Tower Heights Science Olympiad

Tower Heights Science Olympiad (THSO) had a great 2023/2024 season earning 8th Place Overall Team at the Ohio Science Olympiad State Tournament. THSO will be back for the 2024/2025 season in no time. 

Interested in THSO? Watch ParentSquare or email the team coach for information on our upcoming Parent & Student Information Meeting (to be scheduled) the last week of August 2024. The team will form and then begin practices mid- September 2024.

Archived Notes from the Coach

March 17, 2024

CONGRATULATIONS

Congratulations to the Tower Heights Science Olympiad Team on their 1st Place Finish at the Western Ohio Regional Science Olympiad Tournament!


Their accomplishment earns them a trip to compete at the Ohio State Science Olympiad state tournament on April 27th, at The Ohio State University.


STATE TEAM SELECTION

I have been impressed with every one of the students this year. I wish I could take all of you to the state tournament, but only one team of 15 students is allowed to compete per school. As such, I created a structure that I've communicated throughout the year, known as the Coaches' Expectations. 


That structure is:


a.      Event Knowledge (overall): Students who generally have a passion for the content of their event often spend extra time learning all they can about it.

b.     Practice Participation/Consistency: I'm interested in the level of effort by each student to show up, engage, and help others during practices.

c.      Practice Focus/Following Directions: I'm interested in whether the competitors are here because they want to learn and compete well, versus students that prefer to goof around.

d.     Event Coach Inputs: I weigh your inputs when building the competition schedule, but won't always be able to put your top recommendation into your event based on the other prioritization considerations and event conflicts.

e.      Grade Level: The more experienced competitors tend to be, but not always are, the older students that have past years' Science Olympiad experience. This is one factor I look at (experience), but age and grade are only one of these many criteria. Being an older student is not a guarantee to compete, though in many cases does mean emphasized consideration.

f.      Event Participation: This is based on competitors' desires to compete in certain events and their performance in tournament events.

g.     Attitude: This is a big make or break. I am going to continuously encourage positive attitudes and high standards of competitive respectfulness throughout the season. A student's attitude towards Science Olympiad, their teammates, their coaches, and their competition can tip the scales either way on whether I roster them or not.

h.     Teamwork: Another big make or break. Our team absolutely requires our team members to work together and help each other. This applies to all competitors. Though we compete in individual events as student pairs (or trios), all individual effort contributes to team accomplishments.

i.      Conduct/Behavior: We are setting high standards for conduct and behavior and I will be continuously encouraging supportive, respectful, helpful, and good-natured conduct and behavior. Sometimes, there are concerns that need to be addressed. The student code of conduct that every student will review and sign contains some of the boundaries and consequences for unacceptable conduct and behavior. Those will be handled as needed. For this criteria, I'm interested in how well (or not well) each competitor is embracing our push towards teamwork and supportiveness towards their fellow competitors, and their personal responsibility for respectful actions. 

j.      Mentorship of Younger Students: It is absolutely critical for a high-performing team to continuously develop the newest or youngest competitors joining the team. We strive for a positive, exciting, and enriching experience for all competitors. This is especially important for our newest and youngest competitors who may not have as many opportunities to compete (this year) as our more experienced students, but who absolutely contribute a great deal to the overall success of the team. Remember: this year's sixth-grade students just might be the 2026 and 2027 National Champions, if we get started on the right foot and have a program they can be proud of and come back to year after year. Our older, more experienced students are expected to mentor the younger and newer students joining Science Olympiad as well as set a positive example for the entire team.


STATE TEAM ROSTER


Congratulations to the following students selected to represent Tower Heights at the Ohio State Science Olympiad Tournament at The Ohio State University. Each of these students has embodied the coaches' expectations above and has worked hard to advance their team. 



This list of 15 will compete at OSU for the state title. The alternates will be available to sub-in for any of the primary 15 that may need to drop out due to conflict, coach discretion, or emergency. 



STATE ROSTER


Abram K.

Alanna S.

Asha S.

Austen L.

Benji S.

Brittany G.

Celina F.

David U.

Elias N.

Eliza T.

Jack B.

