Science Olympiad began as the Delaware Science Olympiad. A write up in The Science Teacher of December 1977 caught the attention of Dr. Gerard Putz, who proposed that the program be expanded beyond Delaware. After tests in Michigan at the Lawrence Institute of Technology and Oakland University in 1983 and 1984, Putz and Delaware director John Cairns took their idea to the National Science Teachers Conference in Boston. The first National Tournament was attended by representatives of 17 states, held at Michigan State University in 1985. Since then, the program has expanded to reach all 50 states and Ontario, Canada.