Science Olympiad prepares with invitational meets


Science Olympiad member and senior Gillian Audia reviews a test for preparation. Photo by Jack Linde.

Akmal Mustofa

Students at WJ’s Science Olympiad (SciOly) worked hard this past year as they had just finished their third invitational competition on Saturday, January 13. These meets are merely practice, with the intent of preparing for the annual state competition. The school which wins first place in states then moves forward to the national competition, which is what the SciOly students are working toward.

“Our endgame for this year is to win the state competition and qualify for Nationals in May. That’s a big goal, so for now we’re more or less taking it one competition at a time,” co-president senior Emily Kraft said.

In these practice-competitions, teams complete in various activities including lab-simulations, as they are tested on up to 23 different topics, called “events,” such as astronomy and forensics. This year, up to three students are assigned to an event, leaving the challenges to be very teamwork-reliant. Long-time member and senior Gillian Audia shared her experiences.

“This is my seventh year with Science Olympiad,” Audia said. “I think our invitationals went well! We placed first overall at our first invitational of the year at National Cathedral School, and we held up really well at the Fairfax and Conestoga invitationals.”

WJ’s SciOly scored 5th place at Fairfax and 11th in the recent Conestoga meet, which is considered very decent out of the 40 or so teams that participated. The students are looking forward to performing well on the next and final invitational coming up at Princeton University in February.

The students work hard both at home and school on a somewhat irregular basis, but still perform well at the meets according to Kraft.

“Our event leaders have been holding meetings every week or so, as usual, and we’re having a study party this Friday night for some last-minute building and studying,” Kraft said before their recent invitational at Conestoga High School. “We’ve also had this team posted since mid-December, so the team members have had plenty of time to meet up with their partners and divide up work.”

From countless hours of studying, a strong bond has formed between the members, something essential for victory in such a competitive nature. The one thing that drives the students the most is their determination.

“We should always strive for better results,” Audia said. “a lot of other Maryland teams are on the rise and our competition is tough.”

Even though victory seems bright and within reach, the SciOly team will still work rigorously as they know there’s always room for perfection, especially with the threat of other rising teams.