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UC High Hosts Science Olympiad Competition

Sophomore Ashley Meader prepares a helicopter for one of the events in which students create rubber-band-powered helicopters.

Sophomore Ashley Meader prepares a helicopter for one of the events in which students create rubber-band-powered helicopters.

Debi Rahmanan

Debi Rahmanan

Sophomore Ashley Meader prepares a helicopter for one of the events in which students create rubber-band-powered helicopters.

Audrey Hancock, Staff Writer

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     On February 18, UC High will be holding one of the largest science regional competitions in the country on campus.

According to Head Advisor Maureen Quessenberry, Science Olympiad is a national competition and an opportunity for students to compete against other students. There are twenty three different events which range from building a car that runs on electricity, to learning about invasive species and being able to identify them. There are test events, engineering events, and sometimes a combination of both.

“We usually have about twenty five to thirty schools, and each school can bring up to six teams. So there’s thousands of kids at UC High on the competition day. After that, the top six places at the regional competition go to the state competition, which is at Caltech, and happens in April,” explained Quessenberry.

Senior Matthew Lok said, “There is a lot of interesting things about science you get to do. I like exploring new science. You’re really passionate about science if you’re in Science Olympiad.”

“This year we have something called optics where you have to build a mirror that will shoot light to make it so the light ends up where you want it. Then you also take a test to show that you understand the principles behind it,” said Quessenberry.

Quessenberry added, “We cover everything from general science to engineering. There’s life science, earth science, and physical science, but it’s a lot of stuff you don’t do in class. It’s extra and above. Forensics, for example; it’s fun and in regular classes you wouldn’t get that.”

“As a teacher it’s really exciting to see over a thousand students that are just hyped on science,” said Quessenberry. “You don’t have to pay to watch. You’re not allowed to watch the test events, but there’s helicopters that fly in the gym, cars that run in the activity room, a robot arm in the Journalism room, and towers in the auditorium.”

“It looks good on college transcripts, especially if you participate all four years. You also have the opportunity to win things, which is always a good feeling, to score higher than other competitors,” said Quessenberry. “Science Olympiad helps in terms of broadening your horizons because you have the opportunity to learn about things you wouldn’t get in your typical chemistry class or typical biology class.”

“It can on occasion lead to internships or scholarships, depending on what you do,” said Quessenberry. “STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is huge and this is a way to immerse yourself in that. However, it is very time consuming as it requires time after school and on weekends.”

According to Quessenberry, “Sign up at the beginning of the year if you want to join. It starts in October. You sign up and say what you like to do, and we assign you at least one or two things to do. You do participate in three events, though, so you might get a task you won’t like.”

“I enjoy going to my building event called Towers, and exploring my interests in engineering. A lot of the events help me go more in depth in my interests and also help me discover new ones,” said Junior Vivian Chou.



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UC High Hosts Science Olympiad Competition