New Mexico Science Olympiad
February 20, 2016
Event Supervisor's Guide PDF format
Resources on SOINC.org (National Science Olympiad)
New Information for Volunteers from SOINC.org
Event Categories, Formats, and Scheduling
Important Information for Event Supervisors
Penalty Points Information
Our office is located in Brown Hall, basement level, Room 20.
Thank you for agreeing to
be an Event Supervisor for the New Mexico Science Olympiad.
This guide is designed to help you create an event that
aligns with the rules and spirit of Science Olympiad. It is
our goal to provide the highest quality competition we
possibly can and to meet or exceed standards set forth by
the National Science Olympiad, as such; event supervisors
must prepare their events in accordance with event rules and
provide outstanding, challenging, and FUN events for student
As an Event Supervisor,
you are solely responsible for your event. Read your rules
carefully and understand them completely (the students and
coaches will!). Be careful to follow the rules as closely
as possible; and, most importantly, be consistent. Try to
think of and prepare for every technicality that could be
exploited, bent, interpreted, challenged, etc. The more
familiar you are with the exact rules the easier it will be
to make judgments on event day. Coaches and teams prepare
all year to compete in Science Olympiad tournaments and they
demand exceptional events that follow the current year event
Be sure that you have a
copy of the current year’s rules and follow them
carefully. The rules for each event change from year to
year. If you have run the same event before, DO NOT assume
you can do the same things again. Students prepare all year
based on the current year’s rules, it is very disappointing
when event supervisors don’t prepare events based on these
rules. You don’t have to include every topic or concept in
the rules. However, please do not create an event that
covers topics or concepts not specifically covered in the
You may be running the
same event for both Middle School (Division B) and High
School (Division C) if the event is in both divisions. If
this is the case, the rules for Division B and Division C
are usually very similar. You might use the SAME event for
both division, but make slight adjustments so that the event
is appropriate for each level. In some cases, though the
rules for the two divisions may be
quite different. Please read the rules very carefully for
each event that you will be supervising.
EVENT CATEGORIES, FORMATS, AND SCHEDULING
Science Olympiad events
fall into three categories:
made before the competition and require special testing
equipment, etc. (Bridge Building, Tower Building, Mission
Possible). Most construction events have their devices
impounded the morning of the competition.
hands-on lab-type events
can be run as stations or individual test type events. (Road
Onsite events where students build, test, or do something that is not prepared
beforehand but is tested on site and may require special
test equipment, usually less complex than the devices built
ahead of time. (Mystery Architecture, Write It Do It)
Science Olympiad events
are run in one of three ways. If you’re not sure about your event, check the tournament schedule.
In a set time
period (9:00-9:50, 10:00-10:50, etc.)
In a drop-in style
which means the participants have a period of time during
which to come to do their event (9:00-1:00, 9:00-3:00, etc.)
Events include Bridge/Tower Building, Write It Do It, etc.)
events are run by appointments where teams can sign up for a
In addition, several
different formats can be used to run your event:
method is much easier in some ways since the teams involved
would simply rotate through the event answering 1 to maybe 4
questions per station. This type of set up works really
well with an answer sheet per team being all that is
required for grading.
to design each station to require about the same amount of
time. Usually 8-10 stations are quite sufficient which means
about 2 to 3 minutes per station.
more teams are present than stations, simply have some teams
wait to enter the rotation.
Number your locations and arrange them so that the students
can quickly and easily move from one location to the next
one. Make sure that everyone has writing utensils, extra
paper, and any other required materials before they enter
all of the questions face down until you are ready to begin.
It is important that no one has seen the questions before
teams take their answer sheet and writing materials with
them as they move. Remind them to look only at their own
answer sheet and to keep any conversations at a whisper so
that they do not let others hear their answers.
is advisable to tape down the question sheets at each
Choose the length of time between locations and make sure
that it remains exactly the same throughout the entire
contest. The number of teams present determines the length
of time. New Mexico Science Olympiad has 25 teams per
division. This may limit the time per location. Try to
choose a time that will give students the maximum time
without causing you problems.
Events cannot run over the time set.
