By Quentin Castellano ’24
One of the most unique and academically rewarding clubs in the school, Chaminade’s Science Olympiad this year has had a very impressive showing thus far in both competition and commitment alone.
Chaminade’s Science Olympiad Club, head coached and moderated by Brother Benjamin Knapp, S.M. ’93, is a club in which students learn and research various topics in science and math, where they can compete and test their knowledge against students from across the nation.
Chaminade’s Science Olympiad has participated in four invitational tournaments thus far. These tournaments feature other schools’ Science Olympiad teams from across the United States. These tournaments are made possible using a “Satellite SO” format, where students compete virtually from their respective schools. At Chaminade, students utilize and compete from the Dolan Family Science, Technology, and Research Center (STRC).
A typical competition day for a member of the Science Olympiad depends on what events, team, and schedule that student has. A student can choose which particular events he would like to compete in. These events range from nearly all fields of science, from Biology to Engineering, and consist of different types. The types of events are as follows: Core Knowledge Events, Build Events, Laboratory/Hands-On Events, and Hybrid Events. A Core Knowledge event requires a student to research and study a specific topic within a field of science in preparation for a test. A Build Event requires a student to design, build, and test a device or object according to specified parameters. A Laboratory/Hands-On event requires a student to research a particular topic and then perform hands-on tasks based on his knowledge. Finally, a Hybrid Event consists of a combination of two or more of the above event types.
Although no format can replace the traditional in-person tournaments, Chaminade’s Science Olympiad teams have demonstrated their adaptability through their impressive results in the season. In their first competition of the school year, at the Belleville Satellite Invitational, the Chaminade Varsity A Science Olympiad team placed 3rd overall out of 30 teams. In their second competition of the school year, at the Boyceville Satellite Invitational, the Chaminade Varsity A Science Olympiad placed 34th out of 165 teams. In their next tournament, the Westlake Satellite Invitational, the Chaminade Varsity A team placed 2nd out of 62 teams. Finally, in their fourth tournament this year, the Duke University Satellite Invitational, the Varsity A team placed 10th out of 147 teams. Within these tournaments, students on the A, B, and C teams each had impressive individual showings for their respective events, garnering many medals in their separate events. These placements are all extremely impressive and cement Chaminade’s Science Olympiad as among the top in the country.
Chaminade has sent the Varsity A and Junior Varsity B teams to Pennsylvania to compete in the North Pocono Invitational Tournament. The team would place third among a multitude of schools. This was the first in-person tournament since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was the first for many of the students.
Chaminade’s Science Olympiad is yet another example of the school’s excellence, and these students show their passion for their club and school through their tireless effort and devotion towards it.