Science Olympiad Team Places Top Ten in MIT Tournament


Brooke Diamond

Prakash Sekar, senior, tests out his mousetrap vehicle.

Brooke Diamond, Staff Writer

On January 12th, Ward Melville Science Olympiad placed eighth out of over seventy teams in the prestigious MIT  (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) invitational competition. Not only has Ward Melville improved from their placement last year in thirteenth, but they have also won more medals, winning five last year, and seven this year.


“Even though there were rough patches, I still managed to place in one of the most competitive tournaments in the organization,” said Jessica Liao, a sophomore who placed sixth in Mission Possible, an event centered around simple machines. However, she notes, she couldn’t have done it without her partner, Varun Jindal, Science Olympiad co-captain. “I’m so thankful to have such amazing teammates, and this experience really inspired me to work even harder in the future. But [sic] best part was by far the midnight ramen!”


MIT is generally known by Science Olympiad members as the most difficult competition that Ward Melville attends all year, with only a few hard-working students being able to place. Nonetheless, the students are very grateful to have the opportunity to compete in it. “The experience at MIT is life-changing. The difficulty of the competition can be enough to crush you, but it only motivates us to work harder, and the experience only increases the sense of reward after placing,” says Rebecca Zhang, a junior who placed second with her partner Kevin Xu in Disease Detectives. Referring to Ward Melville’s chance at earning a spot at the Nationals competition, she added, “I’m incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to compete at MIT for Ward Melville, and our team has placed the best it has ever done in our history at MIT, so it looks like we have good chances this year.”


Nick Salanitri, a sophomore who placed fourth in Fossils along with his partner William Sun, stated, “It was quite a humbling experience to actually go out to the best colleges that we hope to go to one day, and see how much work these students put into everything they do.”


Ward Melville is thankful that MIT hosted this competition, and allowed two Ward Melville teams to attend. Due to Ward Melville’s placing, they are invited to compete at MIT next year, and once again prove that they are one of the most competitive teams in the United States.