February 03, 2017

Keynote Speaker: Professor Randy Schekman

randy One of our main goals with the Golden Gate Science Olympiad Invitational is to highlight the incredible academic resources at UC Berkeley and Stanford. Towards this endeavor, we’re thrilled to announce that the keynote speaker at our awards ceremony will be Nobel Laureate and UC Berkeley professor Randy Schekman! We’re honored to have him speak at our tournament about his life in science and as a university professor.Dr. Randy Schekman is a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He studied the enzymology of DNA replication as a graduate student with Arthur Kornberg at Stanford University. His current interest in cellular membranes developed during a postdoctoral period with S. J. Singer at the University of California, San Diego. At Berkeley, he developed a genetic and biochemical approach to the study of eukaryotic membrane traffic. Among his awards are the Gairdner International Award, the Albert Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with James Rothman and Thomas Südhof. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, a Foreign Associate of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and a Foreign Associate of the Royal Society of London. In 1999, he was elected President of the American Society for Cell Biology. In 2002 he was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Annual Reviews of Cell and Developmental Biology. From 2006 - 2011 he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Proceedings of the NAS. In 2011, he was appointed Editor-in-Chief of an Open Access journal, eLife, sponsored by the HHMI, Wellcome Trust and the Max Planck Society.

January 03, 2017

Happy Holidays! Hopefully coaches have had a chance to read fully through our last update and to get started on some of those action items so that teams will be ready to compete on on February 11th! If you need to review these, you can find this first announcement below.

This week, we have just a couple short updates and a few reminders.

Event Schedule Change: We’ve made a slight modification to the event schedule to more closely match the Nationals schedule. Experimental design and disease detectives are now self sign up online. The first five of the six blocks will be available (teams will not be able to sign up for the last block, 2:30 to 3:30, for these events).

Award Ceremony Time Clarification: After conversations with National tournament directors and our peers at MIT, we’ve decided a more accurate start time for the Awards Ceremony is 5:30pm. These closing ceremonies are delayed at nearly every tournament, but it’s our goal to give you as accurate as possible of a forecast so that your team may enjoy touring the campus that afternoon instead of sitting in the ballroom and waiting through delays. This has been updated in the daily schedule posted to our website.

Event Supervisors: Just a reminder that attending teams/coaches do not have to supervise or proctor any events! All events will be run by Science Olympiad alumni from Stanford, UC Berkeley, and the surrounding community. This makes it easy for coaches, and ensures competitors will enjoy high-quality exams and events.

Avogadro: Some teams had trouble using the link to register for an Avogadro account. A better link is []. Please remember that you must register for an account and send us your username (see previous email for full instructions) prior to online event signups on January 6th at noon.

Action Items Reminder: The following action item summary is copied from the previous update as a reminder:

  • Check out team numbers and schedules online
  • Sign up for Avogadro and send us your username
  • Prepare for online event sign-ups January 6th
  • Print and distribute forms to each student. Scan and upload the forms by January 13th.
  • Make sure you’ve registered for your regional tournament
  • Get excited for an awesome tournament!

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

Happy Holidays, The GGSO Team

December 11, 2016

Tournament Updates

On behalf of Golden Gate Science Olympiad, we hope you’ve all had a good fall term and are looking forward to the upcoming holidays! We’ve been working over the past month to prepare for the upcoming 2017 Golden Gate Science Olympiad tournament, and our progress is detailed in the updates below. There’s a lot of critical information contained here, so please read carefully and note the action items at the bottom!

Team Numbers: We’ve released our final list of registered teams on our website under “Tournament Details,” or linked here. This list includes team numbers. (The several teams with whom we are still working to secure payment have been marked with an asterisk, but this is slightly outdated. If you received a confirmation email, then we have you confirmed.)

Schedule: We’ve released a DRAFT event schedule and daily schedule on our website under “Tournament Details”. Please remember that these are both tentative, and we reserve the right to make any necessary changes should the university require us too. We will, however, make every effort to avoid any adjustments, and notify coaches ASAP should any occur. The event schedule very closely mirrors the national schedule, and will be updated in January to include room numbers. Events times marked “Online Schedule” will be selected online; see section below.

Event Sign Ups: Event Sign Ups for online-scheduled events will open January 6th at 12:00pm (noon) PST. This will happen through the Mendel component of the Avogadro online software (see above). More info will be shared closer to Jan 6th.

If you are unfamiliar with sign-up events or new to Science Olympiad, please read on: While the majority of study and lab events are scheduled out by team number, certain events (marked as “Online Schedule”) will be running throughout the day in 10-minute time intervals. Coaches will go online and choose which of these 10 minute slots their team would like to compete in. This reduces scheduling conflicts for these events and allows students to run their engineering devices at the most convenient time. Slots are first-come first serve, opening Jan 6th.

Home rooms: Each school will be assigned a spacious homeroom to use as a base for their teams. Schools may store food, devices, and other belongings here. Rooms will officially open at 7:30am, but may be open as early as 7am. Teams also have the option of setting up an outside “home base” on UC Berkeley’s Memorial Glade (bring your own Easy-Up tent and beware of weather!).

Avogadro: We are using Avogadro & Mendel to score our tournament and to schedule building events. Avogadro is the premier Tournament Management software for Science Olympiad tournaments. Avogadro is the only web-based software that has been used at three National Science Olympiad Tournaments (2010, 2011 and 2016). Mendel is an add on to Avogadro that runs the event sign-up system. As coaches, there are a few things that you need to do to set up your team on Avogadro:

  1. Go to
  2. Create account if you don’t have one
  3. If you are coach, e-mail your username to so that your team(s) can be connected to the Avogadro user account you just created.
  4. We will let you know next steps once we get your username

Evaluations Committee: We’ve brought on board a team of 8 Stanford and UC Berkeley students who will form our 2017 Evaluations Committee! Their role will be to review the exams submitted by our Event Supervisors prior to the date of the competition, checking for appropriate rigor and formatting. They will work to ensure the tests are of national quality, but still approachable for teams just starting out. Check out their bios here on our website.

Forms: Every attending minor must fill out two forms prior to the tournament. These forms were attached to an email sent to coaches, and should be printed and distributed to all minors (including competing students, alternates, and siblings that choose to attend as spectators) . We are asking that coaches then scan the stack of forms and upload the file to a Google Drive folder here by January 13th. Each coach should create a folder for their team, and put the scanned pdf file in this folder. The forms may be submitted as a single pdf file or several, but a single is preferred. We will not require any paper copies to be submitted. If you haven’t worked with Google Drive before, consider asking a tech-savvy student to help you out! If you’re still having troubles, please reach out to us ASAP.

Awards Ceremony: At the Closing Ceremony, medals will be awarded to the top 5 teams in each event, and trophies will be awarded to the top 6 overall schools. Additionally, due to space constraints at the venue, each team will only be guaranteed 19 seats at the closing ceremony. This includes the 15 team members. Competitors will use their wristbands to gain admission, and coaches will receive 4 additional entrance tickets at check-in. 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremonies, any remaining seats will be opened on a first-come first-served basis. We regret having to enforce these limits on the audience, but this is simply an unavoidable factor of the resources available to us. Please warn any additional people traveling with your team in advance that they may be unable to attend the closing ceremony. We are currently investigating the possibility of live-streaming the event to an overflow room, and will follow up with that later on.

Regional Registration: Just a reminder that every team participating in an invitational must be registered through their regional/state director. We’ve begun reaching out to check our team list, so if you haven’t yet signed up for your Regional competition, please do that ASAP.

Action Items (for coaches):

  • Check out team numbers and schedules online

  • Sign up for Avogadro and send us your username

  • Prepare for online event sign-ups January 6th

  • Print and distribute forms to each student. Scan and upload the forms by January 13th

  • Make sure you’ve registered for your regional tournament

  • Get excited for an awesome tournament!

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you require more information. We can’t wait to host everyone out here this February, and are working hard to prepare for an exciting tournament.

September 03, 2016


Click here to register


The Golden Gate Science Olympiad invitational is thrilled to open registration on September 20th at 12:00pm PDT (noon) for the inaugural Division C tournament to be hosted February 11th, 2017 at the UC Berkeley campus! Please review our tournament policies before registering. Only team coaches will be allowed to register their teams.

Please note in your preparations that we anticipate significant demand, and predict that spaces may fill quickly on a first-come, first-serve basis. Only the first 12 schools to register two teams will reserve a place for both teams, while later schools may register one team (more information on this is specified below). We will confirm placement via email for the first 45 teams and keep a waitlist beyond that. It is likely that up to an additional 5 openings may be offered to teams on the waitlist, pending space constraints to be resolved shortly.

Registration will be performed via a Google form. The link will be placed on the home page of at 12:00 pm (noon). The first 45 teams to register, ranked via time of submission, will receive a confirmation email within two days and an invitation to submit the registration fee. Upon receipt of the registration check, teams will receive a second confirmation email and will be added to the published list of attendees on the website. If Golden Gate SciOly does not receive your payment by October 18th and no other arrangements are made, the spot will be opened to teams on the waitlist (please email us directly if this timeline presents an inconvenience).

In order to allow more schools to participate, only the first 12 schools to register two teams will be guaranteed a reserved spot for both teams. Schools which register later may still register two teams, but only one spot will be reserved. The second team will be placed on a waitlist. If, by October 19th, the 45 spots are not filled, teams on the waitlist will be contacted to confirm their reservation. Each team must be supervised by one adult/coach (schools wishing to bring two teams should be prepared to list two adult coaches on the registration form).

Please note that, due to high demand, middle schools (B division) will not be allowed to register for this tournament.

The team registration fee is $150, and should be paid via check made out to “Golden Gate Science Olympiad” and mailed to:

531 Lasuen Mall
P.O. Box 13500
Stanford, CA 94309

The registration fee is nonrefundable, except at the discretion of the tournament coordinators or in the unforeseen event of tournament cancellation. Receipts will be included in coaches’ packets to be distributed the day of competition. (Any requests for receipts to be mailed earlier should be made to

Other documents, including waivers and liability releases, will be distributed to participating teams shortly after registration. Further tournament details, including the schedule and logistics, are on their way as well!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns at We’re so excited to welcome you to our campus!

August 03, 2016

Hey There!

Welcome to our new website for the inaugural Golden Gate Science Olympiad Tournament! Take a moment to hear about our preliminary plans on the “About” page, and get to know us on the “Our Team” page. Although currently scattered around the world, we’ve spent our summer planning for the upcoming Division C tournament, and we just want to highlight a few features that we’re really excited about:

  • First, we intend to have all events run by past national medalists or event supervisors.

  • We’ll review every test to ensure a quality competition, and give coaches the freedom to watch their teams compete.

  • We’re also looking forward to showing competitors our beautiful campus and the spirit of Silicon Valley that permeates academics, extracurriculars, and social events here at Stanford and UC Berkeley.

  • Finally, we’re working hard to prepare a well-organized tournament: following the national schedule, bringing in admissions representatives, and inviting corporate sponsors.

We look forward to meeting competitors from across the state and the nation, so please stay tuned for more announcements regarding the release of registration in September!

~ The GGSO Team

Golden Gate Science Olympiad

    Questions? Interested in sponsoring? Joining us as a student at Stanford or UC Berkeley next year? Shoot us an email to get involved with our team!

    Science Olympiad invitational run by UC Berkeley and Stanford University students. Coming 2018.