Science Olympiad competitors secure success at Regionals

SNHS members team up to compete at the Science Olympiad Regional competition.


Emma Behrmann, Editor in Chief

Test tubes rattle in the cardboard box as students rush from their outdoor set up to their next event at Science Olympiad Regionals. Hosted by Hillsborough Community College in Brandon, on Feb. 8 two teams of fifteen students from PHU faced forty-two other teams in events ranging from chemistry lab to gravity vehicle to anatomy and physiology. 

Both teams competed in the same events, where each event consists of a team of either two or three people. With a wide range of events and each member assigned three competitions, preparation can be tedious. Most events allow each member to have a single sheet of notes, and Science Olympiad provides Wikipedia pages regarding each event.
“In order to prepare for my events, I analyzed the rule book and prioritized everything mentioned. Every morning I went through Quizlet briefly to learn key terms, and each night I took handwritten notes on SciOly PowerPoints available online. The most helpful way to prepare was definitely taking practice tests and learning from my mistakes. Overall, spacing out my studying worked in my favor,” Anisha Abraham (‘21), SNHS president, said.

Besides tests, some competitions are lab based, like forensics. This event consists of identification of powders, fabrics, and analysis of fingerprints or DNA to reach a conclusion in a criminal case. 

“This was my first Science Olympiad competition, and I participated in codebusters, forensics, and anatomy and physiology. Forensics was my favorite event because it is lab based, and I found trying to identify different substances through flame tests and chemical reactions fun. My other events felt stressful, but with forensics I felt confident that we did well and ended up placing second,” Sydney Mullen (‘20) said.

Students compete all day from as early as impounding their build events at 8:50 a.m. to their last scheduled events at 2:00 p.m.-2:50 p.m. Awards occur near 5 p.m. Medals are given to those who placed in the top three in their event. However, placing in an individual event does not guarantee competing at the state level, the entire team must accumulate enough points and place overall. Palm Harbor Blue team secured several first through third place wins and placed third overall.

Palm Harbor Blue will advance to the state competition held at the University of Florida in March. Competitors must now begin preparing for their events to seek another medal at the state level.