Elementary Science Olympiad ESO Photo
Cranium Command
Teams of two students tackle challenging scientific mindbenders containing clues to an overall puzzle.

Number of Participants / Approximate Time
Up to 2 students / 55 minutes

The Competition
Students will draw upon a vast array of general science knowledge to solve a series of puzzles which will yield clues to a Master Puzzle. All areas of elementary life, earth, and physical sciences are potential sources for these puzzles. Teams will be asked to solve two Master Puzzles each with its own set of clues. Teams will have a maximum of 45 minutes to complete this event.

The Clues
Approximately half of the clues will be obtained at puzzle stations which will include numerous displays, pictures, diagrams, and the like. Teams may be required to perform hands-on analysis of objects (measurements, texture, scent) and make various visual observations. Stations may also include questions to further assist students in gathering the important information from the clue. Teams will have a limited amount of time at each puzzle station.
The remaining clues will be obtained from written descriptions, text puzzles, and questions in a exam format.

The Master Puzzles
Using the information gathered from the set of 6-8 clues, teams will be asked to solve a Master Puzzle. Maximum points will be earned by teams who correctly identify the Master Puzzle. Partial credit will be awarded to teams who can accurately describe the Master Puzzle but not exactly identify it.

Teams can earn up to 4 points from each clue (smaller puzzle). A total of 20 points will be possible from the series of clues leading up to each Master Puzzle. Ten points will be awarded to teams which correctly identify a Master Puzzle with partial credit available to teams who can accurately describe, but not identify, the Master Puzzle.
Sixty total points are possible (10 for each of the 2 Master Puzzles, 20 points for each set of clues). Ties will be broken with a supplemental tie-breaker question. Time is not a scoring factor.

What is ESO?
In the Classroom
Event Archive
SO Links
Contact Us