Elementary Science Olympiad

ESO brings science to life


ESO Director: Matt Capps



Oahu ESO

Big Island ESO

Molokai ESO

Kauai ESO

Maui ESO

Elementary Science Olympiad (ESO) is open to all public, private, charter, and home schools in Hawaii as well as groups that involve students in grades 3 – 6 (i.e Cub/Girl/Boy Scouts and after school programs).  Up to two teams per group can be registered.

ESO 2018 Coaches Manual

ESO-New-Coach-HandbookDownload the new ESO Coaches Handbook  to learn more about Elementary Science Olympiad (ESO)  in general and what we do locally in the Hawaii State Science Olympiad (HSSO) ESO program.  This handbook will teach you about the different events and how you can participate.  It will also cover the conduct of participants, the role of parents, provide scheduling tips, review how to setup a team and much more.

Registration Fee:

  • Registration fee is $150 for the first team and $100 for the second team
  • Payment can be made by check (made out HSSO) or school purchase order.

2017 Hawaii State Science Olympiad Elementary Events


ESO Events

3, 2, 1, Blast Off!
Prior to the tournament, teams construct two rockets designed to stay aloft for the greatest amount of time. Rockets are made from 1-liter soda bottles and pressurized with air and water.
Barge Building – (NEW)
Students construct a barge using aluminum foil that can support a cargo of the largest number of objects without getting them wet.
Chew the Fat
Students will be tested on their knowledge of the human digestive system and proper nutrition..
This event will test a team’s ability to effectively communicate by having one team member write a description of how to build a device and having his or her partner re-construct the device from raw materials.
Hot Air Balloons- (NEW)
Students prebuild and fly a paper hot air balloon.

ESO Events

Fossil Frenzy
Students identify and classify fossils from a known list.
Metric Mastery – (NEW)
Students are tested on their knowledge of the metric system and are asked to quickly estimate sizes, distances and volumes in metric units.
Mousetrap Vehicle
Teams design, build, and test one vehicle using a mousetrap as its sole means of propulsion to reach a target as quickly, accurately, and close to their predicted time as possible.
Mystery Powders – (NEW)
A team of two contestants will be asked to identify a mixture of common white household powders.
Name the Scientist – (NEW)
Students will be required to identify prominent scientists and their contributions to their field(s).

ESO Events

Night SKY
This event will test a team’s knowledge of the constellations as seen in the Hawaiian night sky.
Prior to the tournament, teams will design and build the lightest pasta tower, with the highest structural efficiency, capable of supporting a load of up to 15.0 kg. Each team may bring and enter only one tower.
Plastics Detective – (NEW)
This event is designed to develop an awareness of polymers and how they affect daily living in a modern society.
Take to the Skies – (NEW)
Teams will build 2 paper airplanes on-site and fly them.
Tide Pool – (NEW)
Teams will be tested on their ability to recognize fish and marine animals that might be found in a tide pool.

HSSO Elementary Science Olympiad Calendar

  • ESO Presentation/Coaches Workshop
What is Elementary Science Olympiad?
The Science Olympiad is a national nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science, and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. The Elementary Science Olympiad is also designed to encourage classroom teachers to explore new and challenging ways of teaching science. The Science Olympiad tournaments are academic interscholastic competitions which consist of a series of individual and team events which students prepare for during the year. Most Science Olympiad events are team competitions which require teamwork, group planning and cooperation. The emphasis is on learning, participation, interaction, and having fun. A competitive Elementary Science Olympiad (ESO) for Grades 3-6 will not only get kids in the district ready for the competitive Division B program for Grades 6 – 9, it’s also a wonderful supplement to any school’s science curriculum. At the same time you cover the skeletal system, students preparing for an ESO contest can study A is for Anatomy or No Bones About It. Many teachers use the competitive ESO events to add a hands-on element to their classroom schedule. Teams of up to fifteen students prepare throughout the year to compete in an elementary tournament.  Any given team may have only one entry per event.  An entry is a team of up to 2 out of 15 students competing in any one event as the representatives of their team.  Teams may compete in as many of as few events as they wish at the tournament.
How much does it cost?
  • Membership per Year – $150 for the first team / $100 for the second team (2017-2018). This fee covers a coaches’ manual, coaches clinic as well as materials, resources, trophies, medals, and other expenses for the tournament.
  • The rest of the costs are very dependent on the event. Events that require building something do involve more expenses; however, at the elementary level these costs are nominal. Most materials for practicing for events can be found in schools, garages, and the internet. A ROUGH estimate of the supplies needed for one team would be no more than $200 NOT including the membership per year.
Why should students be involved with Elementary Science Olympiad in Hawai‘i?

Now, more than ever, Hawai‘i’s students must improve their performance in science. This is especially true at the elementary level where students are building their knowledge base that will serve as a gateway for future science courses and ultimately career choices. It is particularly important in Hawai‘i that elementary students have more opportunities for gaining knowledge and understanding in science with the imposing standardized testing of science which has made its way into public elementary schools in Hawai‘i.

With the new testing in science, it is not the goal to take away any teaching time from the basics or any other subject, but instead enrich and enhance the opportunities in science education for elementary school students. The elementary years are important for influencing young students’ perceptions about science. It is during these years that students, if taught science in a hands-on, problem-based manner, begin to develop important lifelong science literacy skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, self-regulated learning and team work. With the added pressure of testing and future occupations moving rapidly in the direction of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, it is important that students and educators benefit from every opportunity they are given to further their science education. The Elementary Science Olympiad will improve the learning of science for all students and celebrate their efforts.