2014 MSO Event Descriptions
2014 Event Table: 2014_event_table.docx
For tentative regional tournament events, please see the appropriate regional page.
Currently, there are three Science Olympiad divisions: Division A (grades 3-6); Division B (grades 6-9); and Division C (grades 9-12). The following events are for divisions B and C only. The letter in parenthesis after the subject denotes the division level. Division A competitions are held within individual schools and their districts.
Event resources can be found on the national website: http://www.soinc.org/
Anatomy (B) - Teams will be tested on their knowledge of anatomy and health concepts including nervous and integumentary systems.
Anatomy & Physiology (C) - This event encompasses the anatomy and physiology of selected body systems, this year limited to nervous, integumentary and immune systems.
Astronomy (C) - Teams will demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of math and physics relating to stellar evolution and Type II supernovas.
Boomilever (B/C) - Students will build a cantilevered wooden structure.
Bungee Drop (C) - Using an elastic cord teams will conduct drops from a given height to a surface plane. This event will not be part of the MSO competition. It will be replaced by Fermi.
Can't Judge A Powder (B) - Students will characterize a pure substance and then, based only on data they collect, answer a series of questions about that substance.
Chemistry Lab (C) - Teams will demonstrate chemistry laboratory skills related to equilibrium, chemical reactions and stoichiometry.
Circuit Lab (C) - Students will compete in theoretical and practical activities involving knowledge of direct current (DC) electrical circuits.
Compound Machines (C) - Students will perform activities and answer questions related to simple and compound machines.
Crime Busters (B) - Teams will identify the perpetrators of a crime or crimes by using paper chromatography and analysis of unknown solids, liquids, and plastics found at the scene of a crime.
Designer Genes (C) - Students will solve problems using their knowledge of molecular genetics and biotechnology.
Disease Detective (B/C) - This event requires students to apply principles of epidemiology to a published report of a real-life health situation or problem. (Environmental Quality)
Dynamic Planet (B/C) - Teams will work at stations that display a variety of earth science materials and related earth science questions. (Glaciers)
Elastic Launched Glider (C) - Students will design, build and test two elastic launched gliders capable of the highest time aloft.
Entomology (B/C) - Students will be asked to identify insects by order and family, answer questions about insects and use or construct a dichotomous key.
Experimental Design (B/C) - Given a set of unknown objects, teams will design, conduct, analyze and write-up an experiment.
Fermi Questions (C) - A “Fermi Question” is a science related question that seeks a fast, rough estimate of a quantity, which is either difficult or impossible to measure directly. The answer is an estimate within an order of magnitude recorded in power(s) of ten. (MSO competition only)
Forensics (C) - Students will identify polymers, solids, fibers, and other materials in a crime scenario.
GeoLogic Mapping (C) - Students will demonstrate understanding in the construction and use of topographic maps, geologic maps, cross sections and their use in forming interpretations regarding floods, landslides, earthquakes and subsurface structure.
Helicopters (B) - Students will construct and test free flight rubber-powered helicopters prior to the tournament to achieve maximum flight times.
Heredity (B) - Students will solve problems and analyze data or diagrams using their knowledge of the basic principles of genetics.
MagLev (C) - Competitors may construct up to two self-propelled magnetically levitated vehicles powered by batteries that turn up to two propellers to move the vehicle down a magnetic track. Students will also be tested on their knowledge of magnetism and related topics.
Materials Science (C) - Teams will answer a series of questions or complete tasks involving the scientific processes of chemistry focused in the areas of materials science.
Meteorology (B) - This event involves the use of process skills as applied to meteorology. (Severe Storms)
Metric Mastery (B) - Students will demonstrate an intuitive feeling for estimating then measuring metric units including mass, volume, area, surface area, force, distance, time and temperature.
Mission Possible (C) - Prior to the competition, participants will design, build, test and document a "Rube Goldberg-like device" that completes a required Final Task using a sequence of consecutive tasks.
Road Scholar (B) - Requires the accurate interpretation and understanding of various map features using a variety of road and topographic maps.
Robo-Cross (B) - Teams will design and build a robot capable of performing certain tasks on a prescribed playing field.
Rocks and Minerals (B/C) - Teams will demonstrate their knowledge of rocks and minerals.
Rotor Egg Drop (B) - A team will construct a helicopter device which uses one or more helicopter rotors to safely transport a raw chicken egg from a specified height to the floor.
Scrambler (C) - Competitors must design, build and test a mechanical device which uses the energy from a falling mass to transport an egg along a straight track as quickly as possible and stop as close to the center of a terminal barrier without breaking the egg.
Shock Value (B) - Students will compete in activities involving basic understanding of electricity, magnetism and simple electrical devices.
Simple Machines (B) - Students will perform activities and answer questions related to simple machines
Solar System (B) - Students will demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of the properties and evolution of extraterrestrial ice and water in the solar system.
Sounds of Music (B) - Prior to the competition, students will build two instruments based on a 12 tone tempered scale, prepare to describe the principles behind their operation and be able to perform a major scale, a required melody and a chosen melody with each.
Technical Problem Solving (C) - Teams will gather and process data to solve problems.
Water Quality (B/C) - The event will focus on evaluating aquatic environments. (Marine/Estuaries)
Wheeled Vehicle (B) - Competitors must design, build and test one vehicle that uses a non-metallic, elastic solid as its sole means of propulsion to travel a distance as quickly and accurately as possible.
Write It/Do It (B/C) - A technical writing exercise where students write a description of a contraption and other students will attempt to recreate it using only the written description.
Trial Events at MSO only:
Invasive Species (B/C) - This event will test student knowledge of invasive species in local and national ecosystems. (This will become a part of the national SO rotation.)
Picture This (B/C) - The objective is to have team members take turns drawing representations of a set of scientific terms/concepts (not scientists) while the other team member(s) guesses the term being drawn.