Are you getting ready for 2020?

How do teams prepare for the 2019-20 season?

There are many things you can be doing right now to prepare for the upcoming year. If you are looking to start a new team at your school, you should be thinking about the following:

  • Is my administration pro-STEM activities for all science students?
  • Are they looking for ways to get students involved in science?
  • Aside from me, are there other teachers looking for unique opportunities to support academic competition for our kids?
  • How do I start a team? 
  • The first day of school is September 5th. What can (or should) I be doing to get my students involved in the Science Olympiad (SciOly) program?
  • Who do I contact to get more information? ( Dr. Mike Cubbin at either or 631-664-7885)

If you are a returning team, the following would be in order:

  • Become familiar with the 2019-20 Draft Rules (Go to Events > Downloads @ the bottom)
  • Do you have a tentative list of prospective team players? (Start a Google Doc now and add to it when we return!)
  • If you currently have other coaches, start brainstorming the invitationals you would like to attend this year. (LISO is going to be important. Go to the PREPARE tab at the top of this page!)
  • Start gathering prices, materials, online documents, YouTube tutorials, etc...
  • Think about using to create instructional short videos to help your students get up and running!
  • And if you have any questions, please contact me!

These events can be found in the Downloads section.

These events can be found in the Downloads section.

2019-2020 E-Mail Updates

For your Reference...

Knowing how easy it is to look for - and not be able to find - an e-mail you have received with important information about competitions, and to keep all of our New York City SciOly teams updated with current information, I will be posting all updates I e-mail you to this page. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know!


Update #1 - Introduction

It is going to be a great year!

Hello Coaches,

Let me begin by saying that after almost 30 years of dedicated service, our beloved leader of NY City SciOly, Alice Kasten, has decided to step down as Regional Coordinator and has passed the baton to me. Thank you so much Alice for making SciOly such a big part of your life, and in turn, our lives as well. My name is Mike Cubbin and I am currently one of the coaches for the Bay Academy team and now the coordinator for all NY City middle school teams. As I have been telling Alice, she has left me big shoes to fill, but I will try my best to fill them by exceeding her - and your - greatest expectations. I hope you are all excited about the upcoming year as I believe it is going to be our best yet! I have two goals for this upcoming year:

  • Register at least 40 teams for the Division-B Regional competition in March.
  • To have at least one team of our best and brightest middle schoolers make it to Nationals this year!

The more teams we have, the stronger the competition and the better our chances of putting the NY City SciOly onto the National stage. In addition, the more teams we register, the more will have the opportunity to go to States since the number of teams chosen of based on the number we register. This e-mail is to introduce me to you and to ask for your help and support in moving ahead!

I have been involved with SciOly since a few months before the 2015 Regional competition, when I first met Alice and discovered her passion for having NY City students compete in SciOly. I knew that this was going to be a big part of my future, so I understand very well how you feel. To this end, I would like to keep wide open communications between us so that by the time Regionals roll around (March 7, 2020) every one of you will be as prepared as you can possibly be to head to States! Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

In updating the website and I have changed the domain from to (to distinguish it from the C-Division, or high school, website) so please change your bookmark if necessary. Some of the upcoming things you need to know about and that will be a big part of success this coming year:

  • Coaches Meetings - To prepare all coaches for the new season, we will meet at both a Manhattan location and a Queens location. You are required to attend only one of these meetings. You will find more information here (scroll to the bottom).
  • Invitationals - It is one thing to practice with your team to prepare for Regionals. It is another to practice with other teams to improve your game. The first, and closest, Invitational is the Long Island Science Olympiad (LISO) which will be held at Syosset High school this year. It is also one of the best for NY City teams to attend since we can get there using yellow buses (not coach buses!) I am listing all Invitationals on the website and will update the contact information as soon as it becomes available. You must register for Invitationals quickly as they fill up fast!
  • Test Trading - I will be speaking about this extensively this year at the coaches meetings (and even before) as it came to light last year that many teams were unfamiliar with the practice of trading tests. Our team and many others began trading tests extensively last year and it helped us to place much higher at competitions. I will speak with everyone regarding this practice at the coach's meetings, or if you like, I can send out a separate document detailing how to best go about collecting, trading, and creating your own tests. Please contact me about this and I will be happy to share any information I have.
  • Division A - This is the elementary Science Olympiad program. Many of the top competing states have elementary school "competitions" take place which is one reason why they consistently produce top winning teams Division B/C teams. At this year's Regional competition we are going to be introducing a "non-competing" Division A set of events to be held in one of the rooms at the competition site (if I can arrange the extra room and manpower). So if you know of any of the elementary schools that feed to your school, or if you have students with younger siblings who are interested, or if you would like to help organize this please start to talk this idea up a little bit and let me know what you can do. I think this will help push us forward as well!

