Pitman Students Reveal Their Dork Side at Science Olympiad Regionals

Sydney Vallier (9th), Reporter

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Disease Detectives, Astronomy, Hovercraft, and Mousetrap Vehicle are just a few of the many events you’d see while skimming the schedule for this year’s Science Olympiad competition. Ranging from tests to builds, the events tested students’ abilities in various scientific disciplines in a fun and competitive environment. This year, the regional competition took place at Modesto Junior College, where high schools and junior high/middle schools from across the region gathered for the all day event.

 

Science Olympiad has been held annually since 1983, when the first tournaments were held by SciOly founders Dr. Gerard Putz and Jack Cairns starting in Michigan and Delaware. Since then, it has grown to include participants from 14,500 K-12 schools in all 50 states and Canada.

 

One of the more recent additions to the Science Olympiad program is Pitman High School. This year, on March 3, Pitman competed at the Regional competition at Modesto Junior College and placed in _ events. Although that may not seem impressive for longstanding SciOly veterans, it was a great accomplishment as almost every member of the small team took home a medal.

 

Participants got a lot more out of the experience than medals, though. Competing in Science Olympiad provides students with many opportunities they wouldn’t receive in a traditional learning environment; Marcus Hawley (10th) commented, “Personally, my favorite part of competing in Science Olympiad is learning new ways to cooperate with others to be successful in an event.” And cooperation was definitely an important aspect, as team members met regularly and prepared for months to prepare their projects for the final competition.

 

Science Olympiad also provides an excellent opportunity to get students interested in science. Hawley noted that he was drawn into SciOly by “the thrill of learning and building” and that “the teachers that were involved with my first year of Science Olympiad were also amazing and had a vast level of skill and wanted us to learn.”

 

Hawley went on to discuss the benefits of being in Science Olympiad, saying that it “provides an outlet for students to express their skills and knowledge that they learn over the course of a multiple months.” It is also beneficial in developing life skills; Hawley observed that “Students learn good study habits and the pain of not succeeding in a safe environment. It also is a social activity for those who wish to discuss with others what they gained from their experiences in SciOly.” Not only does Science Olympiad serve as a good way to engage in social interactions revolving around the competition, students also develop lasting friendships with their teammates.

 

Overall, Science Olympiad is a great experience that anyone can benefit from, whether you’re interested in developing new and unique skills, learning, or just having a good time with friends and teammates. Marcus Hawley summed it up perfectly by saying, “Science Olympiad makes science more than baking soda and vinegar in a lab, it makes it fun and a worthy pursuit.”

If you’re interested in competing on next year’s Science Olympiad team, talk to Mr. Brooks in room B125.

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