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CA Science Olympiad Competition 2017

What happened at UConn on Saturday, April 1 was remarkable. Cheshire Academy sent its Science Olympiad team for the annual State-level competition. This year, 11 of the Academy’s “brainards” competed in 15 events, and the results are pretty good

Since last year, Science Olympiad has become a full-time varsity sport for fall and winter seasons. So our team is still like a baby compared to those of many other schools, but it is learning and growing up fast. Compared to 10 events participated last year, this time we completed 5 more – a 50% increase if you will, for those hidden “brainards” or math geeks.

The students have all worked really hard throughout the winter. Depends on the form of their contest, they either needed to teach themselves some hard theories and facts or construct their own engineering projects. For example, Grace Sun ’19 signed up for an event called Disease Detective, which came in the form of a 14-page-test. On the contrary, Richard Yang ’18 spent his two seasons on his delicate helicopter skirt made out of fine pieces of balsa and carbon fiber. After numerous tests and adjustments, he had to undergo the event supervisor’s strict inspections and compete for the longest time aloft.

Another event called Write It Do It is yet another form that is different from those mentioned above. The event tests student’s ability to express themselves clearly and concisely through writing instructions and follow instructions. Writer Grace Greene ’17 said the sample she got was, “the most random compilation of objects [she] had ever seen;” it consisted of toothpicks, Easter eggs, a skull ring, popsicles, waffles tickets, and much more crazy stuff. Thanks to her talent for writing, it did not take her partner Parker Gagnon ’17 a long time to figure out what he was assembling.

In order to get to UConn on time, the students had to gather at Science Department Co-Chair Mr. Cirmo’s office at 6:00 on Saturday morning, and board a school bus to begin their expedition. The weather showcased its own April Fool’s surprise by landing sleet and snowflakes on the campus. Regardless of the final result, the sheer experience of being able to compete against other high schools and to communicate with them was invaluable. At the end of the day, every contest had to adhere to the standardized rules and procedures, but there are boundless ways of how to approach a solution. What truly matters is trying to solve problems creatively and learning from the process so that we can always more progress – that’s how science works!

Cheshire Academy 2017 Science Olympiad results: a number represents ranking among all the schools, and “–” means not participated:

Anatomy & Physiology   35

Astronomy                         23

Chemistry                          30

Disease Detective           12

Dynamic Planet               

Ecology                               18

Electric Vehicle                28

Exp Design                        

Forensics                            18

Game On                           19

Helicopter                         17

Hovercraft                         8

Hydrology                         

Invasive Species              

Materials Science          

Microbe Mission             

Optics                                 26

Remote Sensing              

Robot Arm                         10

Rocks and Minerals        

Towers                               11

Wind Power                      30

Write It Do It                    22

The Science Olympiad Experience

I first learned about Science Olympiad one day when I was making up a test after school. Curious as to why so many other students were working after school, I approached Grace Greene ’17 and asked what was going on. She explained this was Science Olympiad, and this was her after school activity. I asked why she would ever do such a thing. For all I knew the kids were asking for extra homework. I had no concept of the kinds of cool projects they were working on. Continue reading The Science Olympiad Experience