Scioly places top 4 in OC

Dream+it%2C+build+it%2C+do+it%3A+Junior+Shayan+Halder+and+freshman+Hunter+Welch+work+together+to+make+a+gravity+vehicle%2C+a+vehicle+powered+solely+by+gravitational+potential+energy+and+sheer+willpower.+

Claire Chien

Dream it, build it, do it: Junior Shayan Halder and freshman Hunter Welch work together to make a gravity vehicle, a vehicle powered solely by gravitational potential energy and sheer willpower.

Annabel Tiong, Staff Writer

Distinct sighs of relief echoed from the Northwood gym as the Science Olympiad team’s carefully crafted airplane took off, swirling gracefully in the air. Since 2014, Northwood has placed within the top four schools at the Orange County regional tournament.
This year proved to be no different, as the team placed 4th out of 42 teams at the Orange County Regional Science Olympiad Tournament on Feb. 26, qualifying for the state tournament. The competition was held in person through a satellite format, with members competing at their home school under the supervision of coach and science teacher Sarah Smith.
For captain senior Daniel Yang, the team’s accomplishment is the culmination of his experience since joining as a freshman—especially with difficulties meeting in person and finding a new coach for the school year.
“I’m really proud of the team for getting so many medals and am grateful that Northwood has another opportunity to go to state this year,” Yang said. “Although we historically rank higher in the county, the fact that our team has made it this far is still a huge accomplishment considering all the setbacks we’ve faced from the pandemic.”
The team had a rigorous practice schedule leading up to the big day, meeting for two hours weekly after school on Tuesdays to study and test their build devices.
“I would wake up early in the morning most days to come and test in the gym before school, then stay until 5 p.m. to take tests with my partner,” junior Joshua Ikehara said.
For the top individual placings, senior Claire Chien and sophomore Yutong Ke placed 3rd in Rocks and Minerals, junior Chris Song and senior Andy Zhu placed 1st in Wifi Lab, senior Kaitlin To and Chien placed 2nd in Ornithology, junior Annabel Tiong and sophomore Derek Lee placed 2nd in Anatomy and Physiology and Yang and Tiong placed 1st in Cell Biology.
“It’s a little dopamine boost seeing your teammates win an event that they’ve dedicated so much time for,” freshman Gabby Lan said. “While we don’t always see the behind the scenes, you can still tell that it’s one heck of an accomplishment.”