Justin V.

Sahasra S.

Susie S.

Tyler J.


ALTERNATES


Abby B.

Enya C.

Griffin P.

Jack O.

Noah U.


November 17, 2023

 

Greetings,

 

      I hope each of you is thoroughly enjoying your Science Olympiad experience so far. You have been working hard and soon will have an opportunity to showcase your efforts. We are approaching a transition point where the excitement jumps to all new levels: competition season! If you are enjoying practice season, then whoa…hang on to something because it’s about to get crazy awesome!

 

      You are still expected to practice and learn all you can to help the team, but our schedule is going to change up a little bit with the inclusion of invitational tournaments. These tournaments will take the place of many of our Saturday practice times. Our first three tournaments (Dick Smith Memorial Invitational on 12/2, Boyceville Invitational on 12/2, and Raymond Park Invitational on 12/9) are learning tournaments.


      Our four main goals for these three tournaments are learning how to compete well as a team, learning how to communicate effectively with our partners and coaches, learning competition strategies in a low-stakes environment, and learning how to win and lose graciously. Everyone wants to win, always. Don’t get ahead of our developmental process. I want you to focus on improving. This may mean improving from 2nd to 1st. It may mean improving from 100th to 95th. This may mean completing 100% of test questions instead of completing 90% of questions. The number doesn’t matter. What is important is capturing the opportunity to learn and to improve and using that to our advantage so that near the end of the season, at Regionals and States, we can then focus solely on winning.

 

      I expect each of you to bring your best effort to the competition. Your teammates are counting on you and expecting the same. This may mean you need to accomplish some self-study to prepare for your events. Let’s go compete strongly, learn some cool stuff along the way, and have a lot of fun!

 

Sincerely,


Matthew Kincade

Team Coach, THSO

October 12, 2023

 

Greetings Science Olympiad,

 

     We are off to a great start to our season. Now that you are getting the hang of the practice schedule and event activities, I want to you to focus on four key things that will help make the team successful. We recently discussed in our team meeting the concept of “Do Your Best” and how that applies to THSO. Allow me to expand upon our talk. There are four key things that define “Do Your Best”: Show Up, Help Others, Positive Attitude, and Gracious Effort.

 

     Show Up: This means being on-time and ready to participate in all practices and competitions. This is more than being present physically; showing up means being mentally and emotionally prepared as well, ready to face challenges and grow intellectually. This does not mean you can never miss a practice. We understand there are sometimes event conflicts, especially with athletics or family activities and that is okay. To show up though, means you’re coming to practice to practice! You’re coming to competitions to compete! So put away the phones, avoid the horseplay, and let’s practice and compete well.

 

     Help Others: This means to not expect the team to carry you but rather, expect to carry your own load and help the team succeed. Use your strengths to excel in your events and help others excel in theirs. Share information. Give your best effort in your event and expect others to do the same in their events so in the end all the events collectively contribute to an awesome team score.

 

     Positive Attitude: You are important! You bring a unique perspective and unique skills to this team. Do not focus on weaknesses or inabilities; focus on the strengths and abilities you and each of your teammates brings to the table. When you bring YOUR best, you make the team better. When you contribute YOUR best, the team is at it’s best.

 

      Gracious Effort: I expect all of you to be gracious winners and gracious losers. Be humble, be kind. Far more important than getting #1 is the gaining of everything along the way: character, friendships, teamwork, leadership, followership, mentorship, passion, career inspiration, knowledge, support, memories, laughs, patience, overcoming challenges, bouncing back from mistakes, critical thinking, resilience, strategies, communication skills, and so much more! When we lose, I expect us to keep our heads held high knowing we did OUR best and congratulate and applaud those that beat us…because they’ll deserve it. We’re going to make them earn it through OUR hard work though. Conversely, when we win (and I think this will happen a lot), I want us to be gracious about that as well. Let’s celebrate and applaud and cheer but let us also extend the same grace and congratulatory respect to our competitors.

