Science Olympiad 2017

Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony is a celebration to share in the excitement of the start of the National Tournament. This is an opportunity for all competitors to show their team spirit.

Streaming video of Friday’s Opening Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.


All teams, incuding those staying in on-campus housing, will need to arrange transportation to the Nutter Center.


The attire for the opening ceremony is casual and festive. Team attire varies. Some teams may wear their team shirts and fun hats. Other teams may dress in costumes based on a theme to represent their state or the location of the National Tournament. Some teams may bring their school mascot costume to be included in the Parade of States. Teams are encouraged to join in the festivities by showing their team spirit in creative, appropriate ways.


Download seating map (.pdf) and seating assignments (.pdf)

We are making every effort to seat all the students and at least two coaches from each team together for both the Opening and Awards Ceremony. This will depend upon a reasonable number of students for each team. Please be sure to leave room at the end of your team’s row for the students who are in the Parade of States. All others must sit in open seating and no other arrangements will be made for reserved seating. Members traveling with teams are not allowed to sit in designated VIP areas.

Parade of States

LINEUP for the Parade of States is at 5:30 p.m.

Teams should select a maximum of four students for the Parade of States; all other students are to be seated in their assigned seats.

Teams can represent their state and school by carrying a state flag and/or a school flag/banner. Many teams dress up to represent their state: “cheeseheads” from Wisconsin, “cowboys” from Texas, etc.

Please remember appropriate behavior and decorum in this ceremony. Don’t let the energy of the event lead to poor choices during the parade of states.

The banners and all materials MUST be shorter than 6 feet wide and 10 feet tall.

The Spirit Award will be conferred at the closing ceremony, but much of the judging will happen during the Parade of States. We will judge your students on enthusiasm, effort, and how they represent their state.

Team members will report no later than 5:30 p.m. and line up at their location in the designated area.

Signs will be taped to the wall with team number and team name. 

Bring all supplies and materials with you needed for the parade.

Instructions for participants in the parade of state. (Coaches, please be sure your designated students are aware of these instructions):

  • Teams will stay in the designated order.
  • When the Parade of States begins, students will proceed, in alternating order (stage left and right) along the front of the stage and proceed down the center aisle toward the back of the arena.
  • B Teams will turn left at the end of the center aisle and proceed directly to the assigned team seating locations.
  • C Teams will turn right at the end of the center aisle and proceed directly to the assigned team seating locations.
  • For the remaining of the Opening Ceremony, you will need to keep the materials with the team by putting them next to your team’s row in the aisle.

Swap Meet

Immediately after the Opening Ceremony teams proceed to the Swap Meet to trade/swap items they have brought with them. The swap meet is a chance for teams to proudly show off their state and to learn something new about other states. Be sure your team brings items to swap with other teams. These items could include hats, pins, stickers, pens, trinkets, or even oranges! Your chamber of commerce, local businesses, state visitors’ centers, and so on, are often willing to donate items. Everyone on the team should have at least 10 items to exchange and many students exchange more than 10 items! Students may not sell anything. Great ways to have parents help with your preparation for Nationals, prior to your departure for Nationals, assign some parents to collect items for the students to swap and make Swap Bags for all the students.

Keynote Speaker

Elliott R. Brown, Ph.D.
Professor, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Endowed Chair, Experimental Sensor Physics
Wright State University

Elliott R. Brown
Elliott R. Brown joined Wright State University’s physics department in spring 2010. He is conducting research and teaching courses in terahertz (THz) science and technology, solid-state physics, and antenna theory and technology. His THz research encompasses ultrafast 1550-nm GaAs photoconductive sources, microwave-to-THz interaction with soft tissue and biomaterials, THz resonant signatures from biomolecules and bioparticles, THz active-system biomedical imaging, and GaN tunneling and light-emitting devices.

In 2015, he co-authored a paper that won the 2016 THz Science and Tech. Best Paper Award from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Microwave Theory and Techniques Society. The paper applied some of the technology developed by the Wright State research team to better diagnose and treat eye disease and improve the success of eye surgeries.

In 2013 Brown was part of a team that won a three-year National Science Foundation grant to develop technology for a one-of-a-kind sensor that uses GHz-to-THz radiation to detect viruses contained in microfluidic chips by measurement of their resonant signatures.

In 2012, Brown and his team began investigating unique THz DNA signatures through a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) funded by the U.S. Army Research Office. Their multi-year grant identified several unique and surprisingly strong signatures from DNA molecules between 0.7 and 1.0 THz, and then in nucleobase molecules between ~1.0 and 2.5 THz.

In 2011, a research group that included Brown won a five-year contract from the Department of Defense to explore an electronic compound semiconductor that could lead to improvements in military radar. The group focused on gallium nitride, a “wide-band-gap” semiconductor that could potentially raise the power output levels of electronic devices and sources up to THz frequencies.

In 2010, he was selected for the Ohio Research Scholars Endowed Chair in THz Sensors Physics and moved his research group from California to Ohio.

Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from UCLA and graduate degrees in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology. At UCLA, he was awarded the Kinsey Prize for outstanding graduating physics student. At Caltech, he conducted basic research on magnetically quantized narrow-bandgap semiconductors for use in ultra-sensitive THz superheterodyne receivers and earned a Ph.D. in applied physics.

For his postdoctoral research, Brown worked as an assistant group leader at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a federally funded research and development center whose mission is to apply advanced technology to national security issues. While there, he explored THz and IR technologies, high-speed electronics, and novel electromagnetic concepts such as photonic crystal antennas.

Brown also did a stint as program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an arm of the Department of Defense responsible for developing new technology for the military. He oversaw work on microwave integrated circuits for radar and electronic warfare. For this service, he received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1998. Following DARPA, he was a tenured full professor at UCLA and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Brown is a Fellow of the IEEE and of the American Physical Society.