Science Olympiad sets high mark for medals at state

Annie Lazarski, Staff Writer

Cary-Grove’s Science Olympiad team competed for the second consecutive year at state this past weekend at the University of Illinois. There, they competed in a variety of tasks that ranged from test-taking to bridge-building.

Due to their success, Cary-Grove’s team was placed in the AA division, which is typically for larger schools such as Stevenson and New Trier. Being in the larger division increases the difficulty of the competition.

Regardless, the team placed 29th out of 48 teams, with multiple individual medals. The top five performers receive medals and there were more individuals who medaled this year than last year.

This year, Jacob Almanza and Brett Palermo placed 5th in Game On, an event which requires the participants to create their own computer game. Matt Havard and Jacob Taylor placed 5th in Chemistry Lab, and Mitchel O’Day and Remington Reid placed 2nd in Bridge Building.

“In the overall placement, we did not do as well as last year, but we had more individual medals, which was great,” senior Remington Reid said. While the team placed 21st last year, they feel that this year was a better success in the long run.

A lot of preparation went into the road to state. Mr. Wagner holds practice after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the team to practice for their events. This could consist of studying reference binders with a partner, or asking questions about a bridge design. The team worked together on the Friday nights before the competitions in order to put the final touches on their projects.

“The Friday nights before the competitions are usually late nights with us working together to finish it in time for the competition the next day,” Reid said. “Sometimes another person looking at the problem for the first time has a different perspective and can help out a lot.”

The club, started about six years ago by Mr. Wagner, gives many students a place to exercise their scientific curiosity. Whether a student is interested in fossils or astronomy or cell biology, this is a club where the student can improve his or her skills and increase interest in the subject matter.

“We put a lot of time into it and it’s all worth it in the end,” Reid said. “Overall, I guess I would consider myself lucky to have found a club that I have found a passion for. Mr. Wagner has been a great coach and supported us the whole time.”