Best of the Week 2020-2021: Excellence in College Prep

SCIENCE OLYMPIAD INCREASES INVITATIONAL PARTICIPATION & TAKES ADVANTAGE OF VIRTUAL OPPORTUNITIES


After four consecutive years of qualifying for the State Competition, St. Ed's Science Olympiad Team has been working hard to qualify for its fifth year, having doubled their invitational participation this year. Working on a wide range of events from ornithology and forensics to hands-on design projects, this year's team has dedicated time at school and remotely outside the classroom to test their knowledge and build camaraderie. "Many teams have allowed the pandemic to stunt their productivity and growth, but not our Edsmen," says Science Olympiad co-moderator and Science teacher Erin Schilf. "For us, it’s been the opposite, as our students and coaches have rallied together to innovate and expand the program." St. Ed's Science Olympiad Team recently placed fifth in the Westlake Invitational and are gearing up for upcoming virtual competitions against some of the top Science Olympiad teams in the nation. "The remote nature of the competitions this year has allowed us to enter invitationals we otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend, such as the University of Chicago and the upcoming Harvard Invitational this weekend," says Mrs. Schilf. "Mentorship from me and my fellow coaches Anne Marie Lavelle, Libero Puccini, and Lisa D’Angelo, along with leadership from our team captains has allowed the team to thrive, putting in additional time and giving up their Saturdays to learn more about Science and Engineering. Today's virtual environment has taught them how knowledge can be conveyed and solutions can be rendered via a computer, skills that they can apply to future careers as astrophysicists, data analytics engineers, cybersecurity analysts, and virologists." “Working with our hands has always been a core component of Science Olympiad, so the transition to a virtual format in the wake of COVID-19 has really hit us hard in that sense," says Ethan Loderstedt '21. "As designers and engineers, there’s only one thing we can do when facing such a challenge: find a solution. I think there’s something to be said about human ingenuity, and the fact that our members are always enthusiastic about trying new things and sharing what they’ve learned with others.” "What's great about this year, despite the challenges the pandemic poses, is that we've been able to make real progress," says Tim Welch '21. "We've achieved some great accomplishments in our build events like Gravity Vehicle, Sounds of Music, and Boomilever, and we've done well at some really competitive invitationals that we don't usually get a chance to attend. Overall, we have a great, devoted group of students and coaches who are committed to making the best of this Science Olympiad season.”

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