The Science Olympiad team attends competitions


Jennifer Grutza

Science Olympiad members work together at a competition.

The Science Olympiad team has been competing throughout the school year. Most recently, they participated in their Regional competition, which was held virtually.

Prior to the Regional competition, they competed in the Northern Illinois Invitational, in which 85 other teams participated. At the competition, seniors Anna Santos and MaryJo Santos won sixth place in Write It Do It. Juniors Graham Gatewood and Thomas Gornet won eleventh place in It’s About Time, which were two categories of competition.

At Science Olympiad competitions, students are able to compete in a variety of events.

“A Science Olympiad competition consists of 23 different events. Some of the events are knowledge and/or lab-based events such as Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry Lab, and Forensics. There are also build events such as Wright Stuff (building airplanes) and Ping-Pong Parachute. In August or September, we receive a copy of the national Science Olympiad rules that contains specific information for each event. Students then choose one or more events they would like to participate in. Most events allow 2-3 people per team to participate. After selecting their competition events, students spend the rest of the season working together with their partners to prepare for our competitions,” club sponsor Jennifer Grutza said.

The Science Olympiad team has been competing very well overall this year. Grutza says that her season highlight was the Libertyville High School Invitational.

“The team won several awards at the Libertyville High School Invitational we participated in on January 22, 2022. Seniors Ethan Waldenstrom, Shivali Chingre, and MaryJo Santos won fourth place in Codebusters. Shivali Chingre and Ethan Waldenstrom won fourth place in Forensics. Graham Gatewood and Thomas Gornet won third place in It’s About Time. Seniors Aiden Schueler and Sarah Burkinshaw won fifth place in Wright Stuff. Anna Santos and MaryJo Santos won second place in Write It Do It,” Grutza said.

The Science Olympiad team usually competes in two individual competitions and one Regional competition, and then State if they are able to advance. The team has gone to State in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Students can benefit from the club because they can learn new information. It looks good on college applications, and they can connect with other students who have similar interests.

“My favorite aspect of Science Olympiad is that it offers students an opportunity to pursue their passion for science outside of the classroom. Students pick the competition event(s) that personally interest them, and they work collaboratively with their partner(s) to learn more about the topics for each of their events,” Grutza said.

Any student who is interested in joining the Science Olympiad team next year can contact Mrs. Grutza.