- What is Science Olympiad?
- Elementary Science Olympiad
- HSSO Tournaments
- Be A Partner!
With everything you do for your students, it's wonderful that you're considering becoming a Science Olympiad coach. A basic recipe to follow:
At the beginning of the school year, ask your principal or PTA president for funding for a science extracurricular activity. Tell them you are volunteering to be the coach, and hold an information meeting at PTA, or call a parent/student session in the auditorium. Show a Science Olympiad DVD, put up the list of events for the year with short descriptions, and ask kids to ascertain their interest in the 23 events. Some teachers post lists around the room and have kids sign up for as many events as they find interesting. Once you've got team and parent interest, you're ready to go. Set up a practice schedule -- maybe once every other week to start. Assign kids to events, and begin preparations.
Depending on your level of expectation from your team, plan accordingly. Normally, in the first year, it's exciting just to attend a regional tournament. The kids can get their feet wet, see what it's like at a real competition, and scope out the other teams. Plan to meet once a week or more in the months leading up to the tournament. Schedule some study sessions outside of school on the weekends, but remember to put the responsibility for the team in the students' hands -- after all, it's their team and their work. If you want to be a state tournament contender in your first year, you'll need some qualified teachers and outside expert help to help coach the students. You might ask the principal or the PTA for a slightly higher budget for more materials.
If your child's school does not have a Science Olympiad team, as a parent, you can be a great cheerleader to get the initiative going. Try to gather a small group of parents who are interested in volunteering and contact the school principal with your desire to form a team. While it's best to have the support, backing and organizational skill of the school behind any Science Olympiad team, it is possible for parents to coach a team. Most teams have several parent coaches!
Listen to Sheila from Ohio: "I am a mother of three who has always had a passion for science. I am as involved as I could be in Science Olympiad! This is my 4th year coaching the team. I've been offered teaching positions but I've declined because it would take time away from coaching the kids! All three of my children are on Science Olympiad teams and have ambitions to be an aeronautical engineer, a marine biologist and a geologist." Or Cindy from Arizona: "I have a masters in Zoology. I got involved in Science Olympiad because our school requires parent participation hours and coaches were needed. Once I got into it I was hooked!" Follow their lead and get a team going today.