By Evelyn Melendi and Olivia Zhang
Picture this: A room filled with over 200 people, teams sprawled across the floors and hectically running around from test room to test room. Stress. Miscommunication. Adrenaline rushing. Fun. On January 11, 2023, Science Olympiad, the competitive science club at Kent Place, had their competition at Union County College in Cranford. The day was filled with excitement, tension, exhilaration, and fun. There were 12 competitive events: 10 testing events and 2 build events. The testing events included Anatomy & Physiology, Astronomy, Chemistry Lab, Codebusters, Disease Detectives, Environmental Chemistry, Fermi Questions, Green Generation, Rocks and Minerals, and Write It Do It. The two build events were Bridge and Scrambler (although Kent Place’s Upper School did not compete in Scrambler due to a lack of time.) Here is the outline of a season for a typical Science Olympiad member:
Practice: For months approaching the competition, the Science Olympiad team had to prepare and study for the events. Most of the time the team studied after school twice a week and sometimes even at home independently. Through studying textbooks, building bridges (both literally and figuratively), and keen communication, the team was without a doubt prepared for our competition. Not to say there were no struggles in this practice either - time pressure and abundant material definitely took a toll on the team when events were finally released and needed a lot of work on. Overall, the practice experience built a strong, prepared team with an unbreakable bond through their love of science and competitive spirit.
Competition: Before we knew it, the day had come. Everyone was crazy - quite literally - running to the dining hall with boxes of materials and reading chunks of the textbook on the bus ride to the competition center. People had to fill in for others at the last minute and further solidify the pieces for build events. We filed onto the small
school bus, anxious with no idea of what was to come. The ride was shorter than expected and we pulled up to the competition center - our small team was lost in a matter of minutes. There was so much diversity within the competitors but in the end, the memories made were more important than the placings achieved.
Reflecting on the season: Science Olympiad team members were asked to reflect upon the competition season and the overall environment of this club. Here are our top 5 best ending quotes for the season.
“Honestly, we all supported each other, supported our learning, and all worked together which was great!” Sneha S. ‘23 (leader of Science Olympiad)
“I was super worried when I was founding it that it would become like a pressure cooker of stress but, I’m glad
that we can joke around and become friends with each other and become support networks with less of this egging each other on
to be even more academically competitive.” Roshni K. ‘23 (leader of Science Olympiad)
“ It’s a great atmosphere; great for working and having fun.” Sajni S. ‘24 “What an amazing community of people; every day I went there and it was the highlight of my day.” Nia G. ‘25.
“It was super fun, super supportive and everyone was super nice!” Natalie W. ‘24
At the end of the day, Kent Place placed 12 overall out of 24, much better than we placed in the season before. We
even had multiple top 10 places individually. Though the season has not ended yet, on February 1, the Science Olympiad team is coming together for the last time to celebrate the season with a party. It will be loads of fun for the hardworking competitors where they can celebrate the seniors of the team and the season as a whole.