WHAT IS ELEMENTARY SCIENCE OLYMPIAD?
Elementary Science Olympiad (ESO) looks different in different places, but there is one unifying idea: kids learn science by doing science! Our hands-on, inquiry-based activities challenge students in grades K-6 to build their understanding of basic scientific concepts, like measurement, force, engineering design, and energy.
Quick Links >
- NEW! Hands-on Ward's Elementary Science Olympiad Custom Kits
- NEW! Elementary Science Olympiad Materials in the Science Olympiad Store
ESO offers a lot of flexibility and can be adapted for the classroom, after school space, summer camps, and even at home! Some schools use it as a feeder program for their middle and high school competitive Science Olympiad programs; and some simply appreciate our 40 years of experience as science educators and want their students to love science.
Whatever your needs are, we are confident we can help. Contact Elementary Science Olympiad Director Shari Haug ([email protected]) for a conversation! Check our Elementary Science Olympiad and Your School brochure, and while you're at it, sign up for our quarterly Elementary Science Olympiad e-Newsletter.
Products & Guides
Our ESO products and guides feature hands-on activities that cover a variety of standards-aligned science topics.
- NEW! Elementary Science Olympiad Competitive Rules - 16 comprehensive events aligned to the Div. B and C standards
- Find it in the Science Olympiad Store now! Browse the table of contents.
- NEW! Elementary Science Olympiad Coaching Program - due to popular demand, we released this curricular guide to a successful ESO season. Complete with 38 Practice Plans, handouts, schedules and tons of information to keep your students engaged and excited about STEM.
- Find it in the Science Olympiad Store now! Browse a sample plan and the table of contents.
- Elementary Science Olympiad Fun Day/Night – 50+ non-competitive activities focusing on science exploration and fun! Great for school-wide STEM days, family STEM nights, afterschool programs, summer camp, and more. See the table of contents.
- Elementary Science Olympiad Competitive Tournament Rules - 90+ hands-on activities focusing on science learning and friendly competition. Great for the classroom, after school STEM programming, summer camp, and more. See the table of contents.
- Club Lesson Plans - contains 15 lesson plans and accompanying worksheets, designed for use in an after school program, Saturday STEM club, or in the classroom.
- Purchase here.
- Elementary Science Olympiad for All - contains 10 of our most beloved hands-on activities and includes accommodations for students with disabilities, including academic; communication; health; vision/hearing; motor (small and large); functional; and social/emotional disabilities.
- Available for digital purchase.
- NEW! Free Elementary Science Olympiad Tournament Guide - as a thank-you to all our program service providers, we're sharing this incredible guide - a one-stop-shop for advice, tips and checklists for those who raised their hand and said YES to organizing an ESO event. PDF download - Free!
Professional Development & Hands-On Ward's Science Kits
Start by participating in an Elementary Science Olympiad professional development workshop. Your school or district can run its own workshop using our Professional Development Manual and Elementary Science Olympiad In-A-Box kit from Ward’s Science. Our staff is also available for virtual and in-person training. Contact us for pricing.
Kits: Our partners at Ward’s Science supply hand-selected kits that complement the Elementary Science Olympiad activities.
- Elementary Science Olympiad In-A-Box - Contains materials and equipment for ten ESO activities, enough for up to 20 students. Purchase here.
- Elementary Science Olympiad Signature Kits for school or home - contain materials and directions for a variety of hands-on activities, and including: Metric Mastery, Bottle Music, Don’t Bug Me, Operation Egg Drop, Gummi Bear Long Jump, Straw Towers, Rock Hound, Monster Match, Save the Ice, and What Did it Eat?
More Free Resources
Check out Science Olympiad at Double Good Kids Day at the Kohl Children's Museum doing make & take Straw Towers > this free activity plan includes accommodations for K-6 kids of all abilities! Want more? Check out the Elementary Science Olympiad for All Manual in the SO Store
Practice our favorite ESO activities at home! These videos contain instructions on how to make and do Elementary Science Olympiad activities from the comfort of home.
- Mission Possible: Video & Instructions
- Save the Ice!: Video & Instructions
- Metric Mastery: Video & Instructions
- Write It Do It: Video & Instructions
- Straw Tower Challenge: Video & Instructions
- Gummi Bear Long Jump: Video & Instructions
Free activity for grades K-1: Fill The Bill, where students will conduct a simulation to find out which bird beaks are best at catching worms! Check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for great pics and info about birds!
Free activities for grades 3-5: Agriscience-based Lesson Plans and Resources for Students from Science Olympiad Partners NSTA and Corteva Agriscience!
ESO content is so wide-ranging that we encourage use in places outside of school -- such as park districts, libraries, nature centers and bookstores. Set up a Science Olympiad "Don't Bug Me" Day at the playground, catching insects and cataloging your finds. Have parent architects and engineers explain structural science with a Straw Tower Challenge. Or get a bunch of books about animals out at the library and host a big game of Science Olympiad concentration, matching stuffed animals to their scientific names or habitats. Have fun with it! We've even had requests to use our ESO content for birthday parties, and we say - go for it! Science is everywhere, and young children are fascinated by the way things work. Roll up your sleeves, crack open an ESO manual, and start planning!
National PTA Magazine article, "STEM: Use the Power of PTA to Make Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Part of Your Mission" featuring Science Olympiad.
Elementary Medals and Trophies
To order medals, see the Medals and Trophies Link and fill out an order form.