Northwood High School’s Science Olympiad team placed 11th out of 50 teams from across the country in the Golden Gate Invitational at UC Berkeley on Jan. 27 and 2nd out of 33 teams at the Orange County Regional Competition at UC Irvine on Feb. 10.
In Science Olympiad competitions, teams compete in a variety of events, each focusing on a different aspect of science. Teams are ranked by their performance on either a written test for events such as Materials Science or a demonstration of their previously-built device for events like Helicopters.
At the Golden Gate Invitational, Northwood excelled in many events, placing 2nd in Anatomy and Physiology and Hovercraft as well as 3rd in Herpetology and Ecology.
“I was very impressed by our team’s performance at Golden Gate,” Science Olympiad President senior Esther Li said. “I’m really proud of the dedication the team displayed. The new members adapted quickly and the veterans stepped up to outperform themselves.”
Schools traveled from as far as Pennsylvania and Georgia to compete at the invitational, which was run by Science Olympiad alumni who attend UC Berkeley and Stanford University.
“Golden Gate was definitely one of the most challenging invitationals that we’ve competed at as a team,” Science Olympiad member junior Caitlyn Chen said. “I think the difficulty of the tests helped us realize what we still need to work on so we can do even better at regionals and state.”
Dustin Schroeder, Stanford Assistant Professor of Geophysics, and Mark Rober, a YouTube Engineering Star, were guest speakers at the awards ceremony.
“I really enjoyed listening to Rober’s story about his scientific journey, from his time at NASA working on the Curiosity Rover to his personal builds and gadgets featured on his hit YouTube channel,” Science Olympiad member sophomore Zachary Huang-Ogata said. “His talk reminded me to always pursue my interests and work towards achieving success without the fear of failure, something that will only act as a barrier in life!”
Northwood also had a strong showing at the Orange County Regional Competition, placing in nearly every event. Most notably, the Northwood team placed 1st in the Disease Detectives and Microbe Mission events as well as 2nd in Game On, Herpetology, Thermodynamics and Write It Do It.
“It was awesome to see all of our hard work pay off,” Science Olympiad member freshman Anlon Zhu said. “The awards ceremony was super exhilarating as always. It was especially exciting this time because the overall team scores were very close. Let’s get pumped for state!”
Due to its strong finish in the Regional Competition, Northwood has qualified for the Science Olympiad Southern California State Competition, which they will compete in on April 7.