STEM Students Prepare for Science Olympiad

Connor Rosas ’20, Science and Technology Writer

     Science Olympiad is a fun-filled day of events packed with all sorts of different science categories. Anyone participating could delve into topics ranging from anatomy and physiology to forensics to even thermodynamics! There are also more hands-on topics a student could take part in. For instance, in bottle rockets, participants have to make a rocket stay aloft for the longest amount of time. Another topic that is more hands-on is the boomilever event that asks participants to build the strongest structural efficiency among competitors. Science Olympiad has a wide variety of topics to choose from so that students with different interests in science are able to participate.  The competition has over 25 topics to choose from so the choice really is up to you.

     WFS has previously done exemplary in competition. With hard work and preparation, students have even made new Science Olympiad records quite a few times. One student, James Tallman ’19 stated, “I am very excited about this season, I’ve been practicing over break for my events and I’m ready to have fun because it is always filled with some great people. It is going to be an amazing competition this year.”  Tallman has participated in Science Olympiad before and he wanted to elaborate on the dynamics of Science Olympiad, “Last year, I participated in the topics Dynamic Planet which was about glaciers, Fermi Questions which involve estimation skills to determine an approximation quickly that would be impossible to guess directly what the answer is, designer genes which goes through the process of genetics, and disease detectives.” Just from these topics listed,  it is clear that Science Olympiad has a lot to offer for those who are willing to put some time and effort into the competition.

     Science Olympiad can be quite competitive, however some students prefer to just go for the experience of learning and trying something new. Participating students compete against around 50 other schools throughout the state. Matt Cauchy, Upper School Physics teacher, is the faculty sponsor of Science Olympiad and thinks that competition is a good thing for students to get involved in, “You can test your knowledge from everything from farming to electricity. The variety of different topics will test both knowledge and skills.” Cauchy is thrilled that some topics involving hands-on skills that can be applied to real-world situations and noted that “Build events such as boomilever, hovercrafts, mousetraps, and the Rube Goldberg machine are essentially just engineering projects.” Science Olympiad not only offers a chance to compete but also a chance to work as a team with problems that are applicable to real-world scenarios. 

     Teamwork is an important aspect for most categories in Science Olympiad. Team members have to work together not only during the competitions but before the competition day as well. Depending on what topic they chose from, they will have to study over knowledge-based tests and helping each other respectively that way. Teamwork is also crucial when constructing your own device or contraption and testing if it will be competition ready. Both require time and effort before the day of competition which will give those involved a bigger sense of accomplishment for their achievements on the day of. Teamwork will bring members together to form or learn something that would be arduous without coordination from students and faculty.

     Science Olympiad is a great learning experience for anyone who enjoys any applied science, engineering challenges, or math. Science Olympiad is a unique club because it involves a lot of hard work to actually succeed in the competition. Though difficult and a very competitive environment, students will have fun with the cooperation that is needed in the process. This Science Olympiad organization was founded in 1984 making this year its’ 35th anniversary. The day of competition is currently March 3rd for our school, however, across America, there are around 8,000 groups competing and around 450 annual competitions across college campuses. Any students that are interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) are highly advised to join Science Olympiad. It would be a true missed opportunity to not take on the challenge that this competition gives and to learn more about STEM in the process.