Westbriar Elementary School PTA

Virginia Science Olympiad Division A (Grades 3-5)

What is Science Olympiad?

Science Olympiad is a competition consisting of building and non-building events covering various science and engineering disciplines. Students will partner and compete in at least one event.

Events: Tentative Events for 2018 are listed below.

Students: Students must be willing to work with any teammate and compete in any event. Preferences of events and partners will be considered but are not guaranteed.

Parents: For your child to participate, parents are REQUIRED to coach their child and MUST VOLUNTEER on tournament day. The tournament will be either April 21 at BASIS or April 28 at Mercer Middle School. We do not know which tournament we will be assigned. Therefore, students and parents must be able to attend both dates. Parents WILL be given an assignment on tournament day.

Cost: $70 per child (includes registration fee and team shirts for student and volunteering parent)

(Note: Practice or study material expenses are not included and are the responsibility of the parents of the teammates assigned to those events. However, materials are usually inexpensive common household items.)


Interested students must fill out the google form no later than January 17.

Selected students (max team size is 45) will be notified by January 19 and parents must complete registration and payment by January 22.

Partner and Event Assignments will be given after registration.

2018 Virginia Science Olympiad Division A

Tentative Event List

30 Minute Events - Students are paired

Anatomy – Immune Systems: Teams will demonstrate their understanding immune and lymphatic systems. This event has a written test and may/may not include “hands-on” stations.

Astronomy – Moons of our Solar System: Teams will demonstrate knowledge about the satellites that are big enough to be called moons around the non-dwarf planets of our solar system.

Matter of Atoms: Teams will demonstrate their understanding of the atomic structure and the classification/properties of matter.

Chopper Challenge: Contestants will build and test one rotary flying device.

Dynamic Planet – Tidal Zones: Teams will demonstrate their understanding of tides, tidal action and the adaptations of animals living in the intertidal zone. This event has a written test and may/may not include “hands-on” stations.

Orienteering: This is an orienteering event. Teams will follow a set of directions using map, pacing and compass skills to find locations within the Science Olympiad competition. This event may be held outdoors in good weather.

Rocks and Minerals: Students will demonstrate their knowledge about the geology of Virginia and how rocks and minerals are formed and reformed.

Shock Value: Teams will answer questions and may do hands-on activities involving direct current circuits, basic electricity, and magnetism.

Thermodynamics: Teams will demonstrate their understanding of the basics of thermodynamics.

Virginia Herpetology: Teams will demonstrate their knowledge of Virginia’s reptiles and amphibians. This event has a written test and may/may not include “hands-on” stations.

Multiple Student Events

Optics (30 minutes; 3 students): Teams will participate in an activity involving the positioning of mirrors to direct a laser beam towards a target and will also test their knowledge of geometric and physical optics.

Pentathlon (30 minutes; 5 students): Five physical skills are interspersed with science questions in an obstacle course that will be run in a relay race style where each student passes the baton or tags the next student. A sixth physical skill and science question may be performed by the group.

Picture This (30 minutes; 3 students): Team members will take turns drawing representations of scientific terms or concepts using vocabulary from the 2018 events while the other team members guess the term being drawn.

60 Minute Events - Students are Paired

Balloon Car: Teams will build a simple air powered car using provided materials to travel a specified distance within a specified area.

Build a Barge: Teams will build a barge on-site to hold the greatest amount of cargo before sinking.

Enigma Engineering: This event will test a team’s ability to design and build a mystery device using mystery materials.

Gunk – Elasticity: Teams will make a material called “Gunk” from three specific materials in order to meet criteria announced at the event.

Straw Egg Drop: Each pair of students will make a device out of straws and masking tape, supplied on-site by the Event Supervisor, to hold a large raw egg. The device containing the egg will be dropped from a fixed height to a target.

Tower Building: Teams will build a strong, stable tower from popsicle/craft sticks and masking tape. The team that builds the highest tower with the fewest sticks while holding a mass no less than 100 grams and no more than 750 grams will be the winner.

Wind Power: Teams will build and test a blade assembly for a wind turbine. This event may have a written test component.

Write it. Do it.: One scientist will write a description of an object and how to build it, and their partner will try to build the object from this description.

Trial Event

Science Bowl (30 Minutes): Teams will test their knowledge on science topics in a game show like atmosphere. All questions will come from this year’s events. No awards for this event.

Westbriar Elementary School PTA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

Questions?  Please contact  PTA President or Website Administrator

© 2017 Westbriar Elementary School PTA
1741 Pine Valley Drive
Vienna VA, 22182

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software