National Science Olympiad™

OVERVIEW

The National Science Olympiad is one of SAASTA’s flagship projects. Since 2005, the now 56-year-old project has offered learners in grades 10-12 an exciting opportunity to compete in science with fellow learners from SADC countries such as Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
The competition comprises an annual examination in science (Physical and Life Sciences). The top national performers win prizes such as laptops and tablets.
The main aim of the competition is to identify talent, to encourage excellence in science education and to stimulate interest in the sciences. It seeks to inspire young people to consider careers in science and technology.

Traditionally, during the June/July vacation a group of 100 learners, who excel or demonstrate potential in the Olympiad examination, is invited to participate in a Science Focus Week consisting of stimulating lectures, excursions, industry visits and other fun events. However, due to Covid-19, there will be no Focus Week and no award giving ceremony during 2021.

ENTER THE 2021 NATIONAL SCIENCE OLYMPIAD

1. The entry fee for both the National and Natural Science Olympiads is R35.00 per learner per paper.
2. Learners can enrol for either Physical Sciences or Life Sciences or both subjects
3. All papers are available in both English and Afrikaans

  • Easy steps to enter
  • Examination & Dates
  • Educators
  • Price and awards

1. The link to enter will be made available here .
2. Entry fees: – R35 per learner.
3. Closing date for entries has been extended to: 04 June 2021
4. Special arrangements can be made for schools/learners that cannot afford the entry fee. Principals should apply via letter before by 04 June 2021.
5. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions: Officials: Ms Zinzi Madiope / Mrs Erna Taljaard  Tel: 012 392 9300
E-mail: scienceolympiad@saasta.ac.za

The National Science Olympiad will comprise of two papers, namely Physical Sciences and Life Sciences (Biology).
• Learners may choose to enter for either one of the papers or both.
• Minimum of 50% of the paper will be based on High School syllabus (Grade10 to 12).

 

 

Olympiad

Paper or Online

Date

1

Life Science (Grades 10 – 12)

Pencil and paper

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

2

Physical Sciences (Grades 10 - 12)

Pencil and paper

Thursday, 30 September 2021

3

Natural Sciences (Grades 4 – 6)

Pencil and paper

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

4

Natural Sciences (Grades 7 – 9)

Pencil and paper or online

Thursday, 21 October 2021

• Please to help motivate your learners to experience the thrill of competing with others from around the country in the National Science Olympiad.
• Help coordinate learners participation in this event.
• Only learners in grade 10, 11, and 12 may enter.
• Help your learners prepare by accessing Olympiad papers from previous years at
www.saasta.ac.za (click on “National Science Olympiad”).

Over the years, prizes and awards were given to deserving learners during the Science Olympiad Award Giving Ceremony. Some of the main categories are:

• The TOP THREE NATIONAL WINNERS
• TOP PROVINCIAL WINNER (Excluding top National Winners)
• TOP GIRL LEARNER
• TOP GRADE 10 LEARNER
• TOP GRADE 11 LEARNER
• The TOP LEARNER from SADC Schools
• The TOP LEARNERS will attend a science focus week during September/October vacation in Pretoria. Please note that due to Convid-19, this will not take place during 2021.

Learners could win:
• Laptops
• Tablets

PLEASE NOTE:

1. All learners should be entered before the closing date.
2. National Science Olympiad Life Sciences examinations will be written on Thursday 19 August 2021 from 12:00 – 15:00 under the supervision of the teacher at the school
3. National Science Olympiad Physical Sciences examinations will be written on Tuesday 31 August 2021 from 12:00 – 15:00 under the supervision of the teacher at the school
4. Results and certificates are sent to schools. Certificates will be awarded to learners obtaining 50% and above
5. SAASTA will ensure that question papers are distributed to schools before the exam and collected thereafter.

MILESTONES AND CHALLENGES

Reach

Over the years, a number of milestones were achieved through the National Olympiad, in particular:
Participation of learners in the National Science Olympiad during the past nine years has increased significantly as indicated below:

THE SIGNIFICANT INCREASE WAS AMONG OTHERS DUE TO:

• Our aggressive marketing strategy that enabled us to reach more schools in rural areas that had not been reached before;
• Collaborations between the Department of Education and provincial level departments through Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) coordinators; and
• Increased support by our partners in the business sector, in particular our main sponsor from 2009, Harmony Gold Mining Pty Company, as well as our previous sponsors, Mailtronic, Skynet, and Xahumba.

IDENTIFYING AND NURTURING TALENT

In line with the Department of Science and Technology’s Youth into Science Strategy and the Department of Education’s National Strategy for Mathematics and Science and Technology, the National Science Olympiad identifies and nurtures talent in SET. This approach contributes in increasing the human capital in the critical areas of Science, Engineering and Technology.

THIS IS BEING ACHIEVED THROUGH

• Our consistent effort to expose learners to international events such as the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) and the Australian Youth Science Forum;
• Hosting of Science Focus Week for top learners based on the Olympiad examination results;
• Our efforts to expose learners to the SET work environment through visits to industries, science councils and higher education institutions;
• Establishing an examination steering committee that comprises reputable professionals.

Year 

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Participants

9117

9614

13971

17538

15538

19438

23364

Year 

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Participants

20546

24624

22546

30764

29115

16573

30651

37050

Gallery

For more information

Zinzi Madiope

Zinzi Madiope

scienceolympiad@saasta.ac.za
(012) 392 9300