Science Olympiad Takes Off


M. Plascencia

Sci Oly Tournament

Kraemer Middle School hosted the 4rth annual Kraemer Science Olympiad Invitational this past Saturday.  62 teams from California and Hawaii participated in the tournament. Jeffery Trial (Irvine) was crowned champions of this year’s tournament with Kraemer finishing one point behind them.

Science Olympiad functions much like a football or soccer team, requiring preparation, commitment, coaching and practice throughout the year. Each school-based team is allowed to bring 15 students who cross-train for a variety of events in their skill set, but some school clubs have more than 75 members, allowing for an apprentice and mentoring system.  Kraemer Middle School has 45 members that range from 5-9th grade.

The day started early with students competing in an event titled Experimental Design.  In the event, students orchestrated an experiment involving Alka Seltzer and water. Kraemer’s Experimental Design team consists of Nina Kini (8th grade), Kaylynn Yunne (8th grade) and Tanya Vidhun (7th Grade).  They finished 2nd place in the event.

A variety of events in multiple realms of science were conducted throughout the day.  Some of the events were open to the public whereas others were closed to viewing. One event open to spectators was called Battery Buggy.  In this event, students design and build a battery-powered vehicle that travels from a start line to a target between 9-12 meters away. Saturday’s target distances were 10.5 meters.  Kraemer’s team which consists of Tim Elnitiarta (9th Grade) and Kaleb Lee (7th Grade) was able to get there vehicle within 7.2cm of the target point.  This was good enough for first place!

The Kraemer invitational is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious on the west coast.  In addition to all of the science competition, bakery trucks, and other food vendors kept the estimated 2000 people fed.  One of the things that separate this invitational from the rest is that the Kraemer Student body is really involved! ASB students arrived at 6 am and helped competitors in every aspect of the tournament.  ASB students could be found directing parking and helping proctors and competitors find places on campus. ASB students made posters for each team at the tournament which were posted on the MPR walls. The last event ended at 330pm.  At that time ASB students converted the VHS gym from an Elastic Launched Glider arena to an awesome awards venue.

Other sections of the Kraemer student body then took over to entertain the guest. Jazz band started off the ceremony with a set of music.  Dance team then amazed the crowd with a great performance. Color Guard then took over and practiced their future award-winning performance.  In between each performance, ASB students filled the time with fun games and prizes for the participants.

Moving forward, the Kraemer Science Olympiad team will compete in the regional competition on Feb 9 at the University of California, Irvine.  The top 3 qualify to compete in the state’s competition at the Caltech in April.