Remind student participants that anyone tampering with the
materials in an effort to confuse or delay other teams will
be disqualified from the event. It is very important that
each team find the questions and materials in the same order
as all other teams.
type of event is usually slower to grade and this must be
considered when preparing the event.
method is very similar to the more typical test that
students are accustomed to BUT should include applications
and hands on as much as possible. Science Olympiad
discourages paper and pencil testing that resembles tests
given in a classroom setting.
type of event preparation should also include graphs,
diagrams to interpret, observations to make about a set up
of some type, interpret information presented in a video,
questions about a demonstration that might be performed for
the entire group, etc. This requires more preparation as far
as copies of the event, etc.
student or team of students will sit in one location for the
duration of the contest. All of the questions and materials
that they will use are at that location. They may be
provided with an answer sheet so that they do not mark on
the questions or other materials.
event supervisor should design enough questions for the
event period, an answer sheet and key. Make sure that you
know the number of teams in advance, so that there will be
enough copies and locations for the teams to sit.
team must have all of the questions, pictures, specimens,
etc at their disposal.
these events are completed it is important to get a team of
assistants to help you score the answer sheets as quickly as
possible. We are requesting that all Event Supervisors
recruit their own volunteers. If you need help finding
volunteers, please contact us immediately.
Set Up Format
method is something of a combination of the first two
methods where the team has its own set of materials or
equipment with which to perform an experiment or whatever is
required. While the team does NOT rotate through stations,
this is like that method in that each team has a set of
materials. Obviously this requires more set up on the part
of the event leader and should be a factor that is strongly
considered in terms of the room in which the event is held,
number of teams competing, etc. The event leader could have
3 sets of 6 or 8 identical stations, and the teams know they
must complete one station in each set. If more than one lab
station will be completed by students during the contest, it
is important to have multiples of each station so that every
team has the same amount of time at each station and no one
has to wait on another team. Therefore it is important to
know the maximum number of teams that will participate well
in advance of the tournament date.
Materials, tools, and supplies (such as water, pH paper,
reagents, etc.) are placed at marked locations for their use
during the labs.
Safety is a critical issue and student must wear the
designated safety equipment at all times in the lab.
is important that the event supervisor have everything
After the initial instructions, circulate throughout the lab
to observe students, answer questions, and provide for their
safety. It is a good idea to have an extra set for each
station in the event of an accident.
sure to warn students about safety and tell them that anyone
tampering with the supplies to hinder the work of other
teams will be disqualified immediately.
lab events are usually scheduled earlier in the day to give
you sufficient time to score the results, but it is still
important to get the results to the scorers as soon as
events require students to construct a device prior to the
tournament and others have students build a device during
is very important for the event supervisor to be very
familiar with the specifications for the device. Think
about exceptions and challenges to these rules. Make
special note of the events that require impounding.
Typically devices can fall apart of get slightly damaged
while traveling on busses. If a team shows up with a device
that does not meet all specs, generally event supervisors
allow them to make minor corrections on the spot (if this
does not give them an unfair advantage). Usually this is as
simple as something sticking out of the device that can be
tucked in or removed. If you can allow students to make
simple corrections (quickly) please do so.
device is unsafe but could be made safe by the removal of
some part or object, it is up to the event supervisor
whether to allow the student/team to do this and continue.
This must be done prior to operation. Whatever the call,
please be consistent. Do not compromise safety.
the team cannot get their device to meet all specifications,
then most events have a provision for them to continue to
compete if the device will work. However, none of the
devices that fail to meet specs are allowed to rank higher
that any device that did meet the specs. Make sure that you
are clear on this point for your event. If a device will
not operate at all it is still important to record that the
team did show up with their device and they should receive a
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR EVENT SUPERVISORS
Develop event management
will handle the logistics of the entries, impound,
competition, scoring, etc.
the National Science Olympiad website for helpful
information organizing and scoring your event as well as
clarifications to your event—www.soinc.org
if possible, with instructions to explain to the contestants
how the event will be run, rules for check-in, impound (if
applicable), etc. This helps clear up any uncertainties and
eases the burden of constant inquiries during the event.
must bring all required items to be provided to the students
as per the rules, you must monitor that they have any
required safety or other items, and that they do not have
any prohibited items.
If you need any supplies,
copying, etc., please let us know as soon as possible.
Bring your copying to the Science Olympiad office, Brown
Hall, Suite 20 (basement level) no later than three days before the event. To expedite
the copying, email your file to
are requesting that all Event Supervisors recruit their own
volunteers. If you need help finding volunteers, please
contact us immediately.
