We offer competitive and noncompetitive areas of involvement for middle school aged students.
Middle School competitive science offering:
Science Olympiad: www.soinc.org. We will continue to participate in Science Olympiad. All competitions are virtual at least for the fall season. Our team, though small, has qualified for the state competition every year since we formed. More than 200 schools in each division (middle and high school) strive to qualify for state and most are large well-funded teams many times the size of our team. Despite our small size, we have performed very well at the state competition, ranking in the top 10 as a team, and our students regularly medal in their events. We are proud to have helped empower dozens of students to become confident as scientists; through Olympiad, which is based on applied science, they do become scientists. Students participating in our Science Olympiad program must live in either Hays or Travis counties and be homeschooled, per Olympiad national rules. Students taking classes at Reach or ACC are still considered homeschooled.
Middle School NON competitive offerings:
- Middle School science club. Middle school students can participate in the same activities as our Science Olympiad team, without the additional event and competition preparation. Please see the calendar below for the monthly topics.
- Entrepreneur / Maker / Tinkerer / Innovater: CTST has always had a goal of offering space / mentoring to DIYers, explorers, tinkerers. We fulfilled this for several years by having a booth at the Austin Maker Faire. Specific plans for this branch are evolving but we are moving forward with intent to offer this branch of science exploration this year.
- Networking and guest speakers: We have a calendar of speakers, through Zoom in the fall and hopefully in person in the spring. We particularly want to connect our high school students with STEM professionals in their fields of interest.
Our philosophy is to emphasize applied science through local experiences. Meetings generally encompass:
- Guest speakers from scientific professions
- Interactive experiments & projects
- Student-led presentations
- Event demonstrations
- Science studies
- Field trips
Our middle school team is coached by the parents and is not a drop off group like the high school team.
Each month has lesson plans and video interviews with experts in that field. Middle and high school students have an option to take a Science Olympiad test at the end of the month (on a certain day and time, so that the Olympiad students can test their competitiveness and be ranked on their national leaderboard).
The high school team provides regular mentorship to the middle school team, both for specific event preparation and for related science event foundational information. Parents provide mentorship through helping our students improve their organizational and study skills, and also serving as points of contact for specific events within the team. Parents do not need science experience in order to mentor our competitors.
Am I homeschooled if…
Do you take classes part-time at an institution or online, and wonder if that means you can’t participate on this team? We have students who attend ACC, REACH, One Day, Coursera, and more. To be considered homeschooled you must not be enrolled full-time anywhere or at a charter or private school or online school, yet you can be enrolled part-time.