Science Olympiad prepares for state competition


Gabriella Di Lalla

Sophomore Ryan Nemeth studies for his Science Olympiad event.

Jessica Lieberman, Staff Writer

The Science Olympiad team has been getting ready for the state tournament, which takes place this weekend on April 29.

To help prepare the team, senior captain Jenny Sarkar has been organizing Wednesday meetings in order to stay up-to-date with the other team members. She said, “We all come together and update each other on how our events are going, so we know that at least someone is working, or we know how everything else is going.”

When preparing, Sarkar and the rest of her teammates work in the Innovation Center. She said, “That’s kind of like our home base [where] we have all of our materials, all of our tools and at times we come into the gym to test out our stuff; but most of the time, everything kind of goes on in the Innovation Center.”

Sarkar plans all of the logistics, like knowing where the team is going for the state competition. She said, “For example, [I organize] which hotel we are staying at, what our transportation is like, what we are going to do for fun, food, getting the message out, doing the Remind, and just being the middleman in between [adviser Mary] Fash and the students, since not everyone wants to go to Mrs. Fash because they might feel uncomfortable.”

Sophomore member Ryan Nemeth has not been able to go to all the meetings due to other extracurricular activities he has to attend. He said, “I haven’t gone to a lot of those because of track but like every few weeks, we just like to do some practices with maybe taking some practice tests and keep building your stuff, and basically we will do that until the end of April (until states).”

Another sophomore on the Science Olympiad team, Rhea Deshpande, goes into the Innovation Center more often because of what she needs to build for the team. Desphande said, “For the builders, it’s really important that we actually get time in the Innovation Center so we get time to work, calibrate our machines properly, and make sure [our machines] are still running because for a lot of our machines, it’s not really you can just not use it for a long time and then use it again and it will work perfectly.

“So, it’s important that we get in [the Innovation Center] every week or so, getting in the machine, going through some of the distances and the targets, and just making sure the machine is working up to par.”

As for his studying, Nemeth has to work harder due to the rules changing and being more exact at states. He said, “For some of the events, there is a little bit more you have to know, so it’s just more thorough and you have to be prepared a little bit more, and know your content better than you would have earlier in the season.”

Along with working on each event, Sarkar is planning a small fundraiser event to help with additional supplies they need. She said, “For the most part we are fine, but this is just for cushioning up next year, so they run smoother until they get their funding. Also just to make the last, hopefully not the last hoo-rah at states just a fun experience because we were thinking about going to Cosi and the market to go get some food and I’d rather not have people pay for it because you know it’s states and it’s supposed to be fun, and you shouldn’t have to worry about that.”

However, Sarkar admits she’s had trouble with getting her teammates to stay engaged during the limited amount of time the team has before the state tournament. She said before spring break, “You know since there is like a month and a half to states to be like ‘Oh yeah we don’t really have to worry about this yet,’ except when you subtract weekends, when you subtract days you don’t come in plus spring break, it really does come down to like three and a half weeks.”

With all of the work that the team has put in for states, Deshpande has the goal to make it to nationals. She said, “If we don’t make it to nationals then [our plan is] just getting ready for next year, [and] celebrating the wins of this season, but if we do make it to nationals and that’s a big if, then even more preparing, even more effort, [and] probably longer nights at the Innovation Center.”

The State Tournament takes place on Saturday, April 29 at The Ohio State University, with the first event beginning at 8:15 a.m.