Get Started

We’re excited you’re interested in joining the Central Texas Science Team (CTST).

Starting anything can be daunting so we’ve created a set of pages on this website to help familiarize you with the Science Olympiad program, CTST in particular, and offer suggestions from those who’ve come before you on the best way to jump in.

The Big Picture

Just like it would be hard to imagine readying yourself to play on a soccer team without seeing a game, or go swimming without seeing a large body of water, it can be tough to imagine this sort of Olympiad without seeing it in action. Let’s start with a video from the 2018 National Science Olympiad Tournament.

NOTE: As you click through to additional resources, here’s a bit of lingo that can easily confuse anyone.

B-Events are those for the Middle School team, C-Events are for the High School Team.

Our team, Central Texas Science Team, some years has an A-team & a B-team team within the Middle School Team (who compete in B-Events) and the High School Team (that competes in C-Events). That’s because teams are limited to 15 people. We can enter tournaments with more than one team per level by creating two teams within each Middle School and High School team. Clear as mud, yes? We’re here to help it make sense. Onward.

Learn About Prep and Events

To get a sense of how our team participates in tournaments, we encourage you to watch several videos of our teammates in previous years competing in their events.

Videos of Events in Action

First, there are videos of team members in previous years testing the contraptions they built for competition.

Wright Stuff

Prior to the tournament teams design, construct, and test free flight capacitor powered monoplanes to achieve maximum time aloft.

With each event, competitors and coaches share tips for future years. If you’re curious about how middle-school-age kids can build a flying vehicle, check out some of the resources available to them. Wright Stuff Wiki on the SciOly website – Event Construction Tips (pdf)Wright Stuff description on ScienceOlympiad TVTrial event rules for the 2018 season.

Towers

The objective of this event is to design and build the lightest tower, with the highest structural efficiency, capable of supporting a load of up to 15 kg.

Resources include the SciOly Towers Wiki (discussion board)Image GalleryTowers Rules

Hovercraft

Competitors may construct up to two self-propelled air-levitated vehicles each with up to two battery-powered motors that turn one propeller each to levitate and move the vehicle(s) down a track. Competitors must also be tested on their knowledge of classic mechanics and related topics.

Resources include the Hovercraft wiki (discussion board – Quizlet Flashcards on Hovercraft – Hovercraft on Science Olympiad TV

Although we don’t yet have a video of how these teams prepared for these competitions, imagine they are working together, figuring out their strategy, collecting materials, and trying out what they’ve built.

What about non-build events?

Events we commonly refer to as Lab events (at the tournament you build or test something) and Study events (knowledge of a subject is tested) are harder to visualize or capture in video form.

See several sample tests from previous seasons below.

Middle School Team Solar Systems Test

(Some tests from previous years are posted in the Science Olympiad test exchange)

High School Team Fermi Questions Test

Team building and comradery at events

Tournaments are also hard to grasp without being in the middle of it. Here’s a short video of an auditorium filled with many different teams to give you a sense of the vibrancy and nuttiness of the full experience.

As we add more to our website to help you get started, you might also enjoy checking out a list of links to other Science Olympiad-related websites and many more resources.

 

How to Prepare

To begin preparing, consider touring around the SciOly Website, learning about events that we’ll compete in this year and seeing the giant wiki where teammates learn from one another. Check out the 2018-2019 Rules to understand the fine details of each event.

You might also want to watch more videos on YouTube’s Science Olympiad TV and check out Quizlet’s section for Science Olympiad Events, You will be asked soon which events you want to consider entering in for this coming season. Read through the 2018-2019 Events Table to learn more about each of the events. You can also read the 2019 Division B (middle-school team) and Division C (high-school team) Short Event Descriptions.

Here is a super quick list of events for the upcoming season:

2018-2019 Events (high school, middle school, and both)
High School
* Astronomy (HS)
* Chemistry Lab (HS)
* Code Busters (cryptoanalysis) (HS)
* Designer Genes (genetics) (HS)
* Fermi Questions (HS)
* Geologic Mapping (HS)
* Mission Possible (Rube Goldberg machine) (HS)
* Mousetrap Vehicle (HS)
* Protein Modeling (HS)
* Sounds of Music (HS)
* Wright Stuff (HS)
Middle School
* Forensics (MS)
* Battery Buggy (MS)
* Circuit Lab (MS)
* Crime Busters (forensics) (MS)
* Density Lab (MS)
* Elastic Launched Glider (MS)
* Game On (game design) (MS)
* Heredity (genetics) (MS)
* Meteorology (MS)
* Mystery Architecture (MS)
* Potions & Poisons (MS)
* Road Scholar (MS)
* Roller Coaster (MS)
* Solar System (MS)
Both MS and HS
* Anatomy (both)
* Boomilever (both)
* Disease Detectives (epidemiology) (both)
* Dynamic Planet (glaciers, climate change) (both)
* Experimental Design (both)
* Fossils (both)
* Herpetology (both)
* Thermodynamics (both)
* Water Quality (both)
* Write it Do it (both)

 

As a final note, there are many resources available to us online. The Science Olympiad website, specifically, is where many of us started out looking around. Many of the resources there (the CDs for instance) are not something you are expected to purchase or have purchased. We have those available for team members on our internal sites, only for our team members. After you’ve joined the team and we begin working on what events you’ll begin participating in, you’ll get access to those resources too.

We look forward to getting to know you and learning together. In the spring of 2018, for the fourth year in a row, the Central Texas Science Team (CTST) qualified for the state competition in one of the top five most competitive states in the country. That can happen because as a team we value one another, learning, and the power of science. Science Olympiad experience lasts a lifetime. Here’s to getting started.