By: Staff Writer Richard Chenyu Zhou
MSJ’s Green Team placed first at the 2016 Bay Area Regional Science Olympiad Tournament held on March 12 at California State University (CSU) East Bay, and qualified for the NorCal Science Olympiad State Finals on April 18.
National Science Olympiad is a series of competitions that aims to increase interest in science and improve the quality of science education through hands-on activities, teamwork-centered events, and applying concepts to real-world examples. There are two divisions for Science Olympiad competitions: Division B for middle school students and Division C for high school students. A team consists of 15 members who compete in 23 team events. Teams attempt to qualify for the Science Olympiad National Tournament by placing highly at nearly 300 regional and state level tournaments.
MSJ’s two teams, the Green Team and White Team, competed at the 2016 Bay Area Regional Science Olympiad Tournament held on March 12 at CSU East Bay, with MSJ’s Green Team taking first place overall at the tournament with 102 team points. The 15 members of the Green Team are Freshman Samir Jain, Sophomores Anjali Bhagat, Carolyn Ge, Grace Jiang, Praveen Nair, Waylon Peng, Anna Wadhwa, Emmanuelle Zhang, Juniors Mark Choi, Kate Lin, Jeffrey Liu, Leon Ming, Katherine Xiang, Catherine Zeng, and Senior Damon Pham. The team took first place in six events, including Anatomy and Physiology, Dynamic Planet, Experimental Design, Geologic Mapping, and Hydrogeology. “We’ve placed first consistently since my sophomore year, or two years ago … Our success is really attributable to the hard work and independence of our team members” said Co-Captain Damon Pham.
MSJ’s Green Team advanced to the NorCal Science Olympiad State Finals, to be held on April 18 at CSU Stanislaus, along with three other teams from the regional: Irvington High School’s White Team, College Prep High School’s Maroon Team, and Albany High School. “We’re going to focus on having fun and trying to medal in the events that we like … The competition is really there, so state medals mean a lot more to us,” said Pham.