Natural Science Olympiad®


The aim of the Natural Science Olympiad® is to identify and nurture talent in Natural Science, Life Science and Accounting; to increase the number of learners who opt for Physical Science, Life Science, Accounting and Mathematics at high schools; and to act as a feeder for SAASTA’s National Science Olympiad for grades 10 – 12, which is now in its 53rd year.

The aim of the Olympiad is also to help learners prepare for the year’s upcoming natural science syllabus and showcase some of South Africa’s brightest young scientists in the making.

Preparation for the Natural Science Olympiad starts at the beginning of the year, when schools register for the competition and learners start preparing for the examination.

The national paper will be written on 16 May 2019. After that, the national and provincial winners, the top girl learner, the top learner per grade, and the representatives from top performing schools in the different categories visit the National Zoological Gardens and Sci-Enza Science Centre at the University of Pretoria and attend the award ceremony in Gauteng, courtesy of SAASTA.

The competition questions are designed to encourage all learners, those who love science and those who have never been exposed to the fascinating world of science, to take Physical Sciences and Mathematics at high school level and to consider a career in science, engineering or technology.

Enter the 2020 Natural Science Olympiad

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


Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday, 15 March 2020 that schools will be closed from 18 March 2020 until after the Easter holidays in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 (Corona Virus), NRF-SAASTA has subsequently decided to postpone the following Olympiads and Competitions until further notice.

National Science Olympiads:

      a) Natural Sciences (Grades 4-6)

      b) Natural Sciences (Grades 7-9)

      c) Life Sciences (Grades 10 – 12)

      d) Physical Sciences (Grades 7)

      e)  Astro-Quiz (Grade 7)

Download Entry Form

  1. Complete the attached form and return it to SAASTA as soon as possible.
  2. Entry fees: – Early Bird entries: R25 per learner if entered and paid by 5 December 2019.- R35 per learner after 5 December 2019.- Final closing date for entries is 31 January 2020.
  3. Special arrangements can be made for schools/learners that cannot afford the entry fee. Principals should apply before 31 January 2020.
  4. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions: Officials: Ms Zinzi Madiope / Mr Simon Rametse

Tel: 012 392 9300

Fax: 086 602 7516


The Natural Science Olympiad will include 50% of the school curriculum

  • Please help motivate your learners to experience the thrill of competing with others from around the country in the Natural Science Olympiad as part of SAASTA’s Primary School Science Intervention (PSSI).
  • Help coordinate learners’ participation in this
  • Only learners in grade 4 – 9 may enter to compete for a range of exciting prizes.
  • Help your learners to prepare for the Natural Science syllabus.

Although the prizes are significant, most of the past participants have noted that it was participation in the Natural Science Olympiad that was most important to them as it exposed them to fascinating new knowledge.

Each learner receives a certificate with their results after the Olympaid. The following special prizes are also be given out to the following top performers:

  • Top girl learners
  • Top performing schools
  • National winners
  • Top learner per grade

Learners could win:

  • Tablets
  • iPads
  • Laptops
  • Trophies,
  • Medals 
  • Certificates


  1. All learners should be entered before the closing date.
  2. The Natural Science Olympiad examination will be written on Thursday 2 April 2020 from 09:00 – 12:00 under your supervision at the school (no need to worry about transport).
  3. Results and certificates are sent to schools. Certificates will be awarded to learners obtaining 50% and above
  4. SAASTA will ensure that question papers are distributed to schools before the exam and examination answer books are collected after the examination has been written.


For more enquiries

Erna Taljaard

+27 (0)12 392 9300

22 June 2020

Dear DBE Provincial Coordinator/Headmaster/HOD/ Educator


The communication sent out dated 16 March 2020 regarding the postponement of the NRF-SAASTA STEMI Olympiads and competitions has reference.
In view of the impact the COVID-19 had on the schooling system, especially the time for teaching and learning that has been lost and the phased-in approach of re-opening of schools, NRF-SAASTA has taken a decision to cancel the 2020 STEMI Olympiads and Competitions.
Olympiads and competitions affected are:

• Natural Sciences Grades 4-6
• Natural Sciences Grades 7-9
• Astro-Quiz Grade 7
• Science Debates Grades 9-11
• Life Sciences Grades 10-12
• Physical Sciences Grades 10-12

Note: All learners who enrolled for the 2020 Olympiads will be able to participate during 2021.Olympiads using the registration fee already paid in 2020. Learners who have registered for 2020 and cannot participate in 2021 are legible to apply for refund. Schools which have paid registration for a group of learners are encouraged to use the same registration amount to enter learners for the 2021 Olympiads.
We wish you all the best for the rest of the academic year and look forward to the participation of your learners in 2021.

Yours sincerely

Mr Moloko Matlala
Manager: Science Education Division