Back in-person, Science Olympiad reflects on finishing their season 

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Benjamin Babayev, Staff Writer

The Townsend Harris Science Olympiad (SciOly) Team, is centered around competing in different science-related competitions under the SciOly organization, with subjects ranging from biology and physics to ornithology and experimental design. The team has successfully completed their season, making it as far as the New York State Level competition held at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY where they finished 14th out of 60 teams.

This year, the team competed in a total of seven competitions, both virtual and in-person. They were able to solidify their spot at states by placing third place at the regional level (the top five teams advance). Participants of the competitions are scored individually but each individual score is added together to determine the overall team score. The team with the lowest score is then proclaimed the winner. The States team consisted of five sophomores, four juniors, and seven seniors. 

“Under the leadership of seniors Sonia Hasko and Jennifer Quisi, the students overcame many challenges to qualify for the 2022 State tournament. We are so proud of the dedication and determination they demonstrated throughout the entire season,” SciOly mentor and science teacher Sarah Loew said. 

Among one of the biggest highlights for the team was the return to in-person competitions. Sonia, who is also the President of SciOly, said, “It was super exciting to be back in person. In-person competitions feel different: we can all study together, take pictures, play games, and bond better as a team.” 

Junior and Classic editor Zaynah Shariff said, “The sense of camaraderie was really strong during in-person competitions, and competing online really lacks that whole feeling of togetherness.” She also added that in comparison to pre-COVID times, the team “had to keep masks on because of COVID-19, and the biggest change was that all chemistry events were dry labs (no laboratory portion) this year.”

Junior Stacey Jiang, who competed in Astronomy, Experimental Design, It’s About Time, Gravity Vehicle, and Trajectory Subjects felt the competition was very rewarding despite the stress. “ I thought that the competition would be very stressful and nerve-wracking but I also found it a lot of fun to be competing with my partners and my team on a subject area we are all passionate about,” she said. 

Sophomore Isabel Jagsaran who competed in Anatomy and Physiology, Ornithology, and Remote Sensing, said, “​​The States Competition was very exciting as I’ve never experienced anything like it before. From navigating the college campus to prepping for the tests in any free time I had, it was an experience I will never forget.”

SciOly advisor Nicole Gleizer added that she feels “very proud of the teams’ accomplishments and is excited to see what’s in store for them next.” 

For the future of the team, sophomore Enzo Schulze said, “​I would love to qualify for nationals at some point and travel to California to compete.” 

Sonia said, “I hope SciOly can return to all in-person competitions, and I hope we can attract a larger number of students for our build division, which we’ve been working to expand.”

Photo courtesy of Izegbuwa Adun, Managing Editor