Simply Stately! Chaminade’s Varsity Science Olympiad Team Finishes Third at Nassau-West Regional Competition

Varsity builders Ken Pham ’18 and Dylan Richardson ’19 calibrate their mousetrap vehicle. (Photo Courtesy: Danny Pham)

Aby Nicholas Plante ’18, Owen Barthel ’19 & Nicholas Sathi ’20


After a slow start plagued by a number of scheduling conflicts and sick team members, the members of the varsity science olympiad team came out in full force this weekend to secure their spot among the top 55 teams in New York State.

On Saturday, dozens of Chaminade students traveled to our fellow Marianist high school, Kellenberg Memorial, in Uniondale.  Divided into three teams – A, B, and C – they participated in a day of high-stakes competition against 29 other squads at the Nassau-West Regional Competition to determine who would qualify for the New York State tournament.  In order to do so, Chaminade needed one of its teams to finish the day ranked in the top four.  Like golf, the goal at a Science Olympiad competition is to put up as few points as possible.  (For each first-place finish, a team is awarded one point, and so on.)

Team A lived up to this challenge, placing third with a total of 132 points, trailing Kellenberg’s very strong A squad by just 12 points and Great Neck South’s renowned varsity team by 29.  Also qualifying for the state tournament was Roslyn, with 168 points.

Team A achieved this impressive finish with nearly every member earning a medal in each of his individual events.  Medals were awarded only to the top eight performances.

Students look on as Team C’s impressive helicopter takes flight. (Photo Courtesy: Danny Pham)

Team A’s top performers included Stefan Schmitt ’18, who finished in first place  in Helicopters; Nicholas Sathi ’20 and Luke Russo ’20, first in Dynamic Planet; Dylan Richardson ’19 and Kenneth Pham ’18, second in Mousetrap Vehicle; Nicholas Richardson ’18 and Peter Camporeale ’18, third in Materials Science; Dylan Richardson and Nicholas Newton ’19, third in Herpetology; and Nicholas Plante ’18 and Peter Camporeale, third in Optics.

“After those two slow performances at Valley Forge and Yale, I am happy to make States by a comfortable margin,” admitted Bro. Benjamin Knapp, S.M. ’93. “ Team A really rose to the challenge, especially after some tough weeks.”

Team A shows off their third-place trophy and individual medals after earning a spot in March’s statewide competition. (Photo Courtesy: Danny Pham)

“The performance on Saturday was the best birthday gift I could’ve asked for,” exclaimed co-president Vin Povinelli ’18.  “This past week, my mood shifted from a sense of uncertainty on Monday to an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment on Saturday when the whole team came together and delivered an excellent performance.”

On top of Team A’s incredible bounce-back performance, Teams B and C also put up strong numbers, ranking 16th and 26th, respectively.  While these bright, young Flyers will not be competing in the state tournament, they have certainly gotten their science olympiad careers off to a great start.  These results sprout hopes of a very promising future for the team.

Following competitions at both Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania over February break, Team A will travel to Le Moyne College in Syracuse on March 9-10 for the state tournament, where Chaminade has finished in the top 10 on several occasions.  This competition ultimately determines which two teams will qualify for Nationals in May.

“With the momentum from this week, the future of Olympiad at Chaminade looks bright,” added Povinelli.