Events that require pre-built items
such as electric vehicles, robots, etc. Impounded items are
not to be left unattended. (In the past, others have
handled items another team has built. This compromises the
items’ integrity.) It is your responsibility as an Event
Supervisor to maintain control of impounded items. Also,
inspect impounded items closely and notify students
immediately if they are disqualified. Write down and submit
to the Scoring Room details for all disqualifications.
Please run your event within the allotted time period.
Students participate in many events and have a very rigid
schedule. Try to be flexible with students that arrive
late. If possible, allow them to compete with the
understanding that they must end at the designated time and
penalties may be applied (as determined by you, the event
Team members must sign in
at each event for verification they are on the team. Use
the back of your score sheet if there is not enough room on
the front. Students will be wearing wristbands identifying
them as team members. Team members should collaborate on
event tests (including written exams) so only one exam per
team is required.
SCORING ROOM IS IN FIDEL CENTER, SECOND FLOOR.
AS SOON your event
has concluded, bring your
score sheets to the Fidel Center. If you have problems
completing the score sheet within 30 minutes of completion
of your event, you can bring everything over to the Scoring
Room and we can help you.
Resolve all ties!
Supervisors must have tie-breaker questions or activities
identified prior to the event. Team members and coaches do
not need to know what the tie-breakers are. Essay questions
are not recommended to break ties.
Bring all test papers,
score sheets, sign-in sheets and other paperwork to the
Scoring Room. Paperwork should clearly show how the event
was judged and scored in case of questions.
in the area for 30 minutes after your event scores
have been turned in. This is necessary for any questions
that arise regarding the event administration and scoring.
Also, we would like for all Event Supervisors to be
available for 2-3 hours following your event (cell phone,
home phone, etc.) in case of questions.
available in Fidel Center Second Floor, near the Scoring
Room, from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. Please send a runner to pick
up lunches for your group unless you make arrangements by
the Monday before the event to have them delivered to your
Rule Clarifications -
Event supervisors need to
submit rules as soon as possible as we post your comments on
our website at
It is important to make sure that you do not change the
rules of the event with “rule clarifications”. The purpose
of clarifications is to explain rules in greater detail so
to avoid problems on the day of the Olympiad.
- Appeals regarding administration of an event submitted to the
Arbitration Committee in FIDEL CENTER, ROOM 248.
Teams have 30 minutes following the completion of an event
to submit an appeal.
HOW TO ASSIGN POINTS:
point for participation, 0
points for no-show or disqualifications
Include all details for disqualifications on the back of the
score sheet or attach to your score sheet.
your score sheet, please score all the way to 19th
place because a couple of points may make a difference in
overall team standings.
INFORMATION ON PENALTY POINTS
WRITTEN POLICY ON PENALTY
Event Supervisors, Science Olympiad Director or Science Olympiad Staff may
assess penalty points.
Any penalty points assessed will be taken from the OVERALL TEAM
Penalty points may be assessed for any of the following reasons.
students actually competing in an event (those who have
signed in on the sign-in sheet provided to Event
Supervisors) may enter areas where events are being held.
Spectator events are at the discretion of the Event
Observers, coaches, etc. should in no way interfere with or
give assistance to team members during the competition for
events. There will be a written Interference Policy in
which penalty points may be assessed. We also have written
policies on vandalism, cheating, and the use of cell phones
and other electronic devices.
student, coach, teacher, parent, or chaperone interfering
with, or disrupting the administration of an event, up to 5
penalty points may be assessed.
student, coach, teacher, parent, or chaperone entering an
event without proper authorization to do so, up to 5 penalty
points may be assessed
with cell phones, two-way radios, (ANY DEVICE USED FOR
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION) must have them in the OFF (not
vibrate) position during any event in which they are
competing. Students who violate this policy will be
penalized up to 10 penalty points.
communications usage will be allowed in buildings as long as
it does not disrupt any event taking place in that area.
Event Supervisors, Science Olympiad Director or Coordinator
may assess penalty points for violation of this policy at
WRITTEN POLICY ON CHEATING
Any individual who
cheats during any event will be penalized by
disqualification of the team from that event.
If a team, team
member, or anyone associated with that team (coach, teacher,
parent or chaperone, etc. deliberately takes an action that
impairs the ability of other teams to fairly compete in an
event, that team will be disqualified from that event.
If cheating occurs
by a team in more than one event, or in successive years,
the team may be disqualified that year, or the following
year, from the entire competition.
results in 0 points.
All details for ANY
disqualifications or PENALTY POINTS must be submitted to
Scoring Room personnel.