 

      These four elements of “Do Your Best” are foundational to how this team operates. Let’s practice hard and compete well so that THSO is (hopefully) standing at the top of the podium everywhere we go! Let us not forget as we climb that ladder of success though, there is so much more to be gained along the way. Pay attention! You just might have a “once in a lifetime” experience with THSO!


 

Sincerely,


Matthew Kincade

Team Coach, THSO


September 24, 2023


Greetings Science Olympiad,

 

         Welcome officially to the 2024 season of Science Olympiad! We had a great start to our practice season on Saturday and are now in the fast march to invitationals coming up in a few months. During the practice season, we’ll be covering a lot of material to help you prepare for upcoming competitions. I want you to know that your coaches are here to support you and mentor you as you explore Science Olympiad events. You are going to face many challenges that we will help you learn to adapt to, face with confidence, and overcome throughout your time with us.

 

         There is an important note here though. Our coaches support and mentor you; they COACH you. Our coaches are not here to teach you everything you ever need to know about every event, ever! There is not enough time in the practice season to ensure each of you has 100 percent of your event content mastered. If you want to succeed as a competitor and succeed as a team, you should utilize every resource available to you to be as prepared as possible. These resources do include your coach. They also include things like textbooks, teachers, siblings, parents, the library, the internet, YouTube, agencies dedicated to science disciplines, etcetera.

 

         The 2024 Rules Manual for Science Olympiad Division B, located in our Slack workspace general information channel is your go-to resource to know WHAT to learn. Your coaches are the go-to resource to figure out how to organize and focus on the most pertinent to learn. All your other resources are available for you to explore your events to their fullest. Do not look at weekly practice as the sole learning spot for THSO; rather, look at our weekly practices as a place to bring it all together with your fellow competitors to help each other reach amazing heights, as a team.

 

         I am excited for what you are going to accomplish this year. I can’t wait to hear all those medals clanking together! Let’s lift each other up, and each do our part to bring home some GOLD!

 

Sincerely,


Matthew Kincade

Team Coach, THSO

September 6, 2023


Greetings Science Olympiad,

 

         It was wonderful seeing so many families at our August and September information nights. I am very excited about the upcoming season and hope you are too. We’re going big this year with new tournaments, new practice structures, new processes, new shirts, new lab coats, and new expectations! We are going to have a LOT of fun and we are going to collect a LOT of medals, because THMS has the BEST students and some awesome and amazing event coaches to guide them this year.

 

         If you are new to Science Olympiad, I understand it can seem like an overwhelming amount of information at first but trust me, it’s worth exploring. My goal is to inspire middle school youth to embrace, investigate, and explore STEM material while learning essential life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, followership, character, sportsmanship, camaraderie, and resilience to name a few. I will strive to clearly communicate efficiently and effectively with you, so the entire team and their families have a positive, exciting, and enriching Science Olympiad experience.

 

         You can always reach me by email at science.thms@gmail.com and I will share my phone number with you at our information night. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you have. Once again, welcome (back) to Tower Heights Science Olympiad! #EPND

 

Sincerely,

 

Matthew Kincade

Team Coach, THSO

THSO Registration Due Dates (Updates for 2024/2025 season Coming)

The Tower Heights Science Olympiad (THSO) program is for all THMS students in 6th through 9th grade interested in advancing their understanding and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). 6th-8th grade is open enrollment; 9th-grade enrollment is only for THMS alumni and by invitation of the head coach only. 

DONE     Initial Sign-Up form is DUE on September 16, 2023.     DONE

DONE     All registration forms are DUE on October 28, 2023.     DONE

DONE    Student Registration payments are DUE on December 2, 2023.  DONE   

DONE    Overnight tournament payments (only for students on overnight competition rosters) are DUE on January 13, 2024.    DONE

2023-2024 THSO Registration Packet (Updates for 2024/2025 season coming)

Step 1: Complete the Initial Sign-Up Form (Due Sep 16, 2023)

Step 2: Complete Registration Forms using GoogleForms (Due Oct 28, 2023)

Step 3: Download, Print & Sign remaining registration documents. 

Step 4: Return completed forms to Coach Kincade in person or via the provided upload link (Due Oct 28, 2023)

Step 5: Registration Payment (Due Dec 2, 2023)