CTST Quarantine Challenges!

We are having team challenges during the quarantine, to help us stay connected. Some will be challenges for students to post photos of certain aspects of quarantine life, and some will be science challenges we post for other youth to participate in.

Our first quarantine life challenge was pets! Here are science team pets, living their best lives with their humans home all the time. (The white dog, Prince, loves the Ridgeback Duncan, who tolerates his constant presence.)

Amplify Us

Our team is participating in Amplify Austin, the biggest giving day in Central Texas. 

In this 24 hour period, your donation is amplified with matches from sponsors and incentives through I Live Here I Give Here. Any amount helps.  Please consider helping us provide applied science, field research, STEM networking to local youth.

Our young scientists spend many hours studying topics such as epidemiology, genetics, coding, forensics, ornithology, engineering, etc. They know that COVID-19 is believed to be an example of zoonosis. They can identify dozens birds or fossils on sight. They build amazing machines from hovercraft to gliders to balsa structures weighing in at 3g but holding 15kg.

As a small independent team not affiliated with a school, we don’t have a school inventory, we buy everything ourselves, from lab gear to chemistry sets to training materials. Our coaches are the parents.

One of our goals is to build funds to hire a part-time coach, to ensure year to year continuity in coaching.

We also conduct a 10 day field research trip to Costa Rica each summer, studying leaf cutter ants and the co-development of their beneficial bacteria alongside parasitic fungus and bacteria that could destroy the colony. This has significant possibilities in fighting antibiotic resistance. Our field research training is led by world-famous researchers in this area, teaching and working with the students.

This is the only program of its kind in the United States, and we are the only non-school based team conducting this trip. We include schooled and homeschooled students in our group.

We want to develop a scholarship fund to offer this Costa Rica field research trip to underprivileged students in the Austin area. Each trip slot costs $3,750, and we want to

What makes our team special is that we don’t winnow down 150 applicants for 45 spots, as some of our large competitors do. We are an inclusive and small community that develops every student into young scientists who have won their events against these larger competitors. Our mission is to nurture their enthusiasm for science and develop them into confident young scientists.

We have taken in students who are intimidated by science and by the end of the year seen them confidently competing in 4-5 events. We have an impressive track record of acceptance into prestigious science university programs and consistently placing in the top half of teams at the Texas State Science Olympiad competition.

These future scientists are not driven by scores, or tests. They have passion for all things science and have found a supportive and inclusive community to nurture their entry into the STEM world. Please help on their educational journey.

Open House April 30 2018

On Monday April 30 2018 we’ll host a hands-on open house for families interested in learning more about the Central Texas Science Team.

Location: VFW Oak Hill, 7614 Thomas Springs Rd., Austin TX
For elementary, middle, and high school-age students interested in Science Olympiad, and high school students interested in next year’s Costa Rica trip.

Central Texas Science Team offers:

* noncompetitive elementary science club
* competitive middle and high school Science Olympiad teams
* annual summer field research in Costa Rica (studying antibiotic potentials from leaf-cutter ants)

We have even more science opportunities planned for next year!

Our elementary club’s science projects this year involved: anatomy, aerodynamics, circuitry, thermodynamics, metric mastery, pond ecology, rocks & minerals, and science pentathlon.

For our middle and high school teams, our mission is to be a competitive team while fostering our students’ enthusiasm for science. Science Olympiad empowers students to BE scientists and DO science even before getting to college – in 28 different events ranging from biology, engineering, natural sciences, conservation, physics, chemistry, to technology and also spanning study, lab, and build events.

Here’s a neat article about Science Olympiad

If this sounds interesting to you, come check us out!

Your students can do some experiment labs, check out our build items, and explore some other hands-on science.


Future of Science

The Central Texas Science Team (CTST) is dedicated to sparking and nourishing curiosity. Our blog provides a place for team members and coaches to introduce readers to our perspectives and aspirations.

Welcome to our first blog post! My name is Kaya and I’m an 11th grade student on the Central Texas Science Team (CTST). As a competitor, I’ve had the opportunity to delve into a range of topics including Anatomy and Physiology, AP Chemistry Lab, and Astronomy.

In this post I’m going to take you through my vision for the future of teens in science and the CTST mission.

Science is about innovation. For centuries, scientists like Isaac Newton and Marie Curie have contributed to advancing human intelligence by surpassing the boundary of previous knowledge. Evolution is inevitable, yet without ingenuity, it is useless and can even be detrimental to society. For example, the invasive kudzu plant covers huge portions of Tennessee, and without intervention, could spread throughout the southern states. Human success is built upon the ability to adapt to changes and improve. Now, in the age of modern technology, the call for innovation is stronger than ever. The future depends on today’s youth.

Science Olympiad (SciOly) provides an awesome outlet for young scientists to channel curiosity, meet like-minded teens, and explore science and technology. Each year, the National SciOly Committee introduces various competitive events to expose students to overflowing scientific possibility. SciOly’s pivotal academic diversity inspires the next generation of scientists.

On CTST, we work to expand our learning beyond our competition purposes. Coaches and advanced high schoolers lead activities to develop hands-on study and lab skills. Endless academic and alternative resources are also available to our team. Presentations, lecture notes, and online courses are accessible for an array of topics through the Science Olympiad official website and other online schools. Rather than just preparing to compete, we want to acquire as much knowledge as possible.

Because we work outside traditional school structures, we intentionally take the opportunity to develop leadership skills. CTST provides a great opportunity for students to develop youth leadership proficiency while learning. Our high school team is student run by a captain and several committee members. We make team decisions through team members feedback and committee votes. We assign events, manage communication, and contribute to middle school academic activities. CTST gives us a chance to practice real-life decision-making, perfect study habits, explore science, and challenge ourselves through fun competitions.

For science to thrive, modern scientists need to be motivated to take initiative. Our intention for the CTST website and this blog is to create an academic community accessible to ALL homeschoolers that will serve as a portal to spark and nourish curiosity. I’ve used my initiative to get us started. Albert Einstein once said, “The important thing is to never stop questioning.” Join us on our mission! What do you want to learn?