I will be updating the website frequently so please keep checking to make sure you are up to date on all forthcoming information. If you have any questions for me now, please ask and I will be of any help I can be. If you have any ideas, please do not hesitate to "Reply ALL" (since others may either have the same question or possess a solution I had not thought of.  Looking forward to meeting and speaking with you all soon!

Best regards,



Update #2

Notifications for Upcoming SciOly Season

I have forwarded a letter to your e-mail regarding developments and changes that will affect the NY State (and City) Science Olympiad for the upcoming season. Please check your e-mail.

If you did not receive it, please contact me at


UpDate #3 - LISO registration

Long Island Science Olympiad (LISO)

You will receive this update - and the one that will follow shortly - very close together, as their timing is most important for the upcoming season.

On August 26th at 9am registration will open for the Long Island Science Olympiad (LISO). In the past some NYC teams did not attend because they did not know when registration opened and it was closed by the time they went onto the site. It is a great invitational to attend because you get to compete with top schools in the tri-state region, it is close to the city (Syosset, Long Island) and, you can take a yellow bus to attend!

Please mark your calendars. They are looking to sign up 60 teams (2 teams/school), but I have a feeling registration will fill up quickly. Here is the link for the LISO Invitational.

Though it will be soon, we do not know the NY State (Regional) registration, but I have updated our NYC website with all of the popular Invitationals that NYC teams usually attend (Bayard Rustin in PA registration opens 9/10), so if you have any questions about them or anything else, please check the NYC website or contact me.

** Hint - get on the LISO site at 8:55am! It will fill up quickly!!


Update #3b - LISO registration is open!

Register today for lots of local fun!!

Hello Coaches!

Two things:

1. As posted on the NYC website the Long Island Science Olympiad (LISO) Registration opened yesterday morning! LISO is one of our best invitationals as it is great practice for the teams, close to us (so you can take a yellow bus!) and your teams will get back all graded tests! Here is the link for LISO. If you have any questions, feel free to ask either me or the coordinator​ Brother Nigel Pratt at I hope to see many of you there!

2. I am attaching a copy of the Science Olympiad Summer Institute (SOSI) Draft Rules for 2020 to help you get a jump start on the season. The final Rules Manual will not be out until September 3, but I hope this helps!

** Keep in mind, if you register - but cannot make it - you can easily cancel your spot for someone else to fill!


Update #4

Lots of new things for NYC SciOly!

 Dear Science Olympiad Coaches,

We are about 2 months away from the deadline for registration and I just received word that 20 teams have registered with the NY State Science Olympiad about half of them have sent in their checks.

Remember, the new address to mail checks is:

New York State Science Olympiad, Inc. 4649 Whetstone Road Manlius, NY 13104.

Also please remember, a team's registration is complete only after the NYS Director has received your check. If you have not already done so, please get your payment in so that I know how many teams are competing and can begin assigning team numbers, sign-up brackets, etc. Teams whose registration is complete will be listed on the regional website once I receive verification from the State Director. I will be updating completed registrations on the website tonight.

1. The coach’s meetings have been confirmed. Each school is required to send at least one coach (though two would be great!) to ONE of the meetings. I will be sending out a Google form in about a month to see who will be attending which meeting. Exact dates and locations are:

Wednesday, January 8 - 3:30 pm - about 5:00 pm

Hawthorne MS 74, 61-15 Oceania St (south of the intersection of the LIE)

Thursday, January 9 - 3:45 pm - about 5:00 pm

The Buckley School - 112 E. 73 St  2nd floor. Note that there is no signage on the building.

