Starting a SciOly team

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alczha
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Starting a SciOly team

Post by alczha » August 20th, 2013, 1:29 pm

I'm going to start a Science Olympiad team at my hs this year. I did SciOly back in middle school, so I get the gist of it. What I'm worried about is that no one will join, since we had a team last year but it completely fell through (and I wasn't in charge of it). And even if we do have people sign up, I'm afraid that no one will actually build/study and we'll end up embarrassing ourselves at regionals. The problem is that the only teacher in the entire school who is willing to be the supervisor says he doesn't want to have anything to do with this team (yet he's willing to be the supervisor...). So what am I supposed to do? Any ideas/tips/advice on how to run a successful and fun SciOly team?

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Re: Starting a SciOly team

Post by EastStroudsburg13 » August 20th, 2013, 1:45 pm

Well, if your school doesn't have a team right now, it's going to take time to become successful. My high school team first made states in its eighth year, and the first few years of its existence it struggled. If no teacher in your school is willing to put some effort into the team, you can see if you can find someone who doesn't work at the school to run the team. It doesn't even technically have to be a science teacher, just someone who is willing to hold meetings and fill out the paperwork that is required to run the team.

If you do find someone, then you can go building your team. You may not get a full team of 15, but that is perfectly okay for your first year. Even something as low as 7 or even 5 at regionals would be better than nothing. Even if you don't participate in all the events, the experience can go a long way in helping the team be successful in the future. Just make sure that your team isn't made up of entirely seniors so that next year you don't have to start from scratch. A big part of the first two or three years is just building the club and helping it find a niche in the school

Good luck with your team! :)

EDIT: In regards to fun, try to do things with the team that aren't necessarily science-related. (Food is always good.) If people like science but don't have a connection with their teammates, they may not enjoy it very much, but people who enjoy being around their teammates are more likely to continue with the team.
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Re: Starting a SciOly team

Post by ali941 » August 30th, 2013, 6:15 pm

Hi guys, anyone have suggestions for recruiting people? I'm a freshman, and I got a teacher who's willing to supervise, but there seems to be a slight dislike for freshmen, so... help please?
alczha wrote:Any ideas/tips/advice on how to run a successful and fun SciOly team?
As you can probably tell, I don't have advice for helping you create a team, but I basically co-ran our middle school SciOly last year. This is what worked for us.
1. Get all the logistics out of the way as soon as possible. Have them fill out a form, saying what events they want and the like. Make sure that t-shirts are bought and paid for, and get parent volunteers. Lots and lots of volunteers, especially because your teacher is distancing him/herself from your team. Figure out a cost for joining the team so you can pay for stuff. Assign events and check for event conflicts with the regional schedule. Conflicts are baddd. Mentors and sponsors are also great.
2. Make sure that they're committed. If they aren't committed, then there isn't much point in you trying to tell them what to do. Don't be afraid to tell them that it's a lot of work, and it's great if you can be there to help them too. At the beginning of every meeting, lay down expectations. Say stuff like "Today, we're gonna do blahblahblahb..." Show that you're in charge. Unless you actually aren't. Then ignore this entire post. Especially build teams. Deadlines + build teams = happy you.
3. Food. I think it's self-explanatory.
4. You need to have fun too. It's only fun when everyone's having fun. So enjoy yourself, laugh, etc.
5. Encourage everyone to help each other, even for different events. Create a facebook group or email group or something. Evoke a sense of family and community.
So, there's my semi-rant. It may help, it may not. I tried.

Ooh wait, almost forgot to talk 'bout regionals. Regionals, have carpools or something. If your school has their own buses, see if you can get one of those. Get a spot for your school ASAP and claim it. Be proud. Bring lots of food and volunteers, and always be there to help when you're not competing yourself! Show lots and lots and lots of school pride. Good luck with your team!
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Re: Starting a SciOly team

Post by Skink » August 30th, 2013, 6:43 pm

There's a lot to say on this, and, while I don't have time to write you an essay right now, I can tell you both myself and others have written a fair bit on this topic before. Either run some searches or do a little digging through this forum for like topics if you have time. I took a quick look and couldn't find the topic that I think exists somewhere, so I did try to offer you something. Everything posted above is good.

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Re: Starting a SciOly team

Post by alczha » September 20th, 2013, 5:12 pm

Thank you for all the suggestions! My next obstacle is to find a way to describe Sci Oly in a couple sentences so I can attract people that have never heard of Sci Oly and are completely clueless. What I have now is something like "Science olympiad is a fun, science oriented competition club. You get to compete in all fields of science, and build cool contraptions like airplanes and robots. At competitions, you can win medals and our goal this year is to get to state." I know this sounds really wimpy and it sucks. But I don't know how I'm supposed to explain Sci Oly to other people, since I've done it before myself. Help?

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Re: Starting a SciOly team

Post by EastStroudsburg13 » September 20th, 2013, 6:21 pm

"Track meet for science" is usually the best short way to describe it to newcomers.
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Re: Starting a SciOly team

Post by caseyotis » September 21st, 2013, 10:38 am

Hey everyone, I have a question and this seems like a great place to ask it.

If our school wanted to add a B team to our regional competition, how would we do that? And how exactly do we register for our regional competition? We've sent in our form to our state with the money, but what else do we have to do from here? And the first question. xP Thanks.
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Re: Starting a SciOly team

Post by alczha » September 22nd, 2013, 9:28 am

EASTstroudsburg13 wrote:"Track meet for science" is usually the best short way to describe it to newcomers.
I like that! Short, sweet, and to the point!

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Re: Starting a SciOly team

Post by caseyotis » September 24th, 2013, 5:29 pm

caseyotis wrote:Hey everyone, I have a question and this seems like a great place to ask it.

If our school wanted to add a B team to our regional competition, how would we do that? And how exactly do we register for our regional competition? We've sent in our form to our state with the money, but what else do we have to do from here? And the first question. xP Thanks.
Also, would we need another coach for a B team? I don't think so, but I'm just checking. :x
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Re: Starting a SciOly team

Post by EastStroudsburg13 » September 26th, 2013, 1:39 pm

caseyotis wrote:
caseyotis wrote:Hey everyone, I have a question and this seems like a great place to ask it.

If our school wanted to add a B team to our regional competition, how would we do that? And how exactly do we register for our regional competition? We've sent in our form to our state with the money, but what else do we have to do from here? And the first question. xP Thanks.
Also, would we need another coach for a B team? I don't think so, but I'm just checking. :x
Since New York is the main state that does the whole B/C/D team business, you may want to ask there. PA does not allow multiple teams at regionals, so I can't really answer from personal experience.
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