Science Olympiad finds ways to help students

Science was once limited to first through ninth period, but not anymore. Science Olympiad is an organization that promotes scientific learning in its members, prepares them for careers in science, and helps them succeed in their academic classes, all while helping them learn valuable life skills.

Science Olympiad starts from elementary school level, progressing through high school. It consists of a series of preparation  meetings for different contests that test science knowledge and skills, covering topics from biology to physics.

Contests fall into two categories, building and academic, some activities limited to learning specific skills. “An example of a building event is ‘It’s About Time,’ where the team must build a device to keep time. The proctor then gives them a random time interval that they have to measure as accurately as they can.” says Danny Meyer, junior.

For upperclassmen, Science Olympiad offers preparation for potential secondary studies after high school: “I decided that I would major in chemical engineering [in college], so I asked to do chem lab as one of my events,” Meyer adds.

For others, Science Olympiad offers opportunities to create new social circles. “I made some new friends and I’m learning more about the subjects covered in the events I’m preparing for,” says Will Hain, junior. “And also there’s free food.”

“When I went, I met all of these nerdy people, so I stayed because I liked interacting with them, they all had the same interests as me,” says Shanti Polara, junior. “I came for the science, I stayed for the people.”

It also offers an array of non-scientific knowledge, not simply academic: “I have learned how to construct things out of wood, and use power tools, which gives me a sense of pride and makes me feel more independent,” Polara adds.

“It promotes science and learning, but to have a greater effect would need more people,” says Meyer.

“We are a welcoming community of partly nerdy, science minded people,” says Polara. “To anyone considering joining Science Olympiad, I would encourage them to come because it will help them expand their scientific knowledge… and become part of a really awesome and friendly community of people.”