Dublin High School Science Olympiad Team Challenges the Boyceville Invitational Competition


Teams competed from 11/30-12/2.

Science Olympiad is an individual/team science competition for high school students in the United States. It is designed to increase student interest in science and to improve the quality of scientific education by providing a challenging and engaging forum for students to test their knowledge and skills. Teams are typically composed of 15 students, from a mix of grade levels.

Science Olympiad competitions consist of a series of events, each of which tests students’ knowledge and skills in a particular area of science. The events are divided into two categories: “build” events, in which students build a device or perform a hands-on activity, and “test” events, in which students take a written test or perform a laboratory experiment. These events cover a wide range of science and engineering topics, including biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, and technology.

Starting on Wednesday 11/30 and ending on Friday 12/2, Dublin High School’s Science Olympiad team competed in the Satellite Boyceville competition hosted in Wisconsin. Satellite competitions are hosted virtually, as a product of COVID procedures. Students can take tests online at their respective schools, and the results are electronically sent to the event coordinators.

Although the Satellite format sounds more convenient, students still faced many challenges leading up to the competition. To begin with, the preparation process was incredibly arduous.

One example is Eric Xiao, a Science Olympiad team member who competed in three very demanding events. One of such is Environmental Chemistry, a lab/written event that is mainly focused on water quality and documents related to water quality. Additionally, he competed in Green Generation, a written event focused on ecology and the human impact on our environments. Finally, Rocks and Minerals, a written event focused on identifying rocks and minerals and their characteristics.

Naturally, with all these events, came a massive amount of work that needed to be done in preparation for the competition. On top of the demanding workload for preparation, the time constraint of the tournament made everything more challenging.

“We only had a little over a month to get ready for our events,” revealed Eric Xiao. “A major challenge was preparing the cheat sheets/binders for my events. For example, I had to print out 400+ pages of legal documents for my Environmental Chemistry event and skim through it all.”

“Preparing for the Boyceville invitational was challenging because it happened so soon after teams were formed. We had to meet with our partners quickly to consolidate our cheat sheets and take some practice tests,” said Riddhi Kumar, the treasurer of DHS Science Olympiad. “Though, I feel that this process was made easier because of the study sessions we’ve started to host at the Dublin Library every Saturday.”

Despite the strenuous preparation process, the competition was fruitful for the DHS Science Olympiad team, who placed 7th overall. “Being the first competition of the year, we are mostly using this competition to simply acclimate to the Science Olympiad and give the newer competitors a taste of how [it] works,” explained Frank Xiao. “ I’m sure that given everyone’s hard work, people will be able to medal in this competition, but that was not the primary focus this time around.”

In addition to tangible accomplishments, the team also made progress in team relationships. Kumar continues, “Although we placed well in our competitions the last two years, we definitely experienced a feeling of disconnection because of our online meetings. We sometimes didn’t even talk to our partners before test day, which was also hosted online (in a satellite or mini-so format), making the experience sort of unfulfilling. [However] I can already feel myself forming some great connections with my teammates this year.”

Overall, the DHS Science Olympiad team was very successful in the competition. If students want to learn more about joining the team next year, please contact [email protected] and check out their club Instagram @dublin_scioly for up-to-date information. Stay fly, Gaels!