Science Olympiad to go fully remote

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Science Olympiad, like many other clubs at Townsend Harris, is facing an unprecedented start to its season.

“Science Olympiad will be switching to a fully remote meeting schedule, as are all the clubs at Townsend Harris,” said Communication Secretary junior Jennifer Quisi. 

President Katie Sie added, “Conflicts in scheduling make it difficult to hold an in-person meeting that all members could attend.”

In spite of this, Katie remains determined to make the best out of this season by creating a productive and uplifting environment.

“As it is our goal every year, we want to do our best at competitions. However, as we start this new season in an unfamiliar way, my main goal is to foster a sense of community,” said Katie. “Although it will be difficult, the family in Science Olympiad is a hallmark of the club and is the reason many people continue to join every year. The community in Science Olympiad is also essential to motivate students to study and for the partner dynamic at competitions.”

Sophomore Emily Lu said she is “quite excited to start up SciOly remotely, as there will still be planned events and enjoyable meetings. Although we’re meeting remotely, we will still be able to simulate many of the events and experiences that we would have had in person.”

Additionally, the SciOly team will still be able to have the opportunity to compete in numerous competitions, albeit remotely. “The National Science Olympiad has released three ‘ways to play,’ MySO, MiniSO, and Satellite SO, to accommodate all schools regardless of their reopening plan,” Katie shared. “As this year will be virtual, we will save on transportation, and we, therefore, hope to attend more competitions.”

“We will maintain the values of Science Olympiad even though our environment may look a little different,” explained science teacher and Science Olympiad coach Sarah Loew. “This year there will be a 9-month, calendar-based set of supports to keep students engaged in Science Olympiad at home, at school, and after school.” 

Each month will be based around one of the many topics covered in Science Olympiad, including Epidemiology, Space, or Structures. These sessions will contain interviews with leading experts in the field about careers and workforce in addition to two STEM Showdowns which are national-level online Science Olympiad tests students take in real time amongst their peers, including prizes and a national monthly leaderboard. 

“It has been especially difficult to plan for the upcoming season given the lack of information from the DOE, Townsend, schools that normally hold Invitationals, and the Science Olympiad Organization,” Katie stated. “With these unusual times, there is no one to blame for the lack of information, but it is definitely frustrating when many schedules and competitions are uncertain.” 

The team remains determined for the upcoming season despite all the complications. Ms. Loew emphasized the importance of patience “and advocating for the things you need. We are all going to make mistakes but if we resolve to learn from them, we will grow and have used this time well.”

Photo courtesy of the THHS Science Olympiad Team

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