Science Olympiad offers an At Home STEM Experience with ‘MY SO’

Science Olympiad offers an At Home STEM Experience with ‘MY SO’

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Science Olympiad is a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) non-profit organization that supports schools and teachers across the country and has been around for more than 35 years.  More than 8,000 teams in all 50 states participate in Science Olympiad tournaments each year, competing in STEM events that test knowledge, skill and teamwork.

Science Olympiad introduced a complementary program this year called ‘My Science Olympiad’ or ‘MY SO’.  Middle school and high school students can participate and engage as much as they wish from home, depending on their interests.  It is all completely voluntary.

What is MY SO?

MY SO complements the traditional tournaments of Science Olympiad, and is available to all middle school and high school students for FREE, whether or not they are involved in Science Olympiad through their school.  MY SO offers an opportunity for students to be introduced to a series of new STEM topics each month, either at home or at school. Students can also join at anytime since there are no deadlines, nor a participation minimum.

Some of the topics already introduced this year have included epidemiology (September), space (October), circuits (November), and weather (December).  Upcoming topics include: Anatomy & Physiology (January), Structures (February), Forensics (March), Plants (April), and Engineering (May).

Students explore Epidemiology in the Septermber MY SO topic with milk, cornstarch and iodine to determine how viruses spread.

How can families, teachers, or Science Olympiad coaches use MY SO?

Families, teachers, and coaches can explore the MY SO topics in a risk-free, non-competitive environment.  They can also choose the work and activities that they wish to engage in (i.e. monthly curriculums, watch the STEM session videos, etc.).  SO Coaches and Assistants can use MY SO as a way to keep their team excited and engaged.

If students wish, they can participate in the STEM Showdown near the end of each month.  The monthly STEM Showdown tests the student’s knowledge of the topics.  They also mimic the national SO tournament tests which is perfect for students that wish to prepare for the upcoming season!

What is included in MY SO @Home?

Each month a new STEM topic is introduced and explored. With each STEM topic, the following is included:

  1. STEM curriculum (posted on the 1st of each month) that is free and downloadable and includes a full lesson plan, a slideshow for a lecture, and practice tests.
  2. STEM session (posted on the 15th of each month) with a free video posted on the Science Olympiad TV YouTube Channel that features STEM experts and SO alumni discussing their college and career paths.
  3. STEM showdown (dates on MY SO calendar) is an on-line challenge that tests student’s knowledge on the given topic for that month. They compete against their peers for prizes and a spot on the national leaderboard.  This is the only part of the program that is both time-bound and requires paid registration to participate.  (In December only, the first 1,000 registrants are FREE.)
Image 2: An example question from the STEM Showdown for October on Space.
An example question from the STEM Showdown for October on Space.

 

How is the curriculum for MY SO created?

Field experts create the STEM topic curriculum content.  These experts donate their time and expertise in creating the materials and test questions for the STEM Showdown.  The main writer for MY SO is the VP of STEM Education at SO, Dr. John Loehr.

How can I find out more information?

To learn more about MY SO, check out the MY SO link or check out the MY SO Guide located on the SO webpage. If you would like to learn more about starting a Science Olympiad team in your school, contact Deputy Executive Director Katrina Pavlik ([email protected]).

About the author

Kristen Antosh
A Cincinnati native, Kristen is an engineer by trade, a writer by love and a wife and mother by fate. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor of science in materials science and engineering. She held engineering positions in both the automotive and medical industries before taking a break from her career to be a stay-at-home mother. She has lived in Northeast Ohio since 2013. Because of her engineering background and love for writing, she founded her blog, Momgineering the Future, to help parents and educators expose children to a wide variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities and programs. She also is a freelance writer who often writes for the Great Lakes Science Center. Besides STEM topics and writing, she loves gardening, baking, history and spending time with her family.

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