Science Olympiad President Reflects on Successful Four Years
by Billy Demos ’23
For some Chaminade High School students, science classes like Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are extremely difficult and dreadful. However, some students excel in these classes and truly enjoy science and look for different ways to gain as much knowledge as possible to have an overall greater understanding of science. These students can do so by joining Science Olympiad. Science Olympiad is a club for students who are looking to continue learning about science outside of the classroom and do so by competing against other students across the state of New York in different categories like study, build, and lab. One student who has excelled during his time as a Science Olympian is Anthony Vazquez ’23.
“I really appreciate my time in Science Olympiads at Chaminade. It allows me to compete in areas of my interest, while also collaborating with and mentoring other students who share a similar goal of continued team success,” Vazquez reflected.
Vazquez, who is the President of the Science Olympiad A Team is extremely talented, to say the least, and has competed with the team during his junior and senior years. Vazquez competed with his teammates last year at states, where the team placed fourth, which is the highest placement Chaminade has achieved–or any other Catholic school for that matter in state history. Vazquez himself placed 1st in Dynamic Planet and 9th in Remote Sensing alongside his classmate Andrew Brites which he said: “was the award I was most proud of.”
Over the past two years, the Chaminade Science Olympiad Team has seen a tremendous amount of success but also understands that this success is built off time, and sometimes time can become an obstacle within itself.
“Preparing for overnight tournaments each week on top of schoolwork and other activities can become extremely overwhelming, but we make sure to take everything one day at a time and make sure to take a step back and focus on each day’s work. Nevertheless, it’s still extremely rewarding to see your work pay off at the end of each tournament,” Vazquez said.
Vazquez most definitely saw his work pay off after he had a very successful junior season, placing 2nd in Dynamic Planet, 8th in Remote Sensing, and 6th in Minerals at Regionals as well as 6th in Dynamic Planet and 1st in Minerals in Cincinnati. Vazquez is following up his strong junior campaign this year with his 1st place finish in Remote Sensing and 2nd place finish in Rocks and Minerals at Capital District.
“I dedicate some of my success to my teammates. We all support each other even if we aren’t working on the same event. I’m grateful for the friendships I’ve made in the two years that I’ve been in the club. During the tournaments, we know who needs to work on what parts at each event, and we learned how to best utilize each of our strengths to work as efficiently as possible,” Vazquez said.
Beyond Science Olympiad, Vazquez expresses his love for science by taking all advanced science courses, participating in the Science Research Club, observing an MD in a pediatric care facility, as well as joining the junior firefighters to learn about medical procedures like first aid and Emergency Medical Technicians.
“It’s just my love for science, I can’t help it. I’m trying to get exposure to a lot of different areas of science and medicine for my career,” Vazquez said.
Science Olympiad has provided Vazquez with the opportunity to not only further his knowledge of different sciences, but also to create friendships that will last a lifetime and to learn more about a potential career in medicine as he gets ready to begin his college.