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Elise Andelman

Staff Writer

A new club has arrived at HHS. Sophomore Austin Chang created the Science Olympiad, a team that gives students a chance to show off their science knowledge while also building life skills and friendships.

But what is the Science Olympiad?

“At each competition, there are four events, and in each event, there’s a different science discipline. Students will compete and earn points, and they might be labs, they might be written tests. Right now they are trying to build a vehicle that’s powered by a mousetrap, so there’s a bunch of different things they can do,” said Dr. Blair Duncan, one of the co-advisors of the club along with Ms. Karen Carig-O’Neill.

The Science Olympiad has plenty of opportunities for students interested in all areas of science.

“Students who have the same interests as me in fields of all sorts of science can come and learn together in a fun environment,” said Chang. “The Olympiad focuses on all sorts of sciences: there’s chemistry, biology, even fossils, so it’s a big range.”

It also allows students who want to expand their knowledge of science outside the classroom a chance to learn more.

“A lot of the activities for Science Olympiad go into more depth than sometimes is covered in class, or into AP level depth, so if students are really interested in science, it gives them a chance to learn material they might otherwise not have seen until they got to college,” said Dr. Duncan.

There are more benefits to Science Olympiad then just scientific knowledge.

“[Students] could take away leadership skills, take away team building skills, life skills that they’re going to use later in the real world – working with kids that they may not necessarily work within their general classes. Just like in real life, they work with people that they may not like or may not know very well. [ButtThey] are working together towards a common goal, so that’s important,” said Ms. Carig-O’Neill.

The club leaders encourage everyone to join, no matter what science classes they’ve taken.

“It should be open to any student who is at all interested in science or in the experience,” said Dr. Duncan.

Students have to put in the time and have the drive to succeed.

“You have to dive deeper, and you have to be willing to put some work into it outside of just after school; there’s a lot involved, the topics are pretty intense, so there has to be a desire to want to do that,” said Ms. Carig-O’Neill.

For students interested in learning more about STEM careers and organizations, Science Olympiad can help with that too.

“Science Olympiad is a nationally renowned competition that has support from major scientific organizations. For instance… they have to study how diseases transmit through the population, and that one’s backed by the center for disease control, which has a huge level of expertise in disease, so it’s nationally recognized, you can get a lot of experience,” said Dr. Duncan.

Chang encourages people to join.

“This is a national, sponsored event. Lots of organizations and corporations like NASA sponsor it, so it looks really nice on college resumes, and honestly it’s a great way to learn science and have fun with people that enjoy science too, so there are a lot of reasons to join,” he said.

If you want to help the team but aren’t interested in joining, you can support their fundraisers.

“To support us,  fund us with fundraisers – we need money for equipment if we’re going to participate in engineering contests; that’s the best way you could help us,” said Chang.

Overall, the Science Olympiad is a great way for students with an interest in science to share their knowledge, build teamwork and life skills, and learn about opportunities in STEM.

“We would love to have more people join and learn about science/compete in science,” said Chang. “It’s a great opportunity and you get to meet a lot of people.”

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