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Leigh’s Science Olympiad exceeds expectations

by Alanna Keenan, staff writer

Leigh’s Science Olympiad Club exceeded expectations at its 2017 Regional Tournament on Mar. 17 at San Jose City College. Leigh’s team of 15 students competed against other schools in a variety of competitions.

Events cover many different areas of science; including chemistry, tower building, and experimental design. Seniors John Tsortos and Nick Nolan placed fifth in the Chemistry event at the Regional Tournament.

Nick Nolan participated in four events this year: Optics, Chemistry Lab, Materials Science, and Hydrogeology.

He felt that the preparation for these events was easy because “for the most part, the classes I’ve taken have done a large part of the preparation for me–in AP 2, we just took our test on Geometric Optics, which comprised more than half of the test itself; in AP Chem (which I took last year), we covered just about everything on Chem Lab; in both, we learned very important principles for Materials Science.  Regardless, to cover some of the bases that weren’t addressed in-class, my partners and I ended up scouring the Internet for the information we needed–and, for the most part, I’d say it went well!”

Tim Le, senior, has been a part of Science Olympiad throughout his time at Leigh and participates in the Optics event. Optics involves the study of reflection and lasers. The hardest challenge for him is “memorizing scientific material to prepare” for his events.

His favorite memories took place at competitions, especially “spending more quality time between events with teammates.”

Eddie Park is a freshman in Science Olympiad. Park participates in the Towers and Experimental Design challenges. The Towers event is when the team must create a tower within a certain height requirement that can hold the most weight possible. Experimental Design presents its own challenge because the team is given only a set of materials and they must come up with their own experiment to conduct.

He joined because his “sister is a part of the club and [his] friends are doing it.” While Science Olympiad is focused on academic achievement, friendships play an important role within the club. The group is bonded through shared interests and time spent together during tournaments and in sharing similar class schedules.