The Science Olympiad Student Center was founded in 1998 and has since been a vital resource for students in Science Olympiad looking to expand their knowledge of science and pursue related careers. Over the two decades it has been in existence, the site has gone through several theme changes, culminating in the version you see here today. The current site is divided into four overlapping sections: forums, wiki, test exchange, and image gallery. A fifth, the score tracker, was present in previous incarnations of the site.
For more on the history of the Science Olympiad Student Center, visit the Scioly History page on the wiki.
The goal of the Science Olympiad Student Center is to provide students participating in the Science Olympiad activity with the knowledge and insight they need to succeed not only in Science Olympiad, but in other science-related activities and classes throughout their educational career and beyond.
The most visible part of the Science Olympiad Student Center (also known as scioly.org) is the message board which allows students to interact with other students, coaches, and alumni of Science Olympiad. The ability to ask questions and receive a prompt reply has frequently been cited as one of the most important and beneficial aspects of the entire website, and make up one of the most endearing part of the site- the community. The scioly.org message board does not have a large community, but it is involved community, with members spread out across the country- and beyond- always willing to offer assistance in almost any matter.
The message board itself is divided into multiple sections known as forums. The most important of these are the event help forums, which allow students to ask and offer advice about each event in the current rotation. In addition to the event help threads, a question marathon section was recently added to the board. This section allows students to ask questions similar to those that might be on a test in more of a "quiz" format.
Other forums include a general chat forum for non-Science Olympiad discussions, a forum for discussions about tournaments themselves, a news forum, an administrative forum for announcements and feedback, archives for event help threads from previous years, and optional team forums, if many members of a team join the site.
For guidelines on how to effectively use the forums, look at this post.
The Science Olympiad Student Center Wiki is the largest stockpile of Science Olympiad-related information anywhere on the Internet. It contains information on every event in the Science Olympiad rotation, past and present. It also contains detailed information on historical and non-competitive aspects of Science Olympiad, such as previous national tournaments and how to efficiently form a team and study.
The wiki has been created entirely by and for students. It thrives on students taking the time to share their experiences in their events with other students. While a valuable resource for any participant of Science Olympiad, it can become even more powerful when you take the time to work on an event page and explain things in your own words. Working to explain concepts and ideas in a clear, concise, manner, actually helps you to understand them better yourself. Working to improve the wiki not only helps to influence thousands of students interested in science nationwide, it also helps you to understand the topic better.
Remember that anyone—even new members—can edit the wiki and make positive contributions. Some of the best contributions have come from people who are not as actively involved on the message board. While wiki markup can be intimidating, don't let that hold you back from sharing your knowledge and experience; every edit, even minor, helps to make the Science Olympiad Student Center even better.
A subsection of the wiki, the test exchange has grown to become one of Scioly.org's most popular resources. Housing tests from many previous tournaments at all levels of competition, the test exchange is a valuable asset to those looking to improve their scientific knowledge through a simulated testing environment. Using practice tests is one of the most effective ways of studying, and the Science Olympiad Student Center's stockpile of tests is large enough to keep wheels of knowledge spinning.
Tests on the test exchange can come from anywhere. They can be released from previous invitationals or other tournaments, or even written as a practice test by one of Scioly.org's own members. (Note that there are several cases in which tests should not be uploaded to the exchange, such as explicit instructions not to, or potential copyright infringement. When in doubt, contact a staff member about how to proceed).
Not every event involves taking tests—others involve constructing and testing various objects, such as vehicles or bridges. For these events, and some other hybrids that contain both tests and builds, we have the image gallery. The image gallery can be used to gain ideas for blueprints, or understand how various building concepts work in practice. Anyone can upload images to the image gallery- images are always in need.