Day-Of Information

Tests and keys may be found here.

Final Results: PDF

Important Documents

Event Information

  • We will be hosting all 19 of the miniSO events. Here is an exhaustive list: Anatomy & Physiology, Designer Genes, Disease Detectives, Ornithology, Water Quality, Astronomy, Dynamic Planet, Fossils, Geologic Mapping, Circuit Lab, Machines, Sounds of Music, Chem Lab, Forensics, Protein Modeling, Detector Building, Gravity Vehicle, Codebusters, and Experimental Design.
  • We will not be hosting the replacement events: namely, Digital Structures and Write It CAD It.
  • Because of the online format, we will not be having any trial events this year.
  • Building/design events
    • Events indicated in the miniSO event list as test only will be in test only format.
    • This includes Circuit Lab, Machines, Sounds of Music, Chem Lab, Forensics, and Protein Modeling.
    • Gravity Vehicle will be in test only format as well.
    • Experimental Design will be based on a specific experiment pre-written by the test writer.
    • See below for more details on Gravity Vehicle and Experimental Design.
  • Gravity Vehicle
    • Gravity Vehicle will be formatted as a physics test.
    • Students are not allowed to bring anything other than two standalone non-graphing calculators.
    • Covered topics:
      • Concepts surrounding energy: Conservation of Energy, Kinetic Energy (12 mv2), Potential Energy (mgh)
      • Friction and its equations (Static, Kinetic, and Rolling friction equations will all be treated the same: Ff = μN)
      • Work, specifically work done by friction (simply force of friction * distance)
      • Circular Motion and its equations/concepts (centripetal acceleration, a = mv2 / r)
      • Moment of Inertia and how it is influenced by mass and radius (there will not be calculations involving this concept)
      • Concepts surrounding gravitation: Law of Universal Gravitation (Fg = Gm1m2 / r2), Orbits
      • Rules and specifications pertaining to the construction of the Gravity Vehicle and Ramp
    • Things that are NOT necessary to know for Gravity Vehicle:
      • Angular Momentum
      • Kepler's Laws
      • Formulas for gravitational potential energy other than Potential Energy = mgh
      • Escape Velocity
  • Experimental Design
    • Experimental design will be based on a pre-written experiment.
    • Students will be provided with a list of materials, a short but clear description of the experiment, and data results.
    • Then, students will be tasked with following the typical experimental design rubric.
    • They will have to identify the statement of problem, hypothesis, variables (dependent, independent, and controlled), experimental control, write a detailed procedure (with diagrams), qualitative observations (use your imagination), calculate statistics (using significant figures), write the analysis, identify the potential experimental errors, write the conclusion, posit applications and recommendations for future use, and write-up the abstract.


  • Students can choose to take the test any time during a 24 hour window from 12:00AM to 11:59PM EST on February 20th, 2021.
  • Students will have 50 minutes on each test.
  • Students must follow the official rules on the number of partners for each event. Partners can use Scilympiad's convenient chat and partnership features to take the test together or use other means of communication (e.g. Zoom, Google Meet) to work together.
  • We will not be preventing students from exiting the browser in order to communicate with event partner(s) or utilizing online versions of approved resources as per the National Science Olympiad rulebook. However, cheating or attempting to gain an unfair advantage in any way will not be tolerated.

  • Accessing the exam
    • Students will no longer be able to take tests using their email and must now use the "Take online tests using Login ID" option.
    • Coaches must manually share the Login IDs from the roster (shared via email) with students.
  • Asking content-related questions
    • Students will be able to ask content-related questions to the event supervisor from 9 AM to 6 PM EST using the Scilympiad chatbox feature.
    • If students wish to take an exam outside of this window, they will not be able to ask any content-related questions.
    • However, there will be a Google document for each event that will be available for the entire 24 hours of the tournament with any clarifications or errors regarding the exam, which will be updated live according to any clarifications or errors that are found.
  • Asking non content-related questions
    • The chat feature on Scilympiad will be enabled which students can use to ask for help with any technical difficulties or general questions during the 24-hour window.
    • More information will be shared later regarding alternative communication platforms in the case that the Scilympiad chat has issues.
  • Technical issues and extensions
    • If your team runs into any technical issues (can't start exam, frozen screen, internet issues, etc.), please inform us (and your coach) immediately by emailing
    • Students should provide a clear explanation of what occurred. They will be informed by email if they are granted a time extension and will be able to work on their exam again for the allotted time.
    • Note: As extensions are manually handled, there may be a delay in addressing your request, so it may not be immediately granted.
  • Appeals process
    • Appeals can be filed through the Scilympiad platform by navigating to the Head Coach Dashboard > Online Appeal Form [under Tournament Day] > File a New Appeal.
    • Once an appeal has been filed, we will review it and notify the coach of our decision. The appeal form will be available for a 24-hour timeframe starting Sunday, February 28th, at 5 PM EST.

  • The awards ceremony will be held virtually on Sunday, February 28, 2021 on YouTube at 5PM EST. Click here for the YouTube video!