Getting  to know Science Olympiad!

Science Olympiad in the University of California Irvine. Photo Credit:

Grace Kim, Photojournalist

Welcome to the introduction of one of Yorba Linda High School’s most popular after-school program, Science Olympiad. Science Olympiad focuses on influencing future student scientists to use their Einstein brains in competing throughout the field of science. Although the class focuses on just the field of science, it is separated into several different categories including physical science, chemistry, technology and engineering, inquiry and nature of science, life and social science, earth and space science, and physical chemistry. Many students who join Science Olympiad strive for a better learning experience that could become useful in the future. Rishi Kheni (11), for an example, always had a passion for engineering science and Science Olympiad gave [him] the opportunity to experiment and explore certain areas of engineering science.” Not only Rishi, but Amber Liu (11) also joined Science Olympiad because “ It [was] a fun way to get to know a field that [she] might take in the future.”

Initially, the class is divided among three categories based on events: building, testing, and designing. To start, students focusing on the building category must research an object, for an example: a tower, and come up with a plan to build it. As athletes competing in this category, they learn to work cooperatively with their team and efficiently for the best result. Students involved in the testing portion of Science Olympiad must memorize and understand a given subject. The subject will be given before the day of the tournament and students must quickly learn the material. Finally, students competing on the designing portion, create labs and share experiments with other people at the competition. In this event, competitors become proficient in thinking critically and creatively on a limited amount of time.  As a participant of the Science Olympiad class, Coco Xiu (11), says that Science Olympiad is unique from other extracurriculars at our school because “[she] can work as a team with [her] friends to create a product that is worthwhile. There are no other activities that teaches [her] to be efficient and think critically.”

The actual competition, sadly enough, can only send 15 representatives chosen by the teacher advisor, Mr. Walls. These 15 representatives would go to a meet of 23 team events at the University of California Irvine and work together to bring home the win.  Though the pressure can build up during an event, many students feel more excitement rather than stress when competing. Paige Richey(11) recalls her memories of Science Olympiad as “stressful because of the restrictions and timelines [they] had, but [she] would do it again.” All in all, Science Olympiad is an amazing extracurricular that contributes to our YL pride.