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Meet the Science Olympiad 2018-2019 Team

Rebecca Benjamin, Staff Writer

All About Science Olympiad

On March 9th, more than 1000 high school and middle school students traveled to the College of Lake County for the Grayslake Regional Science Olympiad Competition. 20 high schools and 12 middle schools participated in events under Life and Social Science, Earth and Space Science, Physical Science and Chemistry, Technology and Engineering, and the Inquiry and Nature of Science. With great esteem and honor, Warren Township High School placed 5th out of the top 7 high school Varsity teams in the region and 3rd out of the top Junior Varsity teams. They will be advancing to the state competition on April 13th at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign!

Back in the 90s, there was a Science Olympiad team, but it soon faded away. However, in Mr. Karnstedt’s second year of teaching, he restarted the team with Mr. Black, and it has been going strong for 6 years. Mr. Karnstedt had chosen to become a coach for Science Olympiad because he had helped out with Science Olympiad as a student teacher, and he believed it was a very unique competitive group. There are many students who want to do things with Science as an extracurricular activity, and Science Olympiad adds a competitive aspect to their interests. He hoped that if he could light a spark, it would grow to become an activity that many people would love and enjoy.

In the first year, there were only 13 members on the team. In the regional invite, the team made second to the last place, which was impressive at the time! The next year, there were 25 members, and a Junior Varsity and Varsity for the first time. In the third year, it was the first year with a large Junior Varsity team for they started to have around 40 members. Currently, he enjoys coaching this team because it provides an opportunity for students who are interested in science to further their learning and have a competitive experience while doing it. He also loves to judge any event where students design and build something because it is really interesting to watch the creative ways that students apply their knowledge.

Currently, the coaches for the team are Mr. Karnstedt and Mr. Korah. This year, around 40 students participated in Science Olympiad. An influx of seniors united the team; given that there are only 7 spots for seniors in Varsity, some really talented, intelligent students that could have easily medaled were placed on Junior Varsity.

This is a sign that the team is truly growing and expanding from what it was 6 years ago, and it was never anticipated that Science Olympiad would become so popular and ambitious. Many students have competed in Science Olympiad since middle school, and many get more experience as time progresses. This gives the team a strong advantage as they continue to master their events at each meet.

Science Olympiad is a challenging competitive group, and anytime you do something that is challenging, it will help you improve. Our curriculum at this school only goes so far. Science Olympiad will lead you to discover the deeper elements of Science that are not brought to light in a science class. You can learn about earth and space science or venture into technology and engineering. It’s a way to journey beyond just 45 minutes in a school day. Anyone can join the group! At the end of August, there are announcements about the club; in September, each member is allocated events for the meet in November. The only rule asked of teammates is to commit to being a member and strive to push the team towards its highest potential.

For more information, visit https://www.soinc.org/.

Officers

Veeshva Rana

She is currently a senior and she has been on the team for 4 years. The team has helped her grow as a leader and become more empathetic for people as a whole. It has also has grown so much in regards to its organization. They have study tables now, which was not a part of the team 4 years ago. At the same time, the closeness that everyone ends up having is not lost.

Kamden Kuklinski

He is currently a senior and has been a part of the team for 2 years. Before he joined Science Olympiad, he wasn’t really a part of anything. At first, he felt that he lacked commitment in a lot of things, and tried to compensate for his lack of commitment in anything by over-committing to everything! Being able to experience Science Olympiad helped him focus on things that mattered and remember that the friendships that he earned in this group are the most important. His favorite event is Experimental Design. The time constraint and overall uncertainty of the event, in general, leaves him mentally exhausted, but satisfied every single time.

Saranya Menon

She is currently a senior and has been a part of the team for 4 years. When she was a freshman, there were not a lot of resources in Science Olympiad. However, over the years, the team has grown to understand what their niches and intellectual passions are. Over time, she has established strong friendships that are more meaningful than simple conversations. Personally, the people are what make Science Olympiad such an amazing club to participate in! She has found that the innumerable friends she has made in Science Olympiad have contributed to making her the person she is.

