Science olympiad creates outside the box

Other Clubs at FHS

Photo by Helen Rummel.

Junior Collin Tully prepares the “Mousetrap Vehicle” for a test run on Feb. 26 in room B214.

By concocting science-based creations, the Science Olympiad team prepares for their upcoming state competition on March 16 at IU Bloomington.

Science Olympiad, titled as such to describe a program incorporating STEM topics, deals with events testing the team’s problem-solving abilities. In total, the nationwide club contains 23 events this season.

The team competes among three general categories. Each school participates in questionnaires to show their level of expertise in all areas of science. Labs demonstrate the team’s ability to author and execute experiments, while other events require them to build handcrafted machines.

For example, in the “Boomilever” event, teams work to build a catapult that can withstand as much weight as possible. In the “Wright Stuff” event, students create a flying plane using the power of a rubber band.

The collaborative program has students working in either pairs or trios for each event. The club meets in the B hallway every Wednesday to work, but emphasizes the need for initiative in each teammate.

“It’s mainly up to the individual to take responsibility for their own events and interests,” sophomore Anthony Tam said.

Tam believes that it is crucial to keep tabs on the rest of the team because of the long season that Science Olympiad entails. The team began planning in August up until their final statewide competition.

In the previous competition, held at Purdue West Lafayette on Feb. 9, the team placed second and won 26 medals collectively. Junior Collin Tully finds this impressive considering the size of the team in comparison to other schools and previous years.

“Some teams will have an A and a B team with 15 people on both,” junior Collin Tully said. “Our team only has 11 people which makes it harder.

Science Olympiad is entirely student-led and funded. The team provides its own materials for competitions. Tully emphasizes how far perseverance has gone for the team.

“If it doesn’t work, you really just have to try again in two weeks,” Tully said. “To cut to the chase, we use a lot of glue and notes.”