Recently, FHC’s Science Olympiad team took first place at an invitation in Allendale. Being one of the last events where they can compete against other top schools in the region, this victory was well-deserved and a great accomplishment for the team. However, if this victory wasn’t significant enough already, it is the first time in ten years that the team has taken first place.
Science teacher Joey Spadafore, one of the five coaches, feels that the team will be heading into regionals this year in great shape – much better than previous years. Spadafore loves seeing how the students’ hard work eventually pays off on competition days and is amazed by how the students manage their school schedule and all of their Science Olympiad work.
The usual schedule for Science Olympiad consists of weeks of preparation leading up to the competition, where students face off against many other schools. With topics including Hydrogeology, Astronomy, Optics, and much more, students are given an opportunity to experience sciences they may not have before.
“Science Olympiad opens up new opportunities for students to learn about something they are interested in,” Spadafore said. “Unfortunately, we can’t offer specific classes on a topic such as marine biology or genetics, but students are able to pursue those interests through Science Olympiad.”
Junior Kevin Wang is in his third year of Science Olympiad and has loved doing it since he started. Kevin loves having the ability to be exposed to new sciences and activities and says that having the ability to easily learn about new topics is his favorite part of Science Olympiad.
“[Science Olympiad] is a great way to form strong friendships, and has introduced me to many of my closest friends,” Kevin said.
Sophomore James Aidala also feels that Science Olympiad has very positively affected his high school experience in many ways. James learned about it from his older brother, and considering he has always had a passion for science and research, Science Olympiad was a perfect fit for him.
“My favorite part of Science Olympiad is likely the competitions. There, you use all of your harvested knowledge and apply it the best you can to what is in front of you,” James said. “It is especially nice when [the judges] know what they are doing!”
James enjoys the topics of Invasive Species and Rocks and Minerals and did very well in those topics at the Allendale invitational. James also feels that Science Olympiad has given him an opportunity to meet and bond with people he might not have otherwise, and has exposed him to new sciences and subjects.
Science teacher Patricia Richardson, another coach, feels that joining Science Olympiad can be very beneficial to anyone with an interest in science, engineering, or math. She believes that joining Science Olympiad can greatly help students in many ways.
Richardson loves seeing students succeeding at the competitions after working so hard and studying for so long, and believes that the team aspect is one of the best parts of Science Olympiad.
“Their excitement when they get an award is amazing,” Richardson said. “I have also really enjoyed how supportive the teammates are of each other by cheering, helping to study and watching [each other] compete.”
The Science Olympiad team has grown into a small family of sorts, with students becoming close-knit and growing to know each other better. Through joining, students are able to be exposed to many new subjects and sciences, and even get a better idea of what they may want to study in college. Joining Science Olympiad can be a positive experience for all, and anyone who may be interested could benefit greatly from giving it a try.