2,000 top STEM students coming to Wichita State for Science Olympiad National Tournament


After a COVID-induced pause, the 39th annual Science Olympiad National Tournament will be held live, in person on May 19-20 at Wichita State University in Wichita, KS. 120 Science Olympiad teams from 50 states and Washington, DC, will participate in intensely competitive science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) challenges. Among the players will be a Global Ambassador Team from Japan.

“Students participating in the Science Olympiad National Tournament represent the best of the best, often following career pathways in STEM and becoming leaders in their fields,” said Jenny Kopach, Science Olympiad CEO. “I am grateful for our partners at Wichita State University and Kansas Science Olympiad and for giving our 121 teams a platform on which to display their talents.”

One of the nation’s most prestigious STEM competitions, Science Olympiad is comprised of knowledge events designed by experts from government agencies, top universities and industry covering topics in engineering, physics, epidemiology, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology and coding. Hands-on and building events like Scrambler, Bridge and Flight are open to spectators for viewing. 

Streamed opening and awards ceremonies will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 19, and at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 20. See the full list of events, schedules and prizes.

Steve Jacobs of Faraday Studios and Midnight Science Club will give the Opening Ceremony keynote address. Students will also hear welcome remarks from Wichita State’s Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean, Andrew Hippisley.

More than 100 volunteers are still needed for Saturday to handle tasks such as time events, help monitor teams, add scores, run errands, etc. Sign up to volunteer.  

WSU will also host a STEM Expo on various sites across campus from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday, May 19.

In advance of the tournament, five $10,000 Founders’ Scholarships were presented to outstanding high school seniors Nosakhare Iyoha of Spring Early College Academy in Texas; Sani Deshmukh of Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota; Anu Iyer of Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas; Ken Husty Tungpalan of Waipahu High School in Hawaii; and Nina Kini of Valencia High School in California. See more about the scholarship and the founders, Dr. Gerard and Sharon Putz of Michigan and Jack Cairns of Delaware. 

As part of its Character and Citizenship in the Community (the 3Cs) and Smart to Be Good initiatives, Science Olympiad teams are participating in a national service project to honor the city hosting the tournament; Science Olympiad has set a goal to raise at least $15,000 for Arts Partners’ Generation STEAM, a Wichita-based nonprofit that teaches creativity through building and mentoring. 

“We are so excited about collaborating with Science Olympiad and Wichita State University in support of the 2023 Science Olympiad National Tournament,” said Arts Partners Executive Director Ellamonique Baccus. “To prepare youth to solve the problems of the future, we must cultivate creativity. We appreciate the support for capturing their vision.” 

Science Olympiad is supported nationally by Wichita State University, NASA’s Universe of Learning Astrophysics STEM Learning & Literacy Network, Avantor Foundation, Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation, Corteva Agriscience, Combined Federal Campaign, Double Good, Google, Lockheed Martin, NBC Universal Foundation, Ward’s Science, Amcor Cares Foundation, CDC Foundation, Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, Intel, Kinder Morgan Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the North American Association for Environmental Education, National Eye Institute, Texas Instruments, ThermoFisher Scientific, University of Delaware, Investing in Communities, National Free Flight Society, OnShape, SkyCiv, Yale Young Global Scholars, Code.org, Japan Science and Technology Agency, mHUB, Midnight Science Club, Million Women Mentors, MxD, STEMConnector and the USDA Forest Service. Local supporting sponsors are Wichita State University and Kansas Science Olympiad.

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling almost 22,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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About Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad is an Oakbrook Terrace-based, national non-profit organization founded in 1984 dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 STEM education, increasing interest and opportunity in science, creating a technologically literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers.