Dear Science Olympiad Coaches,

We are excited to announce our upcoming FREE workshop event, the 2018 Fall Science Olympiad Enrichment Day (SO-ED) at the Gordon Center for Integrative Sciences at the University of Chicago on Saturday, October 13th. This workshop will mostly focus on NEW EVENTS for the 2018-2019 season! The purpose of this event is to provide resources for Science Olympiad teams in the Chicago area to succeed and host enrichment activities in a low-stress, non-competitive setting.

We are inviting your school to register students for spots in workshops on the following events and activities:

  • Astronomy (New topic: Galaxies) – Oliver Tsang

    • Students will be given general preparation strategies and will be introduced to the types of calculations they are expected to know for the event. We will discuss galaxies, the new topic for this year.

  • Anatomy (New topic: Excretory System) – Aileen Tartanian

    • Students will be guided in the dissection of a pig kidney and learn about the anatomy and functioning of the excretory system. This will be a fun, hands-on and interactive activity.

  • Codebusters – Oliver Tsang

    • Students will be introduced to different ciphers, practice encoding and decoding, and learn strategies for cryptanalysis.

  • Designer Genes – Rachel Gleyzer

    • Students will be introduced to basic principles of genetics and work through representative practice problems with the instructor.

  • Fossils – Spencer Pevsner

    • Students will learn how to identify specimens on the Official Fossils List and will be introduced the life histories and mode of preservation of select specimens.

  • Protein Modeling – Logan Leak

    • Students will take a deep dive into a specific family of proteins, learning about the structure, function, and history of the molecules. Half of our workshop will focus on enriching student’s understanding of this year’s theme: Anti-CRISPR – The Arms Race Continues. To do so, we will work through a presentation covering introductory material related to the theme. This will be followed by a game to test students’ knowledge of the subject matter. For the second half of the workshop, we will work on building toober models of protein in the JMOL environment (students are encouraged to bring laptops for this activity)

  • Boomilever – Will Ramos

    • Students will learn design and engineering principles for constructing a boomilever and will be provided with materials to test these building skills on their own.

This workshop will run from 9 am to 3 pm on October 13th with an hour-long break for lunch, which will be provided. Check-in will begin at 9 am.

Here is the schedule for the day’s events. Note that Anatomy is a 2-hour time block while the rest are 1-hour time blocks.





Designer Genes











Designer Genes






Please use the following link to register for the workshop:

(Note that there are two spreadsheets in this document. You must fill out information on both of them. More detailed instructions are provided at the top of each spreadsheet).

Spots are limited, so it is in your best interest to register early.

Each student must bring signed copies of two forms- liability and media release waivers- in order to participate. Coaches are permitted to leave students unattended at the event (given all waivers are signed) at your own school district’s discretion, but we encourage coaches to pop into our workshops and meet us UChicago students!

Liability Waiver

Publicity (Media Release) Waiver

Do not hesitate to reach out to if you have any questions regarding this event, and we look forward to seeing you in October!

This event is being kindly sponsored by the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at UChicago.

Organizing committee:
Rachel Gleyzer (
Logan Leak (
Stephanie Sang (