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For the past 34 years, Science Olympiad has led a revolution in STEM education.

What began as a grassroots assembly of science teachers is now one of the premier science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous standards-based challenges to nearly 7,400 teams in 50 states. Science Olympiad’s ever-changing line-up of events in all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines exposes students to career choices in the STEM fields, and energizes classroom teachers with a dynamic content experience.

Kentucky Science Olympiad (KYSO) is a chapter of Science Olympiad, boasting statewide science education for students grades 6-12. Each year, nearly 1,000 students from around the state of Kentucky make up 100+ teams that compete in KYSO programs. All tournament competitions consist of 46 hands-on events that represent the various disciplines of biology, environmental science, engineering, technology, chemistry, earth science and physics.



The Science Olympiad was created in 1983 by Dr. Gerard J. Putz and Jack Cairns to increase the interest in science and as an alternative to traditional science fairs and single-discipline tournaments. After successful trial Olympiads were held in their respective states of Michigan and Delaware, the Science Olympiad began to grow. The Olympiad has members in all 50 states totaling more than 8,500 actively participating K-12 teams.


Our Goals

Science Olympiad is devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. We hope to achieve these goals through participation in Science Olympiad tournaments and classroom activities. We also hope that our efforts can bring academic competition to the same level of recognition and praise normally reserved for athletic competitions in this country. 

Science Olympiad is committed to: 

  • Developing hands-on, standards-aligned STEM content with industry and education partners
  • Providing volunteers and mentors a platform to share subject-matter expertise in relevant STEM topic areas
  • Creating opportunities for student teamwork, problem solving and collaboration
  • Recognizing outstanding achievement by students and teachers
  • Encouraging male, female and minority students to enroll in STEM courses
  • Building a strong STEM workforce


Kentucky Science Olympiad State Office Relocated

In 2018, after many years at Western Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky made a new commitment to Kentucky Science Olympiad. 

Kentucky Science Olympiad, managed by the UK Office of Orientation and Outreach, continues to strive toward our mission of increasing K-12 and community engagement in STEM.