The Science Olympiad Regionals Competition!


Daisy K.

Kraemer Science Olympiad student Robbie Blank studying at the Regionals competition.

You’ve probably seen those kids walking around school, shouting strange things in a smart-sounding way, wearing dark and navy blue sweatshirts with the words “Kraemer Science Olympiad.” But did you pick up on their swaginess yet? Yep, that’s our Kraemer Science Olympiad team, and they just came back from a California Regionals competition… where they earned the second place title, and successfully qualified for the California State competition!

It had all started when the 30 Varsity and Junior Varsity contestants had been selected by our coach, Mr. Evola, to compete at the Southern California Regionals competition and represent our school. Shoutout to those 30 people, who were:

  1. Mitchell Han – 8th grader
  2. Lindsey Nguyen – 8th grader
  3. Yunji Kim – 8th grader
  4. Dillon Ma – 8th grader
  5. Sharon Wang – 8th grader
  6. Siena Palicke – 8th grader
  7. Tejal Patel – 8th grader
  8. Kamron Popal – 8th grader
  9. Samantha Chien – 8th grader
  10. Daisy Khieu – 8th grader
  11. Lauren Vanauken – 7th grader
  12. Josiah Chung – 7th grader
  13. Robbie Blank – 7th grader
  14. Tay Han – 7th grader
  15. Arjun Patel – 7th grader
  16. Troy Pitaknarongphorn – 8th grader
  17. Remi Nguyen – 8th grader
  18. Cody Chen – 7th grader
  19. Nicole Xu – 7th grader
  20. Viraj Jansari – 7th grader
  21. Skylar Tanartkit – 7th grader
  22. Lauren Yu – 7th grader
  23. Neha Abbas – 7th grader
  24. Camille Chap – 7th grader
  25. Anay Dagli – 7th grader
  26. Janav Shah – 7th grader
  27. Cole Seagren – 7th grader
  28. Chris Mancini – 7th grader
  29. Phoenix Pitaknarongphorn – 6th grader
  30. Matthew Mancini – 6th grader

They traveled to the University of California Irvine (otherwise known as UCI) campus, where the Science Olympiad program was hosting over 40 teams from all over Southern California. Unfortunately, they had to wake up at 5 am to make it in time to the campus, where they registered and checked in at 6:30 am. That is quite early! However, it paid off, as they all got to study for at least an hour before any of the Science Olympiad event competitions started during the first timeslot (there were six timeslots, each an hour long, with certain events opened during those timeslots that the respective competitors went to). And as for those that did NOT have a first timeslot event… well, they got to study even more! In the cold! In the really early morning in which no sun was visible because the sky was overcast with gray clouds that made it look like it would pour rain any minute.

The 30 people listed above competed in all of their events, each doing their best to answer and solve the questions that were off the expectations for each of their events (which is a well-known trademark of every Science Olympiad Regionals competition). Everyone was done testing by 3:50 pm that day. But, the worst was yet to come…

Yes, they had to wait for the awards ceremony… for more than two hours, too! Grading all of those tests, entering all of those scores, and creating a slideshow to present them takes a pretty long time. This led to zombie-like attitude and behavior from the competitors as they were dying in agony from the wait, hunger, thirst, short tempers, yelling, screaming, losing faith in life, weird noises coming from their open and hanging mouths, strangely timed “motivational speeches and pep talks” that came from the chaperoning parents and coaches, and a boatload of other conditions and symptoms too gruesome to list.

But finally! The moment they had all been waiting for! THE AWARDS CEREMONY HAD COME! As they nervously wiggled and twisted in their seats in anxious anticipation, the announcer stepped up to the podium and said the introduction. It had all seemed to go by in a blur UNTIL THE COMPETITOR’S EVENT IS NEXT ON THE LIST.

Then, that competitor, whoever it may be, sits on the edge of their seat, carefully listening to the announcer as they list of the medalers. “IN 6TH PLACE,” they call, “______ SCHOOL!”

The Kraemer competitor thinks to themselves: “Okay, that’s good, right! We’re going for FIRST place, not SIXTH.”

This happens in a similar manner for the other medal places, going all the way up to the prized first place medal place. And depending on the results, the Kraemer competitor may cry out in joy and relief, or weep despairingly in frustration and anger.

But it all came down to: which school would go to the States competition?! It was the top five schools that won at the Regionals competition… but who would those be?!
Well, our team did not have to worry. As a California powerhouse in Science Olympiad, we would surely get a good score. And that good score turned out to be a 2nd place! Beaten only narrowly by our longtime competitor, Jeffrey Trail, Kraemer Middle School earned a second place title at the Southern California Science Olympiad Regionals Competition. Great job, Kraemer Science Olympiad!