Science team places second in Massachusetts State Science Olympiad

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The Newtonite

by Jacob Sims Speyer

This school’s science team recently placed second overall in the high school division of the Massachusetts State Science Olympiad, held at Framingham State University, Saturday, March 22.

The team placed first in five events, second in three events, and third in five events, an improvement from the seven medals received last year. The competition featured 42 high schools.

Junior Kavish Gandhi, a co-captain of the Olympiad team along with senior Yongyi Zhao, explained the team’s success. “Each and every member of the team worked incredibly hard studying for or building for their respective events,” he said. “We also were more organized than in years past, which I think also helped.”

This year, this school placed 20 points behind the first place team; in range of winning the competition, said Gandhi.

The Science Olympiad is a competition in which students participate in over 20 competitions, ranging from common subjects such as chemistry and physics, to more unusual disciplines such as astronomy and entomology. In these events, students study ahead of time to prepare for a test or a lab.

About five of the events are building events, called build-aheads. Students pre-build a machine that executes a task at the event. For example, one of the events included participants building a Rube Goldberg machine; a device that performs a simple task in a complicated fashion.

This school sent 15 participants and five alternates. Each event had two participants from this school, except for the build-aheads, which are collaborative.

The team was supported by science teacher Tatyana Osipenko, the coach, and science department head Amy Winston, the team advisor.

Gandhi said that the most exciting part of the Olympiad was “seeing what devious and awesome questions the test-writers had made for us. We had been studying for a good part of the year, so seeing what had been cooked for us was and is always a fun experience.”

According to Gandhi, the science team has been preparing for the Science Olympiad since the beginning of the year. The team started meeting weekly since September, and met daily in the weeks leading up to the event.

“I am proud to count myself the captain of such a successful team. I am so happy for our team and proud of each and every member of it,” said Gandhi.