Best of the Week 2019-2020: Excellence in College Prep


MRS. ERIN SCHILF LEADS SCIENCE OLYMPIAD TEAM TO FOURTH CONSECUTIVE COMPETITION YEAR WITH SUCCESSFUL RESULTS

This month, St. Ed's celebrates Women's History Month by recognizing the work our female faculty and staff members do to lead in our community. With the recent success of our Science Olympiad team and their rankings at the Regional Tournament that qualified them for States for the fourth year in a row, we recognize Mrs. Erin Schilf, Science Teacher and Science Olympiad Moderator, for her dedication and commitment to the Science Olympiad team. With the help of fellow moderators Science Department Chair Mrs. Anne Marie Lavelle, Science Teacher Mr. Libero Puccini, and Math Teacher Ms. Lisa D'Angelo, Mrs. Schilf has helped prepare, excel and compete at the top level, representing the best of St. Ed's Science, Math and Engineering departments. Covering topics ranging from genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, astronomy, geology, mechanical engineering and technology, students conduct extensive research, create technical designs, and construct structures and devices to solve problems within the science, math and engineering fields.

Since its inception during the 2012-2013 school year, Science Olympiad has been run by Mrs. Schilf as the head coach ever since. "It takes time to grow a successful program and with the help of my fellow moderators, we've been able to evolve into a State-worthy team, qualifying for the State tournament for the last four years," says Mrs. Schilf. "By leading, guiding, tutoring, finding resources, fostering relationships and providing encouragement and feedback to students, I've seen our team become strong leaders who continuously focus on improving and challenging themselves."

While acknowledging the challenge behind handling the logistics of a successful program like Science Olympiad, Mrs. Schilf continuously shows her commitment to providing the best experience for her students and her dedication to providing new opportunities for them to foster innovation and creativity. "Science Olympiad is all about problem-solving and collaborating to find the most efficient solutions. Preparation for Science Olympiad events is paramount. While efficiency, thinking on your feet and performing under pressure is key, learning from your mistakes is invaluable," says Mrs. Schilf. "Students must learn how to analyze their failures, figure out what went wrong, and improve. If they think they've mastered a skill or category, they need to think with the mentality that they haven't. They need to recognize that science and engineering is continuously evolving and so must they. From their Science Olympiad experiences, my students can transfer the skills they've learned to younger teammates so that our program can continue to thrive every year."