2. The NYC Div B Regional website has been updated. Most of the information you will need, including Registration information, 2020 Events, Invitational dates, Event Prep strategies, past Updates you have received and more can be found here 

3. New this year….

  1. For the first time, we will be hosting a Div A (for prospective elementary school “competitors”) that will be held at the same day/same place as the Div B Regional. In speaking with very successful teams/coaches over the summer, it seems that a) Div A - not B or C - is by far the biggest division in the country, and that b) states/schools that routinely make it to Nationals all have schools that run Div A programs throughout the year. In the same way that Div C has a big advantage by having participated in Div B for years, Div A gives Div B that same jump start. I have been getting very positive feedback, especially from the K-8 schools whose younger students (and siblings) are wanting to be a part of the action! And anyone (even your children can take part in these events)! The final schedule has not been confirmed yet, but some of the events I am hoping to run are 
  2. We will be running the main 23 events and 2 Trial events (not yet set, though Duct Tape Challenge and SciTech Bowl look likely) listed on the website and on the back cover of the 2020 SciOly Rules Manual, which is free by downloading off our site or at the National website 
  3. We will be using a 3-time slot schedule. So instead of Odd/Even teams, we will be running the same schedules you see at Invitationals, States and Nationals (A, B & C). The reason for this is three-fold:
    1. More time slots will eliminate conflicts when scheduling events. So far it looks good.
    2. It will mimic States. This means no conflicts for those moving beyond Regionals.
    3. It will allow us to have 2, possibly 3, ALL TEAM events first thing in the morning clearing up later time slots - fewer conflicts.
    4. Every team will have the same overlapping of events (or conflicts if you like. I prefer overlapping. Conflict sounds wrong, while overlaps are just part of scheduling).
  4. If you have never been to a Coach’s Meeting/Weekend and would like to learn as much as you can about every event - in detail - I am strongly recommending you attend the November 2nd Pennsylvania Coach’s Meeting. These are very powerful days and will help your teams in ways you can’t even believe! (If you’ve attended one, you know what I mean). The information is here and you can register by going to the top of the page to Registration.

Even though we are ahead of the number of pre-registered teams for the same time as last season, we are still looking to register at least 40 teams  - for two reasons:

First, running all 23 events +2 Trials is going to take more manpower. We will need extra coaches/parents and adults to be Event Supervisors/Judges at each event. Some schools have already let me know they will be bringing extras along, but better to be safe than short of live bodies. In addition, I have been speaking with a bunch of Div C SciOly competitors (Div B vets) who said they would jump at the chance to help out with judging, grading and all around coordinating at the Div B Regional. Word has gotten out that I was looking for help, so these kids are coming from all different schools. So please put the word out, if you have some top former competitors (as we all do) who would like to lend a hand, it would be greatly appreciated. I will be sending out a Google soon to fill coaching slots and I’ll send out one for past students from your teams who would be interested as well (so long as they can make a firm commitment to be there). And since the Div A trial will be a “non-competing” round of events, we could even use our kids (who are really the best in town) to run these events on their own. They would love it and it would give them a chance to take the reins for once (with an adult to help supervise of course!

Second, by exposing these teams to all 23 events, it will give NY City program a greater opportunity to have one of our tremendous teams make it to an upcoming Nationals competition. North Carolina 2020? It will also be lots of fun and give our kids a more realistic view of what States (and possibly Nationals) has in store for them! And let’s be honest, the more people, the more fun!

That's all for now. Enjoy the rest of our long weekend and as always, if you have any questions, please ask!



Any typos are due to the old man getting older :) 


Update #5

Keep up the good work!!

It looks as if all is progressing nicely. Teams are registering - and paying, Teachers/Coaches & Parents are signing up on the Supervising/Judging sheet and our former champs are signing up to volunteer for the big day as well. I just wanted to make sure we stay on top of everything and so here is what I need you to do:

