Conestoga hosts Science Olympiad competition

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By Lyvia Yan, Staff Reporter

Photo Courtesy of Jon Jiang

Tensions were high as 720 students from five states poured into Conestoga High School, ready for battle. The Battle of Valley Forge is an annual, invitational Science Olympiad competition. Teams compete in events like forensics, geographical mapping and electric vehicle. 

This was the first competition of the 2015-16 season for the Conestoga Science Olympiad team.

“Since it’s our first tournament it’s a little less organized and there’s more room for creativity,” senior Alex Wang said.

Conestoga’s Science Olympiad team hosted the battle on their own field, making the ‘Stoga Science Olympiad team members feel more comfortable.

“One big difference is that we host it, so it gives us kind of an opportunity to have a home-court advantage and it’s just really cool to have it at our school because a lot of things are at other high schools and you don’t get that familiarity,” junior co-captain Lauren Harris said.

In preparation, Derrick Wood and Dr. Scott Best have been training three teams for the 23 events since school started. Aside from in-school preparation, many competitors studied diligently on their own, gathering cheat sheets in binders and constructing a myriad of devices, from robot arms to model airplanes.

Conestoga’s three teams placed eighth, 10th and 16th, but the team plans on setting this level as a bar for improvement.

“We really want to make it to nationals because we’re probably one of the best teams in the country that’s never been to nationals and every year at states we either come third or fourth and the top two make it, so we’re hoping that this year is our year,” Harris said.

Many new members filled in the gaps and brought fresh talent, among them freshman Laila Norford. 

“Going to meetings I would take notes and on the T-Drive there’s a lot of material you can use to prepare,” Norford said.

‘Stoga’s Science Olympiad team hopes to earn a spot in nationals, a feat they have dubbed “Operation Cheese” as the competition will take place in Wisconsin this year. “Operation Cheese” has been given utmost priority and captains Michelle Xu, Kitty Latoff, and Lauren Harris are tirelessly training their teams to clench the win.

Photos

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Lyvia Yan can be reached at [email protected].