Scoring high at Regionals for Science Olympiad team


Kelly Gavagan

From left to right, Grace Wininger ’23, Megan Ecclestone ’23, Matthew Chault ’24 Adelina Parikh ’25 Sage Porter ’24, Dominic-Palazollo ’23 goofily pose in the snow for a photo before going to compete. (Kelly Gavagan ’23)

Kelly Gavagan '23, Staff Writer

Making a comeback after earning fourth place the year prior, by missing one point out of 200, the Science Olympiad team is competing at the state level in the Spring.

South offers over 90 unique clubs, spanning from Mock Trial to Yoga club, allowing students to explore new passions and learn new skills. Some clubs have been around for decades while others began recently, such as Science Olympiad, a competitive STEM club administered by science teacher Shelly Rothenbuhler. Though it’s only South’s fifth year of Science Olympiad, the team is making a big impact competing against schools who have been doing it for over thirty years, according to Rothenbuhler. This is the club’s third year placing at regionals and competing at the state level.

“Science Olympiad is a national competitive organization where students compete on teams of 15, in 23 different events spanned from all different forms of science from space, Earth, chemistry, physics and just kind of general events,” Rothenbuhler said.

The group can not only support students in their class, but also in their future careers. It can help students explore and find out what they do and don’t like, according to third-year-member Adelina Parikh ’25.

“I learned a lot more about coding and wiring, which I’m going to take with me in the future,” Parikh said. “There’s a lot of categories for different things in STEM, so you can explore and see what you like and what you want to do in your future.”

Jarif Rashid ’23 said there are many other important values to learn in Science Olympiad involving communication and collaboration skills.“It really gives students skills interpersonally, because the events aren’t done individually and you’re always working in a team,” Rashid said. “You have to be able to collaborate and work together really well.”

Though Rashid explains how the values he learns are more important than winning, it still feels good to win.

“Winning made me feel super excited because of my teammates,” Rashid said. “I was competing with two sophomores and just to see the look on their faces when we won made me so happy, because I can tell they’re gonna continue the Science Olympiad. I also have been partners with Adelina for the year and it just felt like a huge accomplishment to win.”

Though the club gets the reputation of being all work and no play, Parikh argues that it’s not the case.

“There are so many different things you can do,” Parikh said. “”I think a lot of people are scared of (Science Olympiad). Because of its nature, people think ‘oh I don’t want to take a science test’, but it’s a really cool experience and you grow really close to all of your teammates.”