Presbyterian College to Host 2025 South Carolina Science Olympiad

June 6, 2024

Presbyterian College will host the state’s premiere science competition for K-12 students beginning in 2025.

The S.C. Science Olympiad will be held on campus next spring, bringing hundreds of young scientists from across the state to compete in a wide variety of team-oriented activities.

PC president Dr. Anita Gustafson said the college enthusiastically embraces the opportunity to play host to the event.

“Presbyterian College is very proud to be named host for the S.C. Science Olympiad and we consider it an honor to welcome students from all over the state to compete in this prestigious contest,” she said. “We look forward to meeting South Carolina’s future scientists and providing them an inviting space to challenge themselves and each other.”

The Science Olympiad holds significant importance to the Clinton community. In Division B, Bell Street Middle and Clinton Middle schools in Laurens County School District 56 have won the state Science Olympiad 22 out of the last 38 years, including a 17-year win streak between 2003 and 2019. At the high school level in Division C, Clinton High School has won 13 total state championships.

District 56 superintendent and temporary director Dr. David O’Shields said PC becoming the permanent home of the Science Olympiad is a “dream come true.”

“Presbyterian College has always had such a strong science program and has distinguished itself even more by adding the School of Pharmacy and the occupational therapy and physician assistant programs,” he said. “Our community has really united behind the idea of turning the City of Clinton into ‘Science City, S.C.’ and I can’t think of a better place for that to happen than PC. I always think of the college as a diamond that is often overlooked and the Science Olympiad will expose students from the entire state to its beautiful campus and talented professors.”

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 now has members in all 50 states totaling more than 13,500 actively participating K-12 schools.

Each team of 15 prepares throughout the school year to compete in Science Olympiad tournaments held on local, state and national levels. These inter-scholastic competitions consist of a series of 23 individual and team events that encourage learning in biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, problem solving and technology. Events in the Science Olympiad have been designed to recognize the wide variety of skills that students possess. While some events require knowledge of scientific facts and concepts, others rely on science processes, skills or applications. This ensures that everyone can participate, including students from technology classes or advanced science classes.

The National Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education and increasing student interest in science. The Science Olympiad has been on the cutting edge of educational innovations for over thirty years. These innovations include an emphasis on high academic standards; demonstration of skills through performance testing; learning through hands-on, minds-on activities; cooperative learning through events which require teamwork; improved self-concept through success in achieving high standards; mastery learning of core curriculum goals and objectives; making applications and connections to the real world; and integrating not only the disciplines of science but the entire spectrum of learning.

The Science Olympiad owes much of its success to the fact that it was developed by teachers for teachers and their students, and because it embodies the best of all educational research and innovation. Regional and State Science Olympiad competitions are held throughout the United States and Canada.