Saftey is top priority in spaced out Science Olympiad

Jacob Ashkar, Photographer

With COVID-19 causing Grosse Pointe Public Schools to remain online, many clubs have also moved to virtual meetings as well. Some clubs, including Science Olympiad, have received approval from the school board to host in-person club meetings.

Shelly Rothenbuhler, Science Olympiad advisor, said meetings are set up specifically to follow social distancing precautions to keep students safe.

“We have certain events being worked on in three different classrooms,” Rothenbuhler said. “So everybody who comes in will be able to see the board and know what classroom to go to so there’s as little mixing as possible between students.”

The science olympiad team meets inside of South while still wearing masks and being socially distanced.

Peyton Lancaster ’21, co-president of the Science Olympiad, said Science Olympiad has still remained focused on its main purpose, despite the difficulties COVID-19 has presented.

“It’s been going as well as it can be,” Lancaster said. “We are adapting pretty well to the situation, we’re meeting inside and taking safety precautions while still working hard preparing for events (and) having fun.”

Science Olympiad Historian Camille O’mara ‘23 was pleased with how much

they’ve been able to do considering the pandemic.

“It’s actually pretty surprising how much we’ve been able to do considering we can’t really compete in events right now,” O’mara said. “But we are working on virtual tournaments and we’ve had a much bigger turnout this year since last year.”

Despite many new members, it has been difficult to work as a team with precautions since there are no upcoming events, according to O’mara.

“It’s just hard because we don’t really have something to work towards like we did last year,” O’mara said. “last year we got to prepare for events and such, but with masks and staying apart it’s now even hard to get to know the new members.”

With the need for the extra room due to social distancing, Rothenbuhler was able to spread the team across three classrooms with approval from administration and neighboring teachers.

“Since I was able to get permission from the two neighboring teachers, it gave us a lot more room to spread out,” Rothenbuhler said. “This made it easier when telling [Vice Principal] Parravano our plan to safely conduct meetings.”

According to Lancaster, people are divided up into groups depending on which event they are preparing for, which determines which of the three rooms they are put in during meetings.

“There are three separate rooms we spread out in so there are not too many people in each, and we try to spread out at different tables and desks,” Lancaster said. “Unless you’re working on the same events at the same table, we try to maintain distance between people.”