Frequently Asked Questions
Montana Science Olympiad is an academic competition to increase STEM literacy in Grades 6-12. Students prepare for months studying, building devices, and enhancing teamwork for the tournament on MSU campus.
FAQs from Coaches
Where is the code of conduct, and how will I know if my students signed?
Each student participating in Science Olympiad should sign a code of conduct that covers ethics and sportsmanship. The Montana form can be found here on the School Teams and Coaches page. The online form also includes some additional survey questions -- these are optional but do help us create a better tournament year after year. A code of conduct is NOT signed nor available through Scilympiad.
NEW for 2023: If students include their coach's email address when filling out the code of conduct, the coach will get email notification that it has been filled out. Be sure your students have your correct email address!
Do I need to bring a printed roster?
In 2023, we are asking coaches to enter their students' names and predicted events in Scilympiad. However, we still encourage coaches to bring a printed roster and give it to Science Olympiad staff when you check in for the tournament. This is useful as a cross-check in case we receive a test that doesn't have a name, school or team number.
Can students compete in more than one event?
Yes - students can compete in up to four events as long as they can figure out any potential time conflicts. We will work with you as best we can to resolve conflicts.
What can students bring to an event?
The rules page for each event is very explicit about what students may and may not bring. Please read it carefully, as each event is different. For instance, for some events students can bring a 3-ring binder filled with materials; for others, they may bring only one page of notes. Students may be penalized or disqualified if they bring supplies and equipment that are not allowed.
In addition to the event rules page, please also see the back of the rules manual for Chemistry Recommended Lab Equipment, types of calculators allowed, and eye protection guide. Other safety equipment or clothing restrictions might be mentioned in each event's rules page.
Teams not bringing the items listed will be at a disadvantage. The Supervisor will not provide them.
The MSU Bookstore is a possible source for items needed on tournament day.
Questions about specific events?
Please see our events page for updates. As questions and clarifications come in, we will post them here. The event table has asterisks by events that have a question or clarification below. Please also check the National Science Olympiad website for any rules clarifications that come in after each year's rules manuals are printed.
Can a school have multiple entries into the same event?
If a school has only one team, then they can only enter each event once.
For example, a team of 15 students may not bring two bridges for the Bridge contest or have two pairs of students take the Forestry test. However, a school can have more than one team (we call it a varsity team and a JV team; other states call it Team A and Team B, or other terms). In that case, each of those teams may enter the individual events -- so in this example, the Varsity team can bring one bridge and the JV team can bring one bridge.
If a school has a varsity team and a JV team, students must be rostered on one or the other of the teams and stay there throughout the competition. In other words, a student may not compete in Astronomy on the varisty team and Forestry on the JV team.
How do we pay?
Team registration fees can be paid online with a credit card or with a check (we will send an invoice after registration is complete).
Does the Montana Science Olympiad fee include the national fee?
Yes –the $60 national fee is included in the amount you pay to MTSO. You do not have to pay this on top of yourMontana registration fee.
What is the minimum and maximum number of students ona team? How many students from each grade are allowed?
A team may have up to 15 members. There is no minimum; however, students cannot compete as individuals. We offer different team registration fees for teams of 11 to 15 students and smaller teams of 10 or fewer students.
For Division B, a maximum of five 9th grade students is permitted. Because middle schools that do not have grades 7, 8 or 9 are at a slight disadvantage, they may invite any combination of up to five of their last year’s 6th, 7th or 8th grade students to be part of the team. Possible examples can be found on the Science Olympiad website.
For Division C, a maximum of seven 12th grade students is permitted.
Can our school have more than one team?
Yes, but each team must be registered and paid for. The fees are lower for a second (or more) team (which in Montana, we call a Junior Varsity team). You must register a Varsity team before you can register a Junior Varsity team. Your school can have as many teams as you like. The first team is called Varsity; all the rest are called JV. Please submit the registration form duplicate times to make an entry for each team.
Can our school bring three teams?
See also above. Yes. A school may bring a varsity team and two or more JV teams. Each team must be registered and paid for, and students must be rostered specifically on one of those teams.
Are 9th graders Division B or Division C? Can a student be on both teams?
9th graders can compete in Division B (Grades 6-9) OR Division C (Grades 9-12), but they can't compete in both divisions. Coaches working with 9th graders can put some students on their B team and some on their C team, but no single student can be on both teams. Learn more.
Can students below the grade level compete on a team?
From the 2020-21 Rules Manual: Students Below Grade Level Designations
Science Olympiad encourages students to participate in the Division that matches current Science Olympiad grade level designations. However, to support the inclusion of students who wish to participate in Science Olympiad, schools with grade levels lower than those stated in a Division are permitted to invite members below the grade level designations. Participation is limited to age-appropriate events (as determined by a coach, principal or tournament director) and prohibited where safety is a concern (such as the use of chemicals). See Team Qualifications for more information.
How can I register my students in Scilympiad?
for the 2023 tournament, we ask coaches to a) make a coach account for themselves; b) add their students' names to their school roster; and c) indicate which events their students plan to do.
Detailed instructions are here:
Visit https://scilympiad.com/mt (If you already have an account from a previous year's tournament, please make sure you can still access it.)