Will there be CVESO for 2021?  

We certainly hope so!  Maybe in April?!?   As much as we would like it to be hands-on events/competition for our junior scientists, we will have to consider an alternative for this year.  Please stay tuned.  Below is our FAQs from last year.  Join our mailing list if you are interested.

Science Olympiad Mailing List


The Team

  • What if I don’t have 6 students to form a team?  There is no rule that governs the minimum number of students on a team, but 6 is the maximum number.  A team could be formed with 4 or 5 students, but then some events will not have the full set of 2 students and the team will be at a competitive disadvantage.  
  • Can a team have alternate team members?  There are no alternates at the elementary level, so if a child is ill or otherwise not able to attend on the day of the competition, the team will either have to reshuffle students or drop events.  
  • My child only wants to do one or two subjects.  Can she/he still join the team?  This is variable and up to agreement between the other families on the team.
  • Will my child be guaranteed his/her choice of subjects/events?  It is up to the head coach to work with the students to decide which students will do what events.  There are many ways of doing this, for example an “NFL draft,” where students draw priority numbers out of a hat and then have the students take turns #1-6 choosing one event at a time and looping back to the next “draft round” until all events are filled.  The coach will do their best to assign subjects from their top choices but there is no guarantee that they will get to do every event they wish.

Registration and Costs

  • How long does Science Olympiad last?  Teams will be formed by early January.  Teams will receive their rules shortly after registration. Weekly meetings will begin immediately until competition day which is on May 16th.  
  • When is the actual competition day?  Is this an all-day event?  The CV Elementary SciOly competition is tentatively scheduled on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at Canyon Middle School.   Individual subject tests will begin at 9 am.  Students should arrive an hour before their first scheduled test time.  All tests will be done by noon.  There will be a short break before the Award Ceremony.  Award Ceremony concludes around 3 pm.
  • How do I register?    There is no registration for individual students; you must form a team at your child’s school first.  The team’s Head Coach will register their team online at www.cvscience.us. Registration opens on December 20th.
  • How much is registration? Is it refundable?  The registration fee is $100 per team, to be divided between the 6 members of the team.  The fee is due two weeks after registration and not refundable after Feb 1, 2020.  If one of the team members has financial hardship paying the fee, email sciencecastrovalley@gmail.com and a waiver can be granted.  The fee covers costs of entering the competition but not learning or building materials — that is to be split among the team members.
  • Where do I send the registration fee and the signed forms?  Head coaches, drop off or mail checks to Castro Valley Science  at 3641 Corte Rubiolo, Castro Valley 94546.  Please make checks payable to “Castro Valley Science”.  Signed Megan’s Law forms are required for all event coaches from CVUSD schools; turn these into the school office.
  • What other costs are there?  Some other costs that teams may incur include costs of team T-shirts, materials for build/lab events, and pizza for the day of the competition.  
  • Can non-Castro Valley schools participate?  Yes!  We will allow non-CV schools to register on Dec 20, but they will be on a waiting list until Jan 8, at which point they will be allowed in if space permits (max 32 teams total).  Teams must also adhere to the participant rules (max 6 students, 5th grade is the upper grade level, all kids must attend the same school).  Homeschooled kids can also participate, they should be up to 5th-grade equivalent (e.g., born after 12/31/2007) but the restriction of being from the same school is obviously lifted.


  • I’ve been asked to be a Head Coach.  What do I need to do?  The head coach is primarily responsible for the following things:
    • Collect money from the other members to pay for the $100 registration fee.  It might be good to create an overall team budget and collect one sum from each parent to cover team registration, t-shirt, and pizza on day of the event…. about $50 per child should do it.
    • Register the team online starting 12/20.  
    • Decide which kids will do which events.  This can be done in a variety of ways, see the last point on “The Team” section
    • Submit any rules clarifications via email to sciencecastrovalley@gmail.com
    • Decide whether or not to do team T-shirts and getting the kids to submit designs for it and ordering them (or delegating this) for delivery before the competition.
    • Making sure everybody knows what to do and where to be on the day of the competition, organizing lunch and snacks. 
    • Be  the main contact for CVESO and communicate all information to the team members/families.
  • I’ve been asked to be an Event Coach.  What do I need to do?  Event coaches will meet regularly with the 2 students assigned to that event (once per week is suggested, but this is subject to your personal schedule).  Read the rules, and help the kids build, practice, and study the things the rules expect the kids to do in the competition.  In build events, try to guide the kids and spur them to ask questions rather than doing the work for them.  See the “Preparing for Events” section below. (Megan’s Law Form required.)

Preparing for Events

  • When and where do meetings take place?  Meetings will take place at the convenience of the event coaches, either after school, in the evenings or on the weekends.  Event coaches are mostly parents who have regular day jobs and will not be able to coach during the weekdays.  Some meetings could be held at school, at the Castro Valley library, or at the coach’s house.  Build teams may have access Canyon gym to build and practice on weekends in February.  Also, you may request use of your school or church gym.
  • How long is each meeting?  Meetings typically last one hour per subject each week.  If you join 3 events, you will spend roughly 3 hours a week studying, experimenting, building, etc.  Build events might use more time, depending on what’s going on.
  • What days are the meetings?  Can you choose the days and times?  The meeting time will be set by the event coach.  Meetings could be held weekdays after school, evenings or weekends.  Please be sure to let your coach know what times you are available.  Coaches are volunteering their personal time to coach the kids.  Please be flexible and work with your coach to find a time that will work out for everyone.
  • What if my child can’t make the meeting time for his/her assigned subject?  Because the teams are small, meetings will usually consist of your child plus one other student; chances are you will be able to find a mutually agreeable time to meet.  However, if your child absolutely can’t make the weekly meeting time, let your head coach know ASAP.   They could try to switch your child to another subject that will work out better with your schedule.
  • I have questions about what the rules mean.  Submit your questions  and rule clarifications HERE.   Answers will be posted on the website within 2 weeks of submission.  All clarifications must be submitted by the Head Coach only.

The Competition

  • What are the events?  Events will be announced on December 20, 2019.  Patience is a virtue!
  • What is a study/lab/build event?  A study event is one where the students study material and then take a test on the day of the competition.  A lab event is one that requires the students to perform a task(s) as part of the competition; a test may be required as well.  A build event is one in which the students design and build a device that is tested during the competition.
  • Where can I find the Rule Book?  The rule book will be provided via email to the head coach after the team has registered.  Teams who have registered are asked to please not share rules with unregistered teams.
  • How does team scoring work?  For each event, every team will be force-ranked from 1st place to Nth place (where N is the number of teams).  Each team receives the corresponding number of points depending on how they placed.  Teams not participating in that event receive N+1 points.  At the end of all events, the points are added up and the lowest point total will be declared the winner of the overall competition.

If you have specific questions that were not answered on this page, please email us at  sciencecastrovalley@gmail.com.