Updated: February 10, 2014
So, you want to be a facilitator?
First, some questions you probably have.
1) What is Science Olympiad?
Science Olympiad is a nationwide competition for junior and senior high
students. These students compete in a series of STEM (science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics) events to test their
competency in the sciences. Teams are comprised of 15 students, with
Division B teams having students in grades 6-9 and Division C teams
having students in grades 9-12.
The teams coming to the state competition have qualified for the event
by being in the top 4 or 5 at a regional competition. The top ranked team in
Division B and Division C will represent North Dakota at the national
competition held at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, May 16-17, 2014.
2) What do you need me to do?
We have a number of different volunteer opportunities. The most
important is that of a lead facilitator, but we also need help with
co-facilitating, running, and other miscellaneous tasks.
3) What's a lead facilitator?
First of all, being a lead facilitator is a non-trivial amount of work.
We don't want to scare you off, but we want to make sure you understand
that it can require quite a bit of effort on your part.
As lead facilitator, you'll:
- Read the event description carefully. You'll end up becoming an expert
in the event so that you're able to answer questions during the event.
- If the event calls for it, you'll need to create a test based on
the event description. You can get copies done by bringing your test to Ruth
Ann in FLC 314A.
- If the event calls for it, gather supplies that you'll need to
complete the event. For example, some events require that you need to
build a model beforehand or create a track using tape or get sand to use
to break boomilevers with. We have a *lot* of supplies on hand at FLC 316A,
come stop by and see if we have it before you go buy it. If you do need
to buy something, we can reimburse you. Just ask first.
- Be the primary contact for your event. If we have questions or
concerns about your event, we'll try to e-mail or call you to figure out
what's going on. You'll also lead any co-facilitators you have to help
you create and run the event.
4) That sounds like too much, what is a co-facilitator? Or a runner?
A co-facilitator is someone who assists the day of the event. This could
be grading tests, running stopwatches, measuring/weighing/qualifying
objects or anything else. The lead facilitator may ask you to assist in
making the test. You'll need to contact him or her. (If you need contact
information, let me know, and I'll get it to you ASAP)
We also need people to run donuts out to the rooms for the facilitators
and to bring score sheets from FLC 314E to the BBFH during the award
ceremony. In that case, sign up for Generic Helper on our volunteer
5) So, how does this all work?
I'm going to split this into three sections. What you do before, during,
and after the event. This is mostly for lead facilitators, but
co-facilitators may want to follow along.
Before the event:
During the event:
- Check the
schedule for when your event is and where it will be held
- Some events go all day, some have smaller time frames
- If you've registered as a facilitator or helper, we'll let you
know if anything changes between now and the Olympiad
- Before April 13, do a complete run through of your event.
- This assures that you know how it operates, that you have all of
the materials at hand and that you have knowledge of the rules in the
event of questions, and assures yourself that you have enough help.
- There may be supplemental materials available for your event at
the national SO web site. Go to Event
on the left hand side, then 2014
Division B or C events and your event should be listed.
- Bring any test you have to FLC 314 to be copied
- E-mail a copy of the test and key to Otto or Guy
- MAKE SURE THE TEST IS EASY TO GRADE -- There is a awards ceremony
from 3:30-5. We'd like them all done
and scored before 4. If you think you won't be able to finish grading in
time, bring the test to FLC 314, we can help.
- Between April 21-24, come to FLC 316A and pick up your "event
In it will be signs, schedules, score sheets, and an event description.
- You'll put up the signs outside of the building the day before (or
the morning of) your event. For some of the students, this will be their
first visit to NDSU. We want to leave a good impression.
After the event:
- Get to your room a little early to make sure everything is ready
you (room unlocked, etc)
- The most important part of the event is grading.
We used a
powerpoint presentation to show how to grade your event on
- As students come into your event, you'll have them sign in on
sheet (see slide 2)
- Make sure they are wearing a wristband or they will not be eligible to participate!
- After they finish, you'll put each teams score in the right hand
column (see slide 3) There can be no ties, so either add a tie breaker
question at the end of your test, or select a couple of questions that
will be used as the tiebreaker (make sure you tell the students which
questions will be used as tiebreakers) If your event does not involve a
test, the rules will stipulate how you should deal with ties.
- Next, you start scoring. Give 0 points to teams that do not sign
in (see slide 4)
- Give 1 point to those students who only signed in (and did not
take your test or participate in the event) (see slide 5)
- Otherwise, take the team who got the highest score on your exam
and give them 24 points, the second highest score gets 23 points, etc.
(See slide 6) Again, there can be no ties in rank.
- After you've completed your score sheet, bring it to Nem in FLC
314E AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. He'll type in your scores for you and give you
a little present for helping us out. Make sure you bring any tests and
any materials you had from the event and leave them with Nem.
- Make sure you return all supplies you borrowed to FLC 316A right
after you're event.
- On the Monday after Olympiad, we may contact you with questions
about your event. (Teams are given until Monday at 4:00 pm to appeal the
scores we have for them) This doesn't happen very often and usually we
can figure it out, but if we have any questions, don't be surprised if
we call you.
I gave a letter to all of the Science Olympiad facilitators.
It has our phone numbers on it, in case of a problem
during the event. Call Dr. Sawicki (Adjudicator) if you have any
questions about rule interpretation. If you need a copy of this letter,
Facilitators are responsible for conducting the event according to the
Current Science Olympiad Rules exactly as printed in the current Rules
Manual or PDF supplied. Do not assume that they are the same as last
year. Please read them carefully. This is your event, you can run it how
you see fit, as long as it follows those Rules Manual/PDF. You are not
required to let coaches or teachers or parents into the event area. In
fact, it would be much easier on you if you did not. It is much easier to run
a smooth event and keep things fair without them. If you have problems enforcing any
rules or have any questions, just call Guy or myself the day of the
event and we can come over and work things out.
If you haven't already, sign up for one of the events at our our volunteer
page We'll get you in touch with the lead facilitator (if there is
one) and send you information about the event.
Finally, thank you so much for volunteering. It's always amazing how our
campus community comes together for events like this. The participants
always have a blast and will remember this event and NDSU for years to
come. If you have any questions, just let me or Guy know. My contact
information is below.
Co-Director, ND Science Olympiad
Center for Science & Mathematics Education
North Dakota State University
FLC 316A Dept 2780
PO Box 6050
Fargo ND 58108-6050
Science Olympiad: http://www.ndsu.edu/olympiad/
Center for Science & Math: http://www.ndsu.edu/csme/
CS Dept: http://cs.ndsu.edu/