Elective Spotlight: Science Olympiad

The official Science Olympiad symbol

The official Science Olympiad symbol

Being one of, if not the most challenging and time-consuming of electives, Science Olympiad, often referred to as “SciOly,” teaches students to be diligent, competitive, and receive criticism well. The program is no easy feat; starting in the summer, Science Olympiad students must study and prepare their cheat sheets in the late summer to get used to the routine they must follow later in the school year. This is an application elective that must be accepted by the coaches to ensure a strong and steady team.

 

Kraemer Middle School’s website describes Science Olympiad as a: “..rigorous academic interscholastic competition that consists of a series of individual and team events which students prepare for during the year.” The Kraemer SciOly students are separated into three teams, the three teams occasionally competing in their own respective competitions. Though there are times that the teams compete on their own, in scrimmages throughout the year, it’s more likely all the teams compete in one competition. 

 

Speaking of the teams, each has their own respective names; the A team is called Kraemer Blue, B team is called Kraemer Gold, and the last team, C team, is called Kraemer Cubs. The teams are constantly changing with the results of early scrimmages, competitions, and behavior. With each event, 2 or 3 teams are assigned to compete for a high rank; if Kraemer Blue (presumably the highest-ranking team) got a lower rank than Kraemer Gold, changes would be made to benefit the team. 

 

There are three main types of events, build events, where students prove their scientific abilities in physical projects; study events, where students study in preparation for the contents of the test; and lab events, where students prove their wit and memory in the lab to test for different reactions. A build event that has multiple restrictions and difficulties is “Bridges.” In the event, students must build a bridge within certain guidelines to ensure it holds enough weight, weighs less than a certain amount, and does not break during the testing process. On the other hand, a prime example of a lab event is “Crimebusters.” While the event doesn’t        have much of a lab portion when doing satellites (competitions where teams go to their respective schools and submit the tests online), the event is very challenging in person. In only 50 minutes, “Crimebusters” students must test and correctly identify different powders, metals, and liquids; identify and assign fingerprints, blood samples, and DNA to the suspects to find who committed the crime. The very last type of events are the study events; an example is “Anatomy and Physiology,” where students study certain parts of the human body and how they function.

 

Though with such hardships, there is fun in the event as well. Students get to work with their peers to win awards and higher rankings, growing friendships, and building socialization skills. According to a member of SciOly, Julia T, another fun part of SciOly scrimmages is “traveling to other schools and once completing her tests, messing around, and exploring the campus with my peers.”

 

All in all, Science Olympiad is worth it for the competitive rush and learning of acceptance. As Barron S. says, “It’s pretty cool, if you win. If not, well… you’re dead.” It’s great for filling up extra time and a challenge for one’s memory and work ethic.