  1. Keep the date for the Coach's Meeting. All information is on the website - January 8th & 9th. At least one (but two are very welcome!) must attend. If you do not attend one meeting, you will be assessed a 25 point penalty/team. It happen to us last year, so yes, it does happen.
  2. Keep an eye on the website. It is updated often.
  3. We have about 25 teams registered (both paid and unpaid) as of today, 10/20. If you have not registered - or paid - please do so now. It is important we know how many teams will be participating so we can figure out how many medals will be awarded as well as finding out who will be supervising and/or judging events. These are two very important issues. I will be updating the list this morning.
  4. The B-Div schedule has been posted (in Downloads) on the website and I am also attaching it here.
  5. Forms - If you have registered and know who will be on your team(s), you might want to visit the NYS site and at least download the necessary forms. This is often down last-minute, but it doesn't have to be, particularly Vandalism, Medical and Publicity. These can be filled out next now, scanned and sent to me, or keep them in a folder and bring to the Coach's Meeting. True, you may gain/lose members, but better to be on top of the forms. They are critical.
  6. This year our goal is to register at least 40 teams (though I would be thrilled with 39!) Division C typically registers 70+. We can do this, too! You do know that Div B is the foundation of Div C :) I know there are schools out there who would love to be part of SciOly but have no idea what we do or why we do it. If you have a friend in another school who is looking to do something exciting and challenging for their students, please let them know about us. With (I think) almost 500 middle schools in the DOE, I know we can each bring in one fellow school if we try. The more the merrier!
  7. I am again attaching the Supervising/Judging Sign-Up sheet as well as the Student Volunteer Sign-Up sheet. Please look over to see what you would like to do. The sooner the better as I would like to make sure that anyone supervising or judging has whatever they need as soon as possible. And please send to your past Olympiads to recruit help for the big day! We'll need as many as we can take! I will post these forms in the Downloads on the website as well!


Update #6

Time Slots, Forms,

Hello Science Olympiad Coaches,
Things are moving along and will move even more quickly as we head into the holidays (Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks?!!) so I am providing you a lot of stuff to help you prepare.

1. The NYC Div B website has been updated effective this morning. I am posting all teams who have signed up with the state on the list and placing an asterisk next to the names of the schools who have sent their checks and whose registration is now complete and official. To date we have 29 teams registered (22 confirmed). Please make a note to remind whoever takes care of these matters in your school to give them a gentle nudge to send a check and make you official. The sooner we know how many teams we have officially registered, the sooner we know how many teams will go to State and I can assign teams into time slots (1-13, 14-26 & 27-39). And speaking of time slots...

2. On that note, several coaches have asked if I could let them know what time slot they will be in so they can develop their teams. Remember, now that we are using three (3) time slots instead of two (2), all conflicts are the same for each time slot - and even more so with Meteorology being run as an ALL TEAM events first thing in the morning. So go ahead and make your teams. I will be letting you know what time slot you are in as soon as we have the majority of teams signed up.

3. This year we will be collecting all forms on the day of Regionals. So this means you will be bringing ALL FORMS with you to the competition. I understand better than most how if you are a new, or relatively new, coach the "form" issue can be a little confusing. At our first year of competition five years ago, we (actually I) left all forms at the school and Alice allowed us to send someone back to retrieve them :) So yes, I get it. For those of us doing this a few years, we have had to deliver the forms at registration in a variety of ways:

  • Fully digital online (I don't know about you, but I found that way too convoluted!)
  • Collect and staple ALL STUDENT forms together.
  • Collect and staple ALL LIKE FORMS together.
  • Collect and staple ALL LIKE FORMS together - except MEDICAL!

Nothing can be more frustrating than thinking you have all forms set and they then tell you, "Oh no, we need them alphabetized" or worse yet, "You alphabetized them? No, we need them by...". Just so there will be absolutely no confusion the day of competition, this is be how it will be done on March 7, 2020.  We will have plenty of volunteers and so the easier you make it for them, the quicker you will be back in your home base - probably before the kids even get their coats off! So if you bring your forms in this order, registration will take minutes.

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM (nothing stapled):
Vandalism Form (1 per School) *** You may bring this to the Coaches Meeting

Student Final Registration Form (1 per Team) *

- Tournament Signature Form Code of Conduct & Academic Dishonesty (1 per Team) *

- Regional Tournament Alternate Student Registration Form (1 per Team) *

- Alternate Signature Form  Code of Conduct & Academic Dishonesty (1 per Team) *

- Participant Publicity Release Form (1 per Student) **
- Medical Form (1 per Student - These will be checked and given back to you) **

* These forms must be kept together. For example:If you have one team - Registration Form + Signature Form.If you have two or more teams -  Registration Form + Signature Form (team 1) then  Registration Form + Signature Form (team 2), etc...

** These forms must be alphabetized. I usually do this on the bus on the way there as students are always bringing forms in at the "11th hour". Also, make sure you have a few spare of each form for the kids, just in case.

All forms will be collected at the competition - not faxes, no scans, no pictures. Even if you send a form early, you would still need to provide the hard copy on the day of the competition. My e-mail is already busy enough, so I will give you frequent reminders so that you will not forget. Remember, if you don't have the forms, your team will not compete. No exceptions.

