Science Olympiad

Audrey Pucciarelli and Grace Sacco

On Jan. 6, the Science Olympiad team had their first competition at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The students’ hard work led to an exceptional beginning to the season with the team placing 8th out of 23 competitors and winning medals in 4 of the 14 events.

The competitions consist of three main categories: building, life sciences and physical sciences. Each small group of two to three students collaborates to complete an assignment for every event.

The life and physical sciences sections require students to work quickly and accurately in small groups to achieve a high score. Competitors will either take an exam or build a model to be scored based on a formula.

Scoring varies based on which category the students are competing in. For the building events, competitors bring a structure they have created prior to competition. Structures are scored during the competition differently depending on the type of structure.

This year, the team hopes to improve by strengthening their individual events, which will help their overall score. They hope to qualify for the state competition in March, and their qualification results determining their eligibility will be posted within the next few weeks.

Regionals will be held at the end of January and the Princeton Invitational will be on Feb. 8, where over 50 teams throughout the tri-state area will compete.

WHS Science Olympiad is able to attend these competitions not only because of their hard work, but thanks to their advisers, Science Teachers Dr. Dana Phillips and Dr. Louis Casagrande, who have been co-advising Science Olympiad together since 2011.

“Science Olympiad has something for everyone,” said Phillips. “It is a great way for the kids to discover their interests and think about college and potential career paths.”

Science Olympiad is an ideal way to express one’s passion for science and engineering with a stress on teamwork skills.

“My favorite aspect of the team is how collaborative the experience is, with everyone working together even if they aren’t competing,” said senior member Aidan Kilbourn. “There are a large variety of events, so whether you are interested in biology, cryptography or building, there’s probably an event for you.”