- Established since: 1997
- Website: Official website
- Website language: English
- Sooklachar (Robin) Naidoo
South African Science Olympiad
65 Turnberry Street, Blue Valley Estate
Gauteng, South Africa
South African Science Olympiad (Administered by National Science Olympiad)
Three rounds - all administered by SA Science Olympiads
First Round (practice Round) - free to schools that enter - March to June
Second Round (Final Round) - August (first Week)
Third Round (Selection Round) - February ( following year) - administered by SASO in collaoration with staff at University of KwaZulu Natal.
Varies - up to 5000 - depends on schools and entries
About 2000 enter the Final Round
About 20 to 50 write the selection tests
MCQ in the First and Second Rounds
MCQ and or True False mainly
Sometimes some theory in certain years - has varied
In a normal year, students assemble at the University for a week of lectures and Experimental preparation.
Students are encouraged to do their work using the Biology textbook by Campbell.
They are also directed to use online platforms and u-tube.
Past papers are sent to them to work on their own.
SA is a very large country and our schooling year differs fro Europe - so we have challenges in bringing them together for programmes without a great deal of expenses.
Hence the training and preparation is very limited.
There are few special resources.
They are encouraged to complete their school syllabi, under the guidance of their teachers.
Past Olympiad papers are made available to them fo review.
The one week programme is usually run at the University and students get exposure to the Univesity laboratories - lectures and guidance is provided by two to three specialist Biology lecturers from the University.
The winners are offered medals and certificates.
There are no cash awards.
Those selected are offered team kits/outfits/colours
Students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 in Secondary school studying Biology
Usually the Grade 11 studentss write in August of one year and get short-listed.
The selectio test is taken by the group when they are in Grade 12 (Final year in Secondary)
Starts - January
Ends - December
4 - 5 hours
26 - 27 hours
The school are informed by pamphlets - Information letters and entry forms.
These are posted and sent by email in January and February each year.
It is also posted on our website.
South African Science Olympiad - organisation
- 2019: 2000 students from 150 schools (2.5% of eligible schools)
South African schools are not compelled to enter the Olympiads. It is voluntary and the numbers can vary from year to year. As a third world country, affordability is a problem as the government does not host Olympiads and does not pay for participation. So it is difficult to quantify our reach accurately.
Our Biology participation can vary from 2000 to 4000 participants from two grades.
It is very difficult to get publicity. This is limited sometimes to radio, TV (Once only), local newspapers do the students from their area when they are selected.