At the New York State Science Olympiad competition last weekend, high school students from across the state gathered at West Point Military Academy to compete in 25 events.
Williamsville East, Williamsville North, St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and Clarence high schools sent teams to the state competition, after placing in the top four at the Western New York regional competition last month.
Some of the events involved building objects such as bridges, electric vehicles and robots,while other events involved written tests which students had 45 minutes to complete. This might seem like a stressful environment, however, according to students, the atmosphere is comfortable, and the competition is friendly.
Senior Nikhita Chahal of Clarence High School defined the state Science Olympiad competition as "an unforgettable experience you share and learn from. Adding to this experience are the familiar faces from the regional competition, such as those from St. Joe's and the Williamsville teams."
As with any successful team, the members have to work together and support each other. As much as a student may want to win their individual events, they also want to see other team members succeed. To do well in any competition, especially the Science Olympiad competition, team members have to support each other and work together.
"Being on the Clarence High School Science Olympiad team for four years, I have witnessed tremendous dedication and growth of the individuals on my team," Nikhita said.
Helping people with their events extends beyond one team. Clarence and St. Joe's shared a bus for the 6 1/2 -hour ride to West Point, leaving at 7 a.m. from Clarence High School on Friday morning and arriving at West Point Military Academy at 1:30 p.m. On the bus ride, the St. Joe's and Clarence teams quizzed each other and helped each other prepare for their events.
Overall, Fayetteville Manlius High School (near Syracuse) took first place, and Ward Melville High School (Long Island) came in second place. These two teams will move on to the National Science Olympiad Competition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign next month.
Kevin Gibas is a junior at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.