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UC High Science Olympiad Competes in 2019 State Science Competition

Freshman+Colin+Stout%2C+Junior+Bridget+Carr%2C+Sophomore+Angelica+Smith%2C+Freshman+John+Whistler%2C+Freshman+Alex+Wicklund%2C+Sophomore+Peter+Eckmann%2C+Senior+Nyah+Brooks%2C+Freshman+Ryan+Gedeminas%2C+Freshman+Hannah+Bauer%2C+Sophomore+Joel+Watson%2C+Sophomore+Rina+Coo%2C+Senior+Gavin+Sullivan%2C+Senior+Ashley+Meader%2C+Senior+Sophia+Lipkin%2C+Senior+Robyn+Wilkinson%2C+Senior+Megan+Lok%2C+Senior+Maxine+Garcia%2C+Senior+Izzy+DeMarco%2C+Freshman+Grace+Mailloux%2C+and+Club+Advisor+Maureen+Quessenberry+%28left+to+right%2C+top+to+bottom%29+competing+at+State+competition.
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UC High Science Olympiad Competes in 2019 State Science Competition

Freshman Colin Stout, Junior Bridget Carr, Sophomore Angelica Smith, Freshman John Whistler, Freshman Alex Wicklund, Sophomore Peter Eckmann, Senior Nyah Brooks, Freshman Ryan Gedeminas, Freshman Hannah Bauer, Sophomore Joel Watson, Sophomore Rina Coo, Senior Gavin Sullivan, Senior Ashley Meader, Senior Sophia Lipkin, Senior Robyn Wilkinson, Senior Megan Lok, Senior Maxine Garcia, Senior Izzy DeMarco, Freshman Grace Mailloux, and Club Advisor Maureen Quessenberry (left to right, top to bottom) competing at State competition.

Freshman Colin Stout, Junior Bridget Carr, Sophomore Angelica Smith, Freshman John Whistler, Freshman Alex Wicklund, Sophomore Peter Eckmann, Senior Nyah Brooks, Freshman Ryan Gedeminas, Freshman Hannah Bauer, Sophomore Joel Watson, Sophomore Rina Coo, Senior Gavin Sullivan, Senior Ashley Meader, Senior Sophia Lipkin, Senior Robyn Wilkinson, Senior Megan Lok, Senior Maxine Garcia, Senior Izzy DeMarco, Freshman Grace Mailloux, and Club Advisor Maureen Quessenberry (left to right, top to bottom) competing at State competition.

courtesy of Maureen Quessenberry

Freshman Colin Stout, Junior Bridget Carr, Sophomore Angelica Smith, Freshman John Whistler, Freshman Alex Wicklund, Sophomore Peter Eckmann, Senior Nyah Brooks, Freshman Ryan Gedeminas, Freshman Hannah Bauer, Sophomore Joel Watson, Sophomore Rina Coo, Senior Gavin Sullivan, Senior Ashley Meader, Senior Sophia Lipkin, Senior Robyn Wilkinson, Senior Megan Lok, Senior Maxine Garcia, Senior Izzy DeMarco, Freshman Grace Mailloux, and Club Advisor Maureen Quessenberry (left to right, top to bottom) competing at State competition.

courtesy of Maureen Quessenberry

courtesy of Maureen Quessenberry

Freshman Colin Stout, Junior Bridget Carr, Sophomore Angelica Smith, Freshman John Whistler, Freshman Alex Wicklund, Sophomore Peter Eckmann, Senior Nyah Brooks, Freshman Ryan Gedeminas, Freshman Hannah Bauer, Sophomore Joel Watson, Sophomore Rina Coo, Senior Gavin Sullivan, Senior Ashley Meader, Senior Sophia Lipkin, Senior Robyn Wilkinson, Senior Megan Lok, Senior Maxine Garcia, Senior Izzy DeMarco, Freshman Grace Mailloux, and Club Advisor Maureen Quessenberry (left to right, top to bottom) competing at State competition.

Mara Mercado, Staff Writer

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   On April 6, the UC High Science Olympiad Team competed against 31 other teams during the 2019 State Science Olympiad Competition on the campuses of the California Institute of Technology and the Polytechnic School in Pasadena.

   The UC High Science Olympiad Team was able to compete at the state science competition because they placed high enough during the San Diego Regional Science Olympiad competition that took place on March 16. According to Science Olympiad Advisor Maureen Quessenberry,  UC High placed seventh against 29 other schools.

   “At the regional competition, we competed with many other schools, with a total of about seventy teams each year. Some of the schools do very well and deserve a lot of respect, but it’s always fun to cheer for our teammates when a UC High Team places above some of the top scorers, like Canyon Crest,” said Senior Ashley Meader.

   “State was a lot of fun. It’s always great to be able to take our knowledge to the next level, especially in a setting like Caltech,” said Meader.

   “I think everyone really enjoyed the competitive state environment. UC High did pretty well in the competition,” Meader continued.

   “State is always very challenging, and we go head-to-head with some very competitive schools. Despite some unusual challenges this year, several students placed in the top ten in their events and overall we had a great time,” added Meader.

   “Science Olympiad is a competition that involves 23 different events, sort of like the Olympics. Some of the events are just paper-pencil tests, and some of them are ‘build-this-device-and-test-it’ events, and some are a mix of both,” said Quessenberry.

   According to the official Science Olympiad website, “The Science Olympiad tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of individual and team events which students prepare for during the year” (socalstatescioly.org).

   The competitions deal with many different fields of science that students wouldn’t normally be exposed to. “There’s life sciences, there’s physical sciences, there’s engineering, there’s natural science and the nature of science,” added Quessenberry.

   Meader said, “I really enjoy the wide array of scientific fields covered by the events. Many of the events focus on topics that aren’t covered extensively in a school setting, such as astronomy and protein folding — so it’s a great opportunity to learn about these things in-depth.”

    “To prepare for the competition, members of the club spend several months working with coaches to learn the material that will be tested during competition,” said Meader. These coaches include former members of Science Olympiad, parents of former members, teachers, and even college professors.

   “Preparing for competition day also means collaborating with your partner to ensure that you will work well together and both be prepared to excel in your event,” Meader added.

   “I think our strength is that we have some really motivated, excited students,” said Quessenberry “It’s really fun. One event we had this year was herpetology — which is the study of reptiles — and our people who were studying reptiles were so into reptiles. It’s neat, and it’s not something that you would ever do in school.”

   “I was so elated to see that it was an actual Science Olympiad event, especially because it is almost never taught in a classroom setting,” said Meader

   “The club is a great way for participants to explore their interests or get a more specialized view of their potential career paths,” Meader said.

   “I would definitely recommend joining this club. It’s a fantastic way to gain loads of scientific knowledge and learn about interesting topics. It can be rigorous at times, but Science Olympiad is a wonderful club for anyone who loves to learn or is interested in exploring the many dimensions of STEAM,” Meader added.

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UC High Science Olympiad Competes in 2019 State Science Competition