Science Olympiad is a national team-based science competition primarily for middle high school students, though homeschooled teams are allowed in certain states. Team members compete in groups of two or three in various 23 science events offered each year.
Science Olympiad has two primary divisions--B and C. Division B is generally for middle school grades (6-8), though a given middle school is allowed to have up to five ninth graders on its team. Division C is generally for high school students in grades 10-12, though ninth graders are allowed to compete.
Science Olympiad also has divisions A1 (grades k-3) and A2 (grades 3-6). It also has a funday for elementary school students.
In Division B and Division C, each of the events are categorized into 5 different categories; Life, Personal & Social Science, Earth & Space Science, Physical Science & Chemistry, Technology & Engineering, and Inquiry & Nature of Science. A complete list of these events and their descriptions can be found at https://www.soinc.org/events/2023-event-table.
Science Olympiad teams may only comprise of fifteen competing members, and as many alternates as a team wishes. A division C team may not have more than seven seniors. Teams compete at 23 events, typically all held on the same day at the same location. Science Olympiad holds regional, state, and national competitions.
Invitationals are competitions that do not count towards making state or national tournament. They are often used as "practice" competitions, and many of them occur prior to the regional competitions. These competitions are held by either colleges, universities, or high performing schools.
Regional competitions are held in states that have large numbers of competing teams. These eliminations serve to reduce the amount of teams competing at the state level.
At the state competition, the top teams in each region in a given state compete with each other. The state competition decides the team(s) that advance to the National Tournament. Smaller states have only team advance to the National competition, however, larger states, such as Texas and California, allow two different teams to advance to Nationals.
The final contest in Science Olympiad, with of the best teams from across the country competing against each other. The competition is significantly harder than most state and regional competitions. Prizes and scholarships are awarded to the top scorers in each event. The National Tournament is typically held on a university campus, with teams either flying or driving in.