What is Science Olympiad?

Illinois Science Olympiad (ISO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in a variety of science disciplines, and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education of students, teachers, and community coaches. The Illinois Science Olympiad program supports Illinois school districts, teachers, and parent participants through classroom activities, facilitating training workshops and encouraging intramural, district, regional, state and national tournaments.

ISO tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of team events. Students on teams of 15, participate in 23 challenging and motivational events throughout the school year in preparation to showcase their knowledge and skills during competition. The events are designated by the National Science Olympiad committee and are balanced between those requiring content knowledge in various science specialties, scientific process skills, and the application of practiced knowledge and skills.

ISO has divided the state into ten regional competition sites. Participating schools send team(s) of 15 students to a local tournament site to compete in all 23 events on a Saturday in March. Each event is evaluated according to the scoring criteria that is published in the National rules manual. The student event team earning the highest scores in each event receives a medal according to their overall rank. The individual event rankings of all events are then combined to determine the overall score for the entire team. A predetermined number of teams from each regional advance to the State Tournament at the University of Illinois in April. The top 2 teams in both the middle school and high school divisions then represent Illinois at the National tournament.

For more information about Science Olympiad, please visit the National Science Olympiad website at http://www.soinc.org/background.

ISO accomplishes its goals through:

  • Classroom activities
  • Research
  • Training workshops
  • Intramural, district, regional, state and national tournaments

Scientific area of exploration include:

  • Life, Personal, & Social Science
  • Physical Science & Chemistry
  • Earth & Space Science
  • Technology & Engineering
  • Inquiry & Nature of Science

Missions & goals

ISO supports the mission of Science Olympiad. You can view the National Mission and Goals here: http://www.soinc.org/mission

Our History

​Our historians are busy gathering up all the details of ISO history. Please check back in later for the real scoop on how ISO got started.

For a complete history of Science Olympiad, please visit http://www.soinc.org/about.

For results of every national tournament please visit http://www.soinc.org/history.

ISO Board

Positions & Roles

ISO has many volunteers performing a wide variety of jobs. As ISO evolves, it continues to add new positions and restructure existing ones.

Please take a look at the many roles that ISO currently has which include:

Executive Board

Responsible for making policy decisions for ISO based on input from the Advisory Board.
Consists of 9 elected members:

  • Joe Simmons, Wards Science
  • Michele Chapman-Simmons, School District U-46
  • Don Powers, Western Illinois University
  • Pam Abbott, Lewis & Clark Community College
  • Jim Grant, Thomas Middle School
  • Nicole McRee, Kildeer Countryside School District 96
  • Natalie Keigher, Lisle Junior High School
  • Scott Vessalo, Lane Tech High School
  • Donna Brayfield, Sacred Heart-Griffin High School
Advisory Board
  • Responsible for gathering and supplying input from coaches as well as their own experiences to the Executive board.
  • Consists of all current regional and invitational directors, site coordinators, and select miscellaneous positions.
Other Positions
  • State Director – Manages all aspects of the state and the state tournament
  • Regional Directors – Manage regional tournaments
  • Invitational Directors – Manage invitational tournaments
  • Scoring Director – Manages the tournament scoring systems
  • Technology Director – Handles website, registration, self schedule, and any other technology-related items for ISO
  • Promotions Director – Responsible for ordering and sales of T-Shirt and other promotional items
  • Sponsorship Directors: Responsible for obtaining sponsors for ISO