Ward Melville’s Science Olympiad Season Kicks Off

Ward Melville’s Science Olympiad Season Kicks Off

Kirti Nath, Staff Writer

Memories of last year’s Science Olympiad team still harbor a bit of disappointment. Last year’s team was unexpectedly disqualified from the state tournament, after being named regional champions, due to miscommunication that led to the paperwork being submitted a day late. Afterward, the team started to effect a policy change, trying to lessen the severity of the punishment for late paperwork. One year later, the team is ready to get back into competition.

Ward Melville Science Olympiad is one of the largest extra-curricular clubs in the school. The club started off with about 75 interested students. To determine which 45 students would get to compete this year, an extensive try-out procedure took place. Try-outs consisted of both written examinations and technology evaluations.

Written evaluations were 20-minute exams, written mostly by alumni of the club that tested students’ knowledge of certain scientific fields, such as oceanography, epidemiology, and forensics. In contrast, during technology evaluations, students prepared designs and prototypes of certain devices that they wanted to build. They showed their work to the head coach, Mr. Mark Suesser, and a board of senior members of the team. Students also submitted past records of their achievements in Science Olympiad at various competition levels during previous years.

After tryouts, 3 teams of 15 members were created. All teams will compete up to the regional level, with the varsity team, a mix of seniors, juniors, and sophomores, representing the school afterwards. This year, the teams are coached by Mr. Suesser and Ms. Serigano.

Senior member and captain, Kim Koon, is confident in all three teams. She says, “The kids on our SciO teams are some of the brightest people I know. I look forward to working alongside them this year for however far we progress.”

Two teams recently competed in their first invitational tournament of the year at Islip High School on December 13th. There they competed against other teams from all around the Tri-state area. The varsity team took first place, earning ten event medals. Senior member and captain, Jake Welde, says, “I think we have three very strong teams this year, and I’m looking forward to our team bouncing back from a rough time last year. We brought a strong showing at Islip Invitationals, and that was really early in the year, so it makes me hopeful we will perform well in what will undoubtedly be a competitive year.”

The next two tournaments the team is scheduled to compete in are: the Yale invitational on January 17th and the regional tournament at Brentwood High School on January 31st.

We wish the team the best of luck this year!