I'm pleased to announce that the second annual MIT Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2016
, on the campus of MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The tournament website is http://scioly.mit.edu/
. Registration will open in mid-September.
All of the team-friendly and coach-friendly features of the 2015 tournament will be back in full force. We'll run all 23 Division C national events, including lab and engineering events, with a schedule mirroring the national tournament schedule as closely as possible. All events will be written, reviewed, and run by Science Olympiad alumni currently at MIT, national tournament event supervisors, and/or former national tournament medalists. This means that coaches will not be required to write tests or otherwise volunteer at the invitational, leaving them free to focus solely on coaching their own teams. And, of course, competitors will get a chance to see the beauty and craziness of MIT with campus tours on tournament day.
We are incredibly proud that the inaugural MIT Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament attracted teams from 14 U.S. states, including many of the biggest names from across the country: Troy, Solon, LASA, Seven Lakes, Fayetteville-Manlius, Acton-Boxborough, Bayard Rustin, Columbia, Boca Raton, Archimedean Conservatory, Waynflete, and Chattahoochee, to name a few. We were proud to see that nearly half of the top 20 teams at this year's national tournament had attended the inaugural MIT invitational earlier in the year. But we're equally, if not more, proud to have hosted a bevy of new and up-and-coming teams for whom the MIT invitational was the first invitational they had ever attended, giving them a rare chance to field-test their teamwork and skills in advance of their respective state tournaments. On this note, I would like to emphasize that the MIT invitational is a tournament designed, soup to nuts, for all teams
, regardless of past tournament experience or past success. As always, we will strive to make every event challenging yet accessible to all, and we will strive to make the tournament process as easy for coaches who have attended zero tournaments as for coaches who have attended 100.
Early on, the founders of Science Olympiad at MIT decided that the directorship of the MIT tournament would change each year to encourage fresh thinking and ensure the sustainability of the organization. Thus, I'd like to introduce you to Stephen Tang, who will be director of the 2016 invitational. Stephen, a third year chemistry student at MIT, is a wildly successful Science Olympiad alumnus and was an integral member of the planning committee for our inaugural tournament last January. He is an ambitious thinker and a meticulous planner -- precisely the qualities needed for the position. Stephen will be the main point of contact for inquiries sent to the Science Olympiad at MIT main email address, scioly [at] mit [dot] edu, as I transition to an advisory role on the invitational planning committee.
The goal of Science Olympiad at MIT remains to uniquely enrich the Science Olympiad experience of high school students in New England and across the country. To that end, I hope to see you all at the tournament in January.