Science Olympiad

This+image+is+courtesy+of+en.wikipedia.org.

This image is courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.

Science Olympiad is an educational club but it’s anything but boring. Students have the chance to work collaboratively with their friends as well as upperclassmen. This allows students to work with other students they may not be used to working with and gain new experiences. There is a wide range of events that cater to specific subjects that a student may excel in. However, similar to the partners a student won’t always be within their comfort zone and will be given different events to challenge their minds and expand their skill set. The atmosphere of science olympiad is very welcoming and laidback. There isn’t an immense amount of pressure placed on students to only do well. This allows the students to motivate themselves and genuinely want to do well on their own. 

Nicole Salem is a junior at Mendham High School and has been participating in Science Olympiad since her freshman year. She joined science olympiad because she is “really passionate about science” and wants to “become a genetic engineer”. She describes the environment as “fun, interesting, and collaborative” and “no one feels like they’re going into an event alone”. Even if you aren’t necessarily a science fanatic “the events are really fun and interesting” and you also get to work with your friends so there’s no pressure even if you don’t place high. Nicole says, “Even if you don’t really know people, working with others during events allows you to become familiar with everyone”. She has participated in 5 events through her three years in science olympiad which include dynamic planet, designer genes, protein modeling, experimental design, and code busters. Four of which she participated in virtually this year! She said the online version was slightly more stressful than the in-person events because “you couldn’t collaborate with your team members in person”, but there was a chat feature, and if you knew the person before-hand FaceTime was an important tool that would allow partners to collaborate with each other. She says that “the field trip is an added bonus” and last year it was held at NJIT. She was able to walk around and explore the campus in between events.  

Mr. Racz is great, he’s super organized and makes sure everyone feels like they are a part of the team. He really promotes involvement in the club and emphasizes the idea that science is fun! Science olympiad definitely wouldn’t be able to function without him!”

— Nicole Salem

 

She says the club advisor, Mr. Racz “is great, he’s super organized and makes sure everyone feels like they are a part of the team. He really promotes involvement in the club and emphasizes the idea that science is fun! Science olympiad definitely wouldn’t be able to function without him!” She says if she were to become captain she would like to see these changes which include, “that everyone has access to the resources they need for their events, such as sending Mr. Racz a list of studying materials he could post on the science olympiad PSL page! I would make sure that everyone feels like they can turn to me for help or guidance, especially those that are new to the team! Holding more meetings would also be helpful just to allow people to communicate with their partners before the event and do some more practice! I would also do my best to help Mr. Racz get tentative event assignments out as quickly as possible and have people sign up as alternates in case we get any last-minute schedule changes. This way people have ample time to prepare and can step in for others at the last minute without worrying that they aren’t prepared! My goal as captain would be to get us to at least states and maybe even nationals!”. Her advice to freshman is “that even if you aren’t assigned an event your first year, still attend meetings and show your involvement because you’ll definitely be rewarded for it in the coming years. I wasn’t assigned an event my first year but I did compete sophomore year with 1 event and this year I did 4! Involvement and participation is really important! Another important thing is to just have fun and enjoy learning about different scientific fields! Even if you don’t do well in your first event there will be many opportunities for you to improve!”