This may very well affirm that I am crazy, but getting involved with Science Olympiad is a great project. Several families in our co-op have decided to put together a Level B (middle school) team.
This is the first year that Science Olympiad has instituted rules specifically aimed to restrict homeschoolers (because we are so nefarious.) Teams must be composed of students that live in the same or adjacent counties, and cannot be from different states. This last provision is what is preventing our team from being a full participant this year. Our co-op, now in its third year, has a family from an adjacent county but in another state (here in New England our states are very close.) The national office gave an emphatic NO to this arrangement.
The Massachusetts coordinator, thank goodness, has been as accommodating as he can. He is allowing us to participate as an alternate team, so we are unable to get an official SO medal should we win an event, but we would be awarded a state ribbon. That's plenty good enough for us since we are unlikely to win anything anyway our first year. We also could not advance on to the nationals, but with only 7 students (up to 15 are allowed) we could never compete in enough events to earn enough team points to win.
The Science Olympiad has 23 events divided into 3 categories: study, skill, and building. Almost all the events allow up to 2 team members that work together on the event. The "study" events involve knowledge to answer test questions. The "skill" event has several stations in which both questions need to be answered and skills need to be performed. The "building" events require contraptions to be made before the competition that are impounded that day until the actual demonstration time.
Our team plans to compete in 5 events. Crime Busters, Food Science, Road Scholar (all skill events), Mission Possible, and Storm the Castle (both building events). I will blog more about each even as I chronicle our adventure.