The Minnesota Science Olympiad is a program 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.
These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, training workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state and national tournaments.
Team competition is patterned after track tournaments with challenging and motivational events ranging from earth science through physics. Events range from hands-on labs to student built machines, from outdoor events to paper and pencil tests. There is also a balance between events requiring scientific knowledge and understanding, and others requiring process and application skills. Although some events require an individual from one team to compete against other individuals from other schools, most events require teamwork, group planning, and cooperation. The emphasis is on learning, participation, interaction, having fun and team spirit.
Schools compete with a team of up to 15 students. There are two major tournaments: regionals and the state tournament. The top 30 teams from the regional tournaments around the state compete at the State Science Olympiad held at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The top team in the state advances to the National Science Olympiad held in May (or two teams if enough teams register).