By Michelle Xu

Imagine building a robotic arm that could perform tasks for you. Or designing your own computer game based on a theme. Or learning about supernovae and stellar evolution. These are just examples of the many opportunities provided to students by Science Olympiad.

Science Olympiad is a nationwide competition that tests the scientific knowledge of students in middle school and high school. There are multiple events across different areas of science, and 15 students representing a school are spread out to compete in the events in teams of two or three. Events fall into two main categories: the study events, where students prepare notes and take a test on a specific science topic, and the building events, where students build an apparatus that must perform certain tasks.

There are three main levels of the competition: Regionals, State, and Nationals. The Science Olympiad Regionals competition for Orange County schools will be on Feb. 11th. Only the schools that place in the top seven places at Regionals will get to move onto state. Students are using the months leading up to the competition to prepare for their events.

“Preparing for Science Olympiad involves rigorous studying and lots of dedication,” says Suhn Kim, a junior at Northwood High School. “I often study with my team.”

Despite the hard work and dedication required for the competition, Science Olympiad allows students to learn more about all kinds of different sciences, from astronomy to cell biology.

“I love learning about the world around us and how things came to be,” shares Alina Trinh, a sophomore at University High School. “Science Olympiad is a way for me to explore my interests.”

Science Olympiad requires a lot of hard work and commitment, and there is no guarantee that a team can move on to the State competition. Despite this, students are taking the risk and taking on the challenge, because to them, Science Olympiad is not just a competition.

“My favorite part about Science Olympiad is how we work together and help each other improve,” says Xuyang Yu, a junior at Beckman High School. “Science Olympiad is like a big family.”