The forms will not be available for download on the NY City SciOly site. As per NY State regulations, this year the Regional Coordinators have been asked that all forms be downloaded directly from the NYS SciOly site. This way, if anything changes, you will be getting the most up-to-date version of each form  Get started now - Download the forms today and start filling them out (changes can always be made later).

4. The Coaches Meeting is less than 2 months away. I understand some coaches may not make it for the start of the meeting - I simply ask that you do the best you can.  We will start as close to 3:30 and 3:45 respectively (Queens/NYC) as possible, or as soon as the majority of the coaches are present. If no representative attends, a 25-point penalty will be applied to each of your teams. You may bring your Vandalism Form to the Coaches Meeting as I know these can take a while to have signed.

5. If you are receiving this, and have not yet registered, please do so soon. It is important we know how many teams we have so we know how many teams will be eligible to attend States. We have been informed that there will be ten (10) medals awarded for each event. This is great news!

6. I am once again attaching the Event Supervising sign up sheet as well as the Student Volunteer sign up sheet. Please sign up right now :) If you have not yet signed up to Supervise or judge, please be reminded that each team is required to bring two coaches (4 for 2 teams, 6 for 3 teams) to the competition to help run the events. Some of our coaches are wonderful about this and bring more than are needed. Thank you! But remember, sometimes - do to illness or other calamity - Supervisors or Judges do not appear, so those extras may need to be placed into the rotation. So please fill out the form today. * 

Remember, you are not writing the tests, you are only supervising or judging. Don't worry if you have never done it before. We will make sure you know everything you need to know to be the best Supervisor or Judge ever! And please forward the Student Volunteer form to your ex-champs. We really need them!!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. And if you are going to LISO, I'll see you in 26 days. I am supervising Food Science, so if I do not get to stop by your room and meet you, please say hi at Food Science! 

Best regards and have a very patriotic Veteran's Day!



Update 7

Additional Information

Well, it seems we all made it to the Christmas break. Phew! Now the big push is on to get our kids ready for Regionals. Lots of stuff here. Please read carefully and ask me anything!

* Coach's Meetings are soon after we get back from break. We will start as close to 3:30 and 3:45 respectively (Queens/NYC) as possible, or as soon as the majority of the coaches are present. If no representative attends, a 25-point penalty will be applied to each of your teams. You may bring your Vandalism Form to the Coaches Meeting as I know these can take a while to have signed. I am attaching the form to tell me which location you will be attending. Please let me know so I can bring snacks :)

Wednesday, January 8 - 3:30 pm - about 5:00 pm (CONFIRMED)* Hawthorne MS 74, 61-15 Oceania St (south of the intersection of the LIE)

Thursday, January 9 - 3:45 pm - about 5:00 pm (CONFIRMED)* The Buckley School - 112 E. 73 St  2nd floor.  Note that there is no signage on the building.

I am attaching the tournament event sign up sheet to this email. It would be great to have this filled in by the time we have the meetings. Even if you only have an idea of what events you will be covering, it would be best to fill it in now.

If you have not yet signed up to Supervise or judge, please be reminded that each team is required to bring two coaches (4 for 2 teams, 6 for 3 teams) to the competition to help run the events. Some of our coaches are wonderful about this and bring more than are needed. Thank you!   

* Please get fully registered. We have 32 teams signed up, but only 28 are registered. If your school has not yet sent in a check, remember that you can send in a personal check and they will hold it until the day before the competition. I need to have all teams registered by the December 31st. This is the deadline.

I am here to help you with anything you need or any question you need answered. This is going to be a great tournament. I checked today and we have 34 high school volunteers to help out (which is in itself unbelievable!) but I need teachers, coaches and adults to run events. I have juniors and seniors who have been doing Science Olympiad for 6 & 7 years and would love to be the Event Supervisors for events - and they will be judging - but the rules are clear regarding coaches covering events. Two coaches for every team to help run events and this means supervising.

Don't forget to tell your K-5/6 students there will be an "Open House" Trial Division A running for them. We have lots of high school Olympiads who will be running this and it is going to be great for the little ones!!

Doing this for a few years now, I know that NYC has the best and brightest in the state. Let's make this the best and strongest year yet! We have lots of material to cover at the coach's meeting, so if you feel you need to bring two coaches, please bring them.

Please fill out the attached forms!

Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy Christmas/Holiday and a Dynamite New Year!