Science Olympiad finds success at states

Norwin’s Science Olympiad team: pushing the limits of science one step at a time. 

On Saturday April 30, the Science Olympiad team placed 25th at the Pennsylvania State Science Olympiad competition at Penn State Altoona. 

The Science Olympiad team, one of the two competition teams in the Science Challenge Squad, previously placed 3rd at the Southwest Pennsylvania Regional Science Olympiad at California University of Pennsylvania. This placement allowed for the team to attend and compete at the state level. 

The team, composed of 15 science-loving students, participated in the state competition alongside the Norwin Middle School Science Olympiad team. 

At Penn State, each competitor was in charge of mastering skills and knowledge in 3 or 4 events. These events differ in subject matter, and are either considered a testing, building, or experimental event. Most, however, include tests. The students work in pairs and are scored on how many questions they answer correctly, how accurately their experiments unfold, or how well their builds complete a task. 

The subject matter of events vary greatly, ranging from forensics to antenna building. 

My favorite memory from states was just being with everyone for one last competition. It was sad to think about this was the seniors last competition, but all things good must come to an end.

— Senior Raveena Navalgund

As the competition at the state level is much more intense than at the regional level, the team went in hopeful but had realistic expectations. 

“My personal goal for states was to place in the top ten in at least one event, which I accomplished,” Raveena Navalgund (12) said. “My goal for the team was to be in the top 20 of all teams. We were 25, so we were so close.” 

The team did very well, placing 25th out of 36 different teams from across Pennsylvania. They even placed in the top 10 in a few events including astronomy, chemistry lab, forensics, and remote sensing. The top ten places in each event received medals, so Norwin brought home 8 medals in all. 

Not only did the team enjoy the success, but they enjoyed the experience as well. 

Nittany Lion
Science Olympiad members Suhana Navalgund (10), Makenzie Krance (11), and Amanda Anticole (11) pose with the Nittany Lion. (Elizabeth Long)

“For this year’s States, I loved sitting around the pond in the middle of Altoona and watching the turtles and ducks,” Victoria Hua (12) said. “The weather was beautiful as well, and I got to see and hear some unique bird calls. It’s super cool to apply what I’ve learned from my previous Herpetology and Ornithology events to real nature.”

As always, the team learned a lot of practical information about science, but also various life skills that they can implement in the future. 

“You never truly know what to expect when walking into your events,” Kylin Smith said (12). “Even with proper preparation, some of the information may come as a surprise. I believe that Science Olympiad has provided me with firsthand experience that a positive mindset mixed with having confidence in your abilities has the potential to change an outcome.”