding Standards: Protective eyewear used in Science Olympiad must be manufactured to meet the standard applicable at its time of manufacture. The information in this document is sufficient to comply with current standards. Water is not a hazardous liquid and its use does not require protective eyewear unless it is under pressure or substances that create a hazard are added.

Examples of Non-Compliant Eyewear:

  • Face shields/visors are secondary protective devices and are not approved in lieu of the primary eye protection devices below regardless of the type of vents they have.
  • Prescription Glasses containing safety glass should not be confused with safety spectacles. “Safety glass” indicates the glass is made to minimize shattering when it breaks.

Compliant Eyewear Categories: If an event requires eye protection, the rules will identify one of these three categories – as simple as ABC: