The National Science Olympiad

Dynamic Planet
& Meteorology Sample Exams

Hello.  I administered the earth science (Dynamic Planet) discipline exam in north Alabama from 2004 to 2010.  In 2014, I administered the Indiana state exam in Meteorology. Over these years I have met some wonderful students who have gone on to great places, including Georgia, Boston U., and the Ivy League.  The Science Olympiad really is a place for tomorrow's best and brightest.

In the interests of openness and fairness, here are my exams for the previous few years.  I always allow the students to take their exams home with them; I keep only the answer sheets.  In this way, students can discuss the exam with their teachers and friends, research their answers, and might actually learn science along the way.  That's the whole point, right?

Here is the exam from the Indiana state Science Olympic Meteorology event.

2014 - Meteorology (B-division only) - to be posted 23 March

These exams are the ones used for the North Alabama Regional Science Olympiad Dynamic Planet event.  Winners of that event advance to the Alabama State Science Olympiad each year.

2010 - Geology/Earthquakes/Volcanoes - here

2009 - Geology/Earthquakes/Volcanoes - study ideas are here

2008 - Oceanography - here

2007 - Oceanography - here

2006 - Dynamic Planet (Glaciers) - here

2005 - Dynamic Planet (Glaciers) - here

2004 - Dynamic Planet - I can't find the original!

Testing Philosophy. The Dynamic Planet event is always a middle and high school event.  You will notice that as a result, I always created a test that is identical for both groups, with additional, more complex questions that are only for the high school teams.  One advantage to this is that the middle school students (and teachers) have an opportunity to see the high school questions.  It also allows me to gauge the middle vs. high school teams--often, the scores are competitive.

Another major aspect of the test is the heavy weight on discussion questions. I believe this format is critically important, for three reasons:

  • Life is not a series of multiple choice questions.
  • Students must think critically and reason out a correct answer that is not sitting there already printed on the page.
  • Students who learn to write coherently and organize their thoughts will be better scientists.

    Some questions (especially in 2007) were provided by my able assistant, Dr. T. Jones. Ms. J. Paxton worked the event with me in 2008.

    If you have questions, please do not hesitate to email me.  I will be happy to discuss the questions with you, but "please send me the answers!" will probably not get much of a response.  Thanks for stopping by!