The Lance Crimm Award

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The Lance Crimm Award for Excellent Participation, more commonly called The Lance Crimm Award or “Lancey” for short, was a tournament-specific medal awarded at the 2014 Georgia State Tournament. Named after state director Dr. Lance Crimm, it was awarded to all B Division and C Division participants for courage in enduring and completing Write It Do It as well as to all head coaches for their exemplary attendance.

The award was created in response to petitions by various Science Olympiad students, coaches, and parents to give B Division students more opportunities to succeed at the state tournament. These petitions were written to combat the 30-year state champion and runner up in B Division, Solon Middle School and Beckendorff Junior High School.

On the day of the 2014 state tournament, it was decided that the award would also be granted to all C Division WIDI competitors and head coaches to grant each party more legitimate awards to list on their resumes.


At the student level, the Lance Crimm Award was granted in three levels for both B and C Division: bronze for the bottom third, silver for the middle third, and gold for the top third. Dr. Crimm suspected that had the event been run normally, the teams in each tier would have otherwise been in tight competition for that medal: the teams in 1st-8th were contending for gold; 9th-16th for silver; and 17th-24th for bronze. For that reason, he graciously decided to award medals of each respective color to teams in those tiers.

At the coach level, all coaches are awarded bronze medals for simply chaperoning their teams and handling logistics. Although many head coaches in the state like to handle one or two events, Dr. Crimm recognized that clearly not all of them do so and, in the spirit of keeping things fair, chose to award the medals for their presence.


The Lance Crimm Award is designed to look like an ordinary Science Olympiad state medal. However, the award differs from that design because it is made out of pure diamond and platinum. The awards are cast personally by Dr. Crimm himself in the basement of his lab, and diamonds are added by the English faculty members that run Write It Do It. Each medal is painted with gold, silver, or bronze lacquer after the addition of diamonds in order to make it not appear radically different from an ordinary state medal, the rationale being that all participants in the tournament are equal winners and should not be winning more than anyone else.

At the time the awards were granted, it was rumored that some of the medals contained traces of unstable isotopes of uranium since those medals in suspect appeared to look like the Soviet-era state medals.

(A Brief History)

At the 2014 Georgia state tournament, which was held for both divisions on the same day, teams were required to sign up in advance for Write It Do It and choose one of two blocks to compete in. Unfortunately, a scheduling error resulted in one block having about 30 teams from both divisions and the other having the remaining 20. The proctor was not informed that one block would have so many teams, so he and several volunteers failed to make enough kits for the builders- in total, only 25.

In order to accommodate the teams in the larger block, the proctor decided along with the state directors to have all 30 teams write at once, and the first 25 writers who finished would be able to have their builders write immediately. This decision caused many coaches to appeal the event because they speculated that the last 5 teams who built later had ample opportunity to communicate about the model.

Earlier in the tournament, there had been several issues with other events, such as Materials Science, Entomology, and Rotor Egg Drop, resulting in much anger among the teams in attendance. To conclude the awards ceremony, Dr. Lance Crimm, the MC for the awards ceremony, announced that Write It Do It was being thrown out due to the complications with logistics, which further infuriated the teams. However, he wished to recognize the competitors that had competed in the event by awarding them all medals. Additionally, he awarded every head coach in attendance a medal while waiting for delayed results. These awards came to be known as the Lance Crimm Awards in his honor.