I have been involved with Science Olympiad since 1990 as a Parent, Coach, local school district Science Olympiad Director, SO Coaching Clinic Chair, SO Invitational Director, National Tournament Director, National Technology Committee Chair, Rules Committee member, & National Advisory Committee Member. My actual educational background is in accounting. I have a full-time job for a large candy/snack brokerage firm. Many people ask why I spend so much time involved with Science Olympiad. Even my license plate has “SO” in it! I spend so much time on SO because I have seen the benefits for the students over the past 30 years. Not only for our 4 children but for the thousands of children who have been involved in the program. I have seen students blossom into engineers or scientists because of their experience of participating on a SO team. I have seen students realize that it is important to work with others to share ideas, to research together, and to work as a team. I have seen students find that there is always more to learn. I’ve seen students learn to not be afraid to try something new. I have seen students find friendships that last a lifetime, beyond their school years. Science Olympiad offers so much to everyone. I love when parents say they have never seen their student so interested in a subject – whether it’s studying birds, stars, ecology, electronics, building – students seem to find their niche. Science Olympiad is not a short-term project in school, it is a long-term project that can carry through a student’s lifetime.