‘Stoga Science Olympiad wins 5th place at annual Battle at Valley Forge



By Sanjana Sanghani, Staff Reporter

She leaned forward, smiled and dressed in the recognizable shirt with the words, “Science Olympiad” sprawled across the front.

“I consider the team as my second family. These are people I would go sledding with, would hang out with, and I am glad that I was a part of this experience,” said Conestoga’s Science Olympiad co-captain senior Lauren Harris.

On Jan. 14, 2017, students from local high schools competed in the Battle at Valley Forge, a local Science Olympiad Competition held at Conestoga High School. Considered a practice, this invitational consisted of students who took exams and competed in building events as a means to prepare for the regional and state competition.

Science Olympiad members participated in two kinds of events-building and testing. Events change every year and are a part of five main categories: life, personal & social science, physical science & chemistry, inquiry & nature of science, technology & engineering and earth & space science. Conestoga students medaled in events, such as Disease Detectives, Experimental Design and Astronomy.

Conestoga’s Science Olympiad team ranked 5th overall in the competition, its second time finishing in the top five in the program’s history. In recent years, competition has increased, with the reputable Harriton High School Science Olympiad team dominating the competition.

Harriton High School Science Olympiad co-captain senior Christopher Kartsonis said that his team has been preparing intensely since September.

“Most kids stay every day after school for an hour or two, and we try to help the freshmen as much as we can since they are the future of our team,” said Kartsonis.

The Battle at Valley Forge is the first high school competition most freshmen have competed in, including freshman Ayan Hakimoglu from Harriton High School. Hakimoglu said that “the high school Science Olympiad experience today was different from that in middle school competitions.”

“It is more exciting and fun than middle school competitions as for one thing we have never had a DJ while playing Kahoot, and the competition is more intense,” said Hakimoglu.

Conestoga students received many awards at the competition, and among them was first-time winner freshman Allison Lee. Lee received a ­­­­ medal for winning second place in the event material sciences.

“I am happy that I won but I was also disappointed, as I expected to medal in forensics because I spent more preparation on that event,” said Lee.

According to senior Amulya Surakanti, her experience in the past five years in this specific competition was different.

“Since competition is high, even between other team members, we were all helping each other more, even though we are not specialized in that event,” said Surakanti.

Sanjana Sanghani can be reached at [email protected].