Portola Pilot

It is All About Team Chemistry on Science Olympiad

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The Science Olympiad team gathers for a pep talk before the competition.

The Science Olympiad team gathers for a pep talk before the competition.

Ajinkya Rane

Ajinkya Rane

The Science Olympiad team gathers for a pep talk before the competition.

Jordan Lee and Shawyan Rooein

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Science Olympiad placed 18th at the Southern California Scioly State Competition which was hosted at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena on April 7. The team competed against 30 of Southern California’s most prestigious high schools.

Troy High and Northwood High, placed first and second, respectively.

“Competing against the top schools in the nation and the state at first made me doubt my abilities because I wondered, ‘how am I going to beat them,’ because their team has had continuous success,” competition medalist and sophomore Xian Lun Zeng said. “But then I realized that even Troy had to start somewhere, and I believe that even I and our team could do it as well.”

The team placed fifth at the regional competition on Feb. 10, qualifying for its first state competition. Though the events and teams were extremely challenging and competitive, the team persevered and took home several medals in both study and engineering events, such as towers and dynamic planet.

“We’ve grown a lot as a program; it’s only our second year, and we made it to State. I think we’ve really put a name to who we are as Science Olympiad and I’m only looking forward to what is in store for the future,” co-captain Stephanie Zhang said. “Seeing very elite teams like Troy and Northwood just motivated us more…and they are really impressed with us.”

The competition consisted of 23 different study and engineering events in which individual students participated in. The event was scored by place; the team with the lowest number of points wins.

“Most high schools had majority seniors on their teams with a smattering of a couple juniors here or there, and they have their B teams at home, which are usually their younger ones. Well for us, we are all freshman, all sophomores. Our oldest students are sophomores; they haven’t been able to take AP Chem or AP Bio yet,” co-adviser and science department chair Erin Arredondo said. “In a few years we’ll be more on an even playing field, but even right now they’re doing great.”

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It is All About Team Chemistry on Science Olympiad