Whether on bus rides or during weekly meetings, she and her friends could discuss many topics that others might not have had a shared interest for. Are there alternate universes beyond our comprehension? How do crystals relate to string theory? All of these strange but interesting questions and her interactions with her teammates have helped her grow both intellectually and inter-personally. Additionally, competing and studying for the events have allowed her to explore different avenues of thought and learn a lot about the world around her. Her favorite events generally tend to be the biology-related events because they relate to what she wants to do in the future. In these events, they generally have to do a lot of outside research and reading. Since she would like to eventually go on to do medicine and neuroscience research, she believes that events such as Anatomy and Physiology, Designer Genes, Microbe Mission, and Disease Detectives have contributed to preparing her for her future.

Ji Soo Kim

He is currently a senior and has been a part of the team for 3 years. He knows for a fact that in his sophomore year, he didn’t share as much of a personal connection. This year, he has been able to connect to a lot more people as human beings rather than robots. This has helped him become a more normal functioning member of society in a way. Now, he enjoys Science Olympiad 10% for the science, 90% for the people in it, and his favorite event is Game On since it was practically a free medal every tournament. However, he officially has developed a hatred for Forensic Science!

Ask The Team

Aaron Engel

I enjoy Science Olympiad, and my favorite event is Fermi Questions because it presents a challenge of knowing how to take good approximations and apply them. I like Experimental Design because you get to design an experiment around a large parameter.

Akhila Ekkurthi

Science Olympiad helps me explore more concepts in science. My favorite event is Experimental Design because it helps to gain a lot of knowledge while having fun.

Anusha Shah

It’s a great way to use the skills you learn in class in real-life application. My favorite events are Write It Do It, Forensics, and Towers because they are all hands-on events that are a lot of fun.

Casey Fong

Science Olympiad has the best community at Warren. My favorite events are Anatomy & Physiology. You learn the most interesting things in it! I’ll give a shoutout to Disease Detectives because it’s actually fun if you’re into reading textbooks.

Claire Dunnigan

I love science and I love being able to compete in science. My favorite event is Microbe Mission because I love Microbiology.

Coralis Perez

I enjoy being in SciOly because I get to try different sciences and see which ones I like best. Since my favorite science is Biology I really enjoyed doing Water Quality and Ecology.

Daniel Patronik

It is such a great experience being around people who share my interest in science and I also like the competitiveness. My favorite events are Disease Detectives and Geologic Mapping because I love learning about the earth and its changes.

Ifra Waris

I enjoy being in Science Olympiad because it helps me learn a lot more about of variety of science-related fields and meet many new people who are interested in the same things I am. My favorite event is Write It Do It – I like the aspect of having to explain something completely in words. I also like Herpetology – I like learning about animals as they have always been an interest for me.

Jeet Patel

I enjoy Science Olympiad because of the Build events. My favorite event is Mousetrap Vehicle; it’s an interesting event to do because the concepts involved are not difficult to understand but implementing them together is a challenge that most other events don’t have.

Jonah Park

I enjoy the material that we work with and the people that I get to work with. My favorite event is Anatomy and Physiology because I am good at it, and the material is pretty cool too.

Liam Maag

Science Olympiad is an amazing activity where you can make friends all the while competing with them to beat up other schools. My favorite event is Wind Power. I got second place at regionals my first year on the team.

Lovie Riar

I’ve met so many new people and made new interesting friends through Science Olympiad. My favorite event is Mousetrap Vehicle; it’s an interesting event to do because the concepts involved are not difficult to understand but implementing them together is a challenge that most other events don’t have.

Marc Steel

The interactions with the team we have are fun; it’s like a fun little group of questionable personalities. Also, the winning effort is fun to play around with, plus the obvious feeling of accomplishment. My favorite events are Fermi Questions and Codebusters. Fermi is quite fun because of the unpredictability of it, and many of the random and stupid abilities we have reveal themselves in full. Codebusters is fun because, once you find the right decryption key, everything falls into place and just feels so satisfying.

Matthew Megginson

I enjoy Science Olympiad because it is a group of close-knit people, and you learn more about the things you love. My favorite event is Astronomy. I just love space, anything space related I love.

Matthew Steel

I enjoy Science Olympiad because I get to learn new science things and make new friends with other science-loving people. My favorite event is Wind Power; it is the perfect combo of building and test taking.

Michael James Maxfield

I enjoy Science Olympiad because get to socialize more with friends, and I can have an excuse to further explore science. Chemistry Lab because I really like chemistry.

Michael Osuji

I enjoy working with others who have similar interests as me. It sometimes requires compromise, but that has helped me improve my skills and cooperativeness when it comes to working in a team. Wright Stuff and Boomilever are challenging and—at times—unpredictable, but when the devices for each a built with care and effort, they produce a satisfying result.

Neha Joshi

The people are really fun to be around.

Nidhi Shanmugam

The atmosphere of the place is very welcoming and filled with many kind people who all share a love for STEM and hard-work. Also, Science Olympiad gives kids an outlet to showcase their skills and compete with them as well individually and as part of a team. My favorite events are Disease Detectives and Forensics.

Rebecca Benjamin

I enjoy being a part of Science Olympiad because it has given me the opportunity to venture out of the shell that I lived in for so long and take home in a world of science with the most warmhearted people I have ever met. My favorite event is Geologic Mapping. Although it is extremely complicated, I love studying rock units and strata. It is different from anything I have learned in my science classes.

Rebecca Escobedo

It opens up different subjects I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to learn about otherwise and through it, I have met some of my best friends. My favorite events are anything related to biology, with my top being Ecology with Water quality as a close second, mostly because I want to go into biology and I just find it interesting.

Reena Pinapala

I enjoy being involved in Science Olympiad because it not only allows me to compete with other schools but also it’s about science which is something I really love! It also allows me to network with others, and learn new things from them! My favorite events are Designer Genes, Write It Do It, and Forensics.

Richard Chiu

I enjoy Science Olympiad because not only are the events fun and engaging, but the community within Science Olympiad is extraordinary. Some of my best moments and close friendships have been forged in this club. My favorite events are Chemistry Lab and Protein Modeling because I enjoy biology and chemistry and the things that you actually do in these events is really enjoyable.

Sai Nikhita Gaddam

I enjoy Science Olympiad because everyone is very involved and you feel like it’s your second family. My favorite event is Forensics because it involves action and cool experiments. Also because I haven’t really done other things for forensic and fossils. Fossils I didn’t really like.

Sarika Kumar

It allows me to explore a bunch of different interests and learn a ton of new things about science. I can also make a bunch of friends who like science as much as I do. I love Dynamic Planet because it is super fun and I have a great partner. We end up having a great time while taking the test, and we usually do pretty well (fourth at regionals!).

Spenser Fong

There’s something enticing about competing in events that push your problem-solving skills. I get to work with students of different ages and different levels of experience. We have fun with not only our team members, but with other competitors as well, and that’s what makes Science Olympiad a great experience for me. My favorite event is Boomilever. Competitors build a cantilevered wood structure, a structure that is attached to only a single point on a vertical surface. Points are awarded based on its ratio between the weight held and its mass. I love this event because it teaches you how forces are applied and, more importantly, how to be patient and meticulous. Every detail in building the Boomilever is important, and I think that is what makes this event so beautiful.

Steven Isaac

I enjoy being involved in Science Olympiad because in this club there is a place for everybody no matter what your interests and passions are. The topics branch across all fields of Science, ranging from Geology and Astronomy to Engineering events, and it is a great way to learn about and get involved in many new types of sciences not previously discovered. Another great thing about SciOly is the teamwork aspect and the fact that everyone gets involved in some capacity or another. It is a great way to start new relationships and build upon old ones. Overall, this club has been a huge part in helping me discover my talents, abilities, and new passions, and has helped me form friendships that I treasure forever. My favorite events are Herpetology and Fossils because I have always been interested in animals, especially reptiles.

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