In order to broaden opportunities for students to compete and for schools to fill out teams, students may now compete in an event a grade level higher than their academic grade in school. The student may only participate in a given event once – in other words they cannot participate in two grade levels for the same event.
For example, a 3rd grader competing on the 4th grade Photon Phun team cannot also participate on the 3rd grade Photon Phun team. Failure to follow this rule will result in a disqualification of both teams.
Below are some clarifications and common questions about this new policy.
1). Why has WESO decided to allow this?
A). We get several questions each year from head coaches about whether it is possible for students to compete at grade levels other than their own. For example, a school might have four 4th grade students wanting to do Circuit Wizardry (an event that allows three participants) but only one or two 5th grade students. We would like to be able to promote participation for all who are interested in our events. If a student does compete at a grade higher than their own, it is our desire that they do so to complete a team, and not bump a student from the higher grade from competing.
2). Can students compete in a grade lower than their own?
3). I have a first grader that is very interested Aerodynamics. Can she compete at WESO?
A). No, WESO is for students in grades 2-5. Your younger student is welcome to enjoy the Open Events area at the Olympiad, but the competition is for grades 2-5.
4). Is there a limit to the grade levels in which a student may compete, i.e., can a 2nd grade student compete in a 5th grade event?
A). The is no limit to the number of grades a student may advance to compete at WESO, but please keep in mind the spirit of doing so is to allow more students to compete, not maximize the number of events in which one student can compete. Realize also that no accommodations will be made for students who choose to participate in a higher grade, unless it is something they would be entitled to at their own grade level.
5). Can a student compete in the same event for two grades?
A). No. A student can not compete in, say, 2nd grade Mystery Architecture and 4th grade Mystery Architecture during the same Olympiad, even though these events are likely to be very different.
6). Can a student compete for different grade in different events, say 3rd grade Hang Time and 4th grade To Infinity and Beyond?
A). Yes, as long as the student is enrolled in the lowest grade in which she participates.
7). Is there a limit to the number of events in which a student can compete?
A). Not officially. This should be limited by the students interest and time availability.
8). Do the award ceremonies overlap with the competition times for higher grades?
A). Yes – the 2nd grade award ceremony occurs during the 3rd grade competition; 3rd grade ceremony during the 4th grade competition, etc. Depending on the schedule, students competing at multiple grade levels may miss an awards ceremony.