Science Olympiad Electrifies Regionals

Justin Chow ’20 and Josias Gonzalez ’20 prepare to launch a mousetrap vehicle.  Photo Courtesy: Justin Chow

Justin Chow ’20 and Josias Gonzalez ’20 prepare to launch a mousetrap vehicle. Photo Courtesy: Justin Chow

By ALICE YEE

The Science Olympiad team had its first ever competition at Regionals this February.

Science Olympiad is an American team competition in which students compete in 23 categories of science. Each school is allowed to bring 15 students to compete. They start at invitationals, move through regionals, then state, and end with nationals.

Justin Chow ’20, the president of the club, and Josias Gonzalez ’20, the vice president, are also its founders.

“Josias and I started Science Olympiad at Midwood because, when we competed in middle school, I made many friends and memories,” said Chow. “I felt that I could bring that same experience here, of learning about various fields within science while still having fun.” 

The club started at Midwood at the beginning of the 2018 school year. They currently have three advisors: Ms. Khrisna Alvarez, Mr. William Hudacek, and Ms. Susan Katzoff. There are 15 people in the club as of right now. 

“We created a whole group of friends,” said Coral Braverman ’20. “I barely knew any of the club members before, but now they’re some of my closest friends.”

Saiyan Joseph ’20, a member of Science Olympiad, joined because chemistry has been her passion since freshman year. 

“Even though chemistry is the reason I joined, my team is the reason I stayed,” said Joseph. “When you enjoy something, doing your best is much more important to you than when you don’t enjoy it. It’s important to represent myself, my team, and my school to the best of my abilities.”

Although the club brings many benefits to its members, it also faces a few challenges. 

“We went into our first competition not knowing much,” said Gonzalez. “Because our club just started, we did not have as much preparation as the other schools or access to as many resources.”

Ms. Alvarez said, “As of the moment, we don’t have extra classes to prepare students for the competition.”

To get ready, team members use tests from past competitions. In addition, the team is encouraged to ask advisors for assistance if they need help in the subject they are studying for. It’s a lot of work, and most of the members are busy juniors. 

“With all of my AP classes and SAT prep going on, it is difficult,” said Jane Smelyansky ’20, secretary of the club, “but I learned to put some time aside to help out with the team,”

“It is difficult to fit anything ‘recreational’ in my schedule,” said Joseph. “I’m taking four AP classes and I’m president of another club, but it’s amazing how you can find time for something when you really love it.”

Members say that anyone with a love for science and determination would fit in perfectly with the team.

“Being with people who share the same interests as me, as well as taking science out of a classroom setting and putting it into a whole competition is very worthwhile,” said Braverman.

FeaturesCasey Levinson