SHS Science Olympiad Gets the Gold

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SHS Science Olympiad Gets the Gold

Photo Credit: Maroon Staff

Photo Credit: Maroon Staff

Photo Credit: Maroon Staff

Photo Credit: Maroon Staff

For the first time in 7 years, the Scarsdale High School Science Olympiad team won the Lower Hudson Regional competition, held on February 2 at Byram Hills High School. Competing in 24 testing, building, and lab events—ranging from astronomy to chemistry—SHS beat out 47 other teams. The win qualifies the team to continue to the state competition on March 15th and 16th at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.

The team started its competition season in January when it attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Invitational, with teams hailing from all over the US. This was the first time Scarsdale had ever competed at an invitational, and it helped the team prepare for regionals. “In my opinion, the invitational at MIT was critical to our success. It gave the team a chance to ‘fail.’ We faced tough competition and several nationally recognized teams. It gave us the competitive edge [at regionals],” said SHS chemistry teacher and Science Olympiad coach Jen Wagner.

Photo Credit: Samantha Kefer

Before invitationals and regionals, the team was uncertain about its prospects without stand-out stars. “I think that the past two years there were a handful of students who performed exceptionally well in their respective events, which helped us place well. Going into this year, we understood that we lost those students, because they were graduating seniors from the classes of 2017 and 2018. Because of this, I think it was difficult to say how well we thought we would perform,” explained SHS chemistry teacher and Science Olympiad coach Kevin Viviano.

But with the MIT Invitational and a season of hard work, Scarsdale was able to build a stronger overall team. “It was obvious to me that the members of this year’s team were spending time preparing for the competition, which allowed it to secure first place in the region,” stated SHS science teacher and Science Olympiad coach James Williams. Winning regionals was “something that we’ve been working towards for a couple of years, ever since we started the team… it’s a testament to how far we’ve come,” said team captain Anika Agarwal ’19.

The team is currently preparing for the state competition. “We want to keep studying up and rebuilding things that aren’t as successful today, or things that could be more successful,” said Agarwal.