Science Olympiad takes bronze at NY Metropolitan Regional Tournament

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Beating out 69 teams in the city, the Science Olympiad (SciOly) team emerged third in the 2019 NY Metropolitan SciOly Regional Tournament, earning medals in 19 out of the 25 events.

However, the road to such a feat was not an easy one. SciOly President senior Michelle Lee explained, “A lot of the events this year are new in rotation, meaning we don’t have a lot of resources to study from.”

In addition, they faced the added expense of tools needed to construct devices for specific events. “Protein Modeling is new [in rotation] and is made up of three components, two of which involve folding and building a protein,” explained SciOly Vice President senior Lucia Lin. “It replaced an event that didn’t require a build portion, and each [Protein Modeling] kit that we needed could be from 30 dollars to even 70 dollars— and that’s for three teams.”

Despite these obstacles, the team earned medals in events such as Astronomy, Boomilever, Circuit Lab, Codebusters, Disease Detectives, Dynamic Planet, Experimental Design, Fermi Questions, Forensics, Fossils, Geologic Mapping, Herpetology, Mousetrap Vehicle, Protein Modeling, Sounds of Music, Thermodynamics, and Write It Do it.

“Two of our three regional teams placed in the top 10 overall, which hasn’t happened in a long time,” said Michelle. “A lot of the people who had medaled were underclassmen… I now know the future of SciOly is in good hands.”

The competition evaluates the participants’ knowledge of a vast range of topics. Its goal is to transform the STEM field by forcing competitors to push their intellectual limits with intense and collegiate-level challenges.

Coupled with the support from fellow team members and coaches, the team’s successes were a result of their collective growth. “We went to two invitationals this year. At our first one, we all got a much-needed reality check and began to change our approach to the competition. Wanting to improve upon our rankings from past regionals, we set up an intensive study schedule that involved weekly testing and ample opportunities to work with partners,” said SciOly Spirit Coordinator junior Elizabeth Duchan. “I think this was the push we all needed make drastic improvements in our events.”

Their development was not purely intellectual, however, as SciOly Build Coordinator junior Ruby Wang revealed that they had “more bake sales than usual and held study sessions with separate subdivisions to promote a more collaborative learning environment.”

Although the team dedicated countless hours of studying, researching, and building to prepare for their events, Michelle explained that “being surrounded and supported by such a passionate, dedicated team is really the driving force behind [SciOly’s] success.”