By: Ananya Nrusimha
Williamsville East Science Olympiad had its best finish ever at the regional competition this year. The Silver team took 4th place overall, the Gold team took 3rd, and the Red team was the overall regional champion for the second year in a row. Almost all of the forty-five East students who competed received individual medals for their outstanding performance in their events.
More than forty teams from all over Western New York participated in the competition, which was held at Canisius College on January 30th. There can be at most fifteen students on each team, and at most seven of those students can be seniors. Pairs of students competed in twenty-five different events, which covered a host of science- and engineering-related topics from Astronomy to Bridge Building. Events take the form of a test, a lab, or a building competition. The material covered is typically at the introductory college level, which makes East’s performance this year all the more spectacular.
To become part of East’s Science Olympiad teams, students had to score well on a mandatory academic test and an optional building test; this was because the number of slots open was less than the number of students who wished to join the club. The forty-five students who made it into the club met with their team members weekly for three-hour study sessions in addition to studying on their own. Students also made tests for the members of the other two teams in their corresponding events, and all three teams took these tests at one of two ‘cluster meetings.’
This is the first year both the Gold and Silver teams have placed in the top five; Gold team’s best finish previously was sixth and Silver team’s best finish was eleventh. The Silver team has probably showed the most improvement of a Science Olympiad team in recent memory; at their inception two years ago, they placed 21st. These remarkable finishes are due both to the hard work and dedication of all their members and to the leadership of the captains of both teams. The Gold team was led by Administrative Captain Sonakshi Sharma, a junior; Academic Captain Anikeit Chanda, a junior; and Technical (building) captain Shashwat Shah, a sophomore. The Silver team was led by Administrative Captain Najya Fayyaz, a freshman; Academic Captain Elizabeth Gu, a sophomore; and Technical Captain Edward Shen, a junior.
While the top five teams in the regional competition are typically allowed to the advance to the state competition, only one team from each school is allowed to advance. Thus, the fifth and sixth place teams (Nichols’ Green team and Canisius’ A team respectively) will be allowed to advance in lieu of East’s Gold and Silver teams. The Red team will also be advancing to the state competition, which will be held on March 11th and 12th at Lemoyne College in Syracuse. The Red team is led by Administrative Captain Ananya Nrusimha, a senior; Academic Captain Ananya Murthy, a senior; and Technical Captain Alek Cerne, a junior. The students who received individual medals for their performance are as follows:
Red Team: Connie An – 1st place Cell Biology, 6th place Green Generation, 5th place Invasive Species; Alek Cerne – 6th place Electric Vehicle; Xingyang Li – 1st place Dynamic Planet, 5th place Invasive Species; Shubhangi Mehra – 6th place Chemistry Lab, 1st place Experimental Design, 2nd place Forensics; Ananya Murthy – 1st Experimental Design, 4th place Anatomy, 3rd place Protein Modeling; Ananya Nrusimha – 1st place Astronomy, 1st place Geologic Mapping, 1st place Remote Sensing; Aniruddha Nrusimha – 3rd place Game On, 1st place Geologic Mapping, 3rd place Protein Modeling; Mirabel Reid – 1st place Astronomy, 2nd place Fossils, 1st place Hydrogeology; Wladimir Sarmiento – 6th place Green Generation, 1st place It’s About Time, 3rd place Protein Modeling; Maggie Verrico – 1st Cell Biology, 3rd Disease Detectives, 1st Hydrogeology; Caroline Wang – 2nd place Forensics, 1st Experimental Design, 2nd place Fossils; Sherrie Wang – 3rd place Game On, 1st place It’s About Time, 1st place Remote Sensing; Sarah Wie – 3rd Disease Detectives, 4th place Anatomy, 6th place Chemistry; William Zhang – 6th place Electric Vehicle, 1st place Dynamic Planet
Gold Team: Anikeit Chanda – 5th place Dynamic Planet, 5th place Wright Stuff; Ian Desjardin – 6th place Experimental Design; Zachary Gelfond – 2nd place Astronomy, 1st place Fossils; Shaun Kohli – 2nd place Disease Detectives, 6th place Wind Power; Angela Li – 2nd place Green Generation, 5th place Protein Modeling; Crystal Lu – 5th place Protein Modeling, 6th place Invasive Species; Jessica Meng – 5th place Dynamic Planet, 1st place Fossils, 5th place Forensics; Marilena Papavassiliou – 2nd place Astronomy, 2nd place Green Generation; Vamsi Ratnakaram – 6th place Invasive Species; Jameson Reid – 6th place Geologic Mapping, 6th place Wind Power; Shashwat Shah – 5th place Wright Stuff; Sonakshi Sharma – 5th place Cell Biology, 5th place Protein Modeling, 6th place Experimental Design; Sina Soltanieh – 2nd place Disease Detectives; Avaneesh Thoudoju – 5th place Cell Biology, 6th place Geologic Mapping, 6th place Experimental Design; Grace Yao – 5th place Forensics
Silver Team: Shtakshe Chatrath – 3rd place Hydrogeology, 2nd place Protein Modeling; Cynthia Cheng – 2nd place Invasive Species; Ananth Das – 4th place Cell Biology, 3rd place Green Generation; Najya Fayyaz – 3rd place Anatomy, 2nd place Protein Modeling; Nidhish Gokhale – 4th place Cell Biology; Elizabeth Gu – 2nd place Invasive Species, 3rd place Green Generation; Luna Liu – 3rd place Wright Stuff; Sharon Luo – 3rd place Dynamic Planet, 3rd place Fossils, 2nd place Protein Modeling; Aditya Nair – 3rd place Fossils; Sharan Prasad – 3rd place Anatomy, 3rd place Hydrogeology; Shreyas Prasad – 2nd place Robot Arm, 3rd place Remote Sensing; Eddie Shen – 2nd place Robot Arm; Gaayathri Varavenkataraