Science Olympiad on the Road to Nationals


Photo by Adelaide Edwards

Senior Luke Chen raising the Science Olympiad State trophy at the Apr. 7 spring sports assembly.

With the combined efforts of the science olympiad team, they have moved on from the state competition and are moving onto the national stage. Their expertise in all 23 of the events has been key to their success with each individual perfecting their own event. 


One of the keys to Science Olympiad’s recent success was longtime member, senior Luke Chen, the president of Science Olympiad.


“[Science Olympiad] is a competition that is throughout the year. There’s study events which are just tests on different topics, [and] the labs, and then the prototypes, [which are] the build events. [in] build events, you build something and you take it to the competition to test. For example, a plane, and see how long [it] can fly,” Chen said. 


Science olympiad competitions start off with 40-50 people per team, Chen explained. This year there were local competitions, and virtual competitions due to COVID-19.


The road to first place was bumpy, but it paid off, according to Chen. There were no other seniors on the team this year, which is unusual, yet with all of the local competitions, the team was able to “test the waters,” and learned to overcome the obstacles in time to place for both regionals and state and then further qualify to nationals.


“[In] about January, we picked a team with about 15 people and [that is our] team that we’re going to use to compete for regionals and state. Regionals were in February, and that’s against the best teams in the region. And then State was in April,” said Chen. “We got second in regionals and first in state this year. So with that first place [in] State, we got to qualify for Nationals”.


Nationals this year are held by California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Normally, in the past years, nationals are held by different colleges at the college campus, but this year nationals will be held virtually due to COVID-19.


“I feel like we’re missing out on a lot of the experience. I’ve never been to it, but from what I’ve heard, it’s one of the greatest experiences and one of the most fun things you can really do in high school,” Chen said.


A competitor would normally get to meet people from all across the country. There are also a lot of events to celebrate, such as a beginning ceremony where the candidates walk in with flags representing the state they are coming from, according to Chen.


“I feel like we’re missing out on a bit of stuff, but we’re gonna make the most out of it,” Chen said. 


Chen discussed how he was very proud of the growth of the team, and they have come a long way. 

“We had to really work together, get all the builds up,” Chen said. “I think it’s going to be a great experience.”