Science Olympiad places third at Regionals

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Townsend’s Science Olympiad won third place overall at the NYC East Regional competition on February 8. The three teams earned a grand total of 32 medals, with top 10 finishes in 24 different events and first place finishes in the Astronomy, Boomilever, Codebusters, Experimental Design, Fossils, Protein Modeling, and Water Quality events.

“I was incredibly happy,” said President of Science Olympiad senior Esther Chai. “We placed first in more events than any other school and everyone’s hard work paid off.”

Junior Katie Sie described the experience saying, “I held the hands of my teammates and we, collectively as a team, waited in anticipation as the rankings were called. Whenever we heard Townsend Harris High School called for a medal, a surge of pride came as we all yelled and cheered.”

Sophomore Sonia Hasko explained that being able to hold this title required a lot of work on behalf of the team. “We went to study sessions every week for a couple of months and took a variety of practice tests at home,” she said. “Of course, it all paid off in the end when we were able to see how well we did.”

In comparison to their previous competitions, many members felt that their performance improved drastically. Freshman Emily Lu said, “Compared to my first competition at the beginning of the year, I felt much more confident during regionals. Whereas Townsend barely placed during [LISO], during the award ceremony we heard Townsend Harris being called aloud.”

Although the team won third place in the competition, they faced some obstacles in their performance during their earlier invitational tournaments. Katie explained that the team’s ranking was slightly below their expectations because the team was put into situations that were out of their control. However, the team members were able to better communicate with their partners and mentors in spite of those obstacles. Junior Bushra Islam added, “While we didn’t do as well as we would’ve liked to have done, it served as a learning experience for our team.”

The team continues to aim for improvement as they prepare to compete at the NY State Science Olympiad competition in March. Having placed 8th last year, the team now hopes to make it in the top 5. “There’s still a lot of work to be done for the state competition and we strive to prevent more mishaps in the future,” said Esther. 

“We learned what our shortcomings were, and knew exactly what to focus on as a team so that we could improve in future competitions,” said Bushra. “Even though the competition is tougher this time, we are confident that we’ll place in many events and continue to do well.”  

“The State level of competition brings together the highest ranking teams from each region in New York,” said science teacher and mentor Sarah Loew. “We look forward to representing Townsend Harris at the state level again this year.”

Photo courtesy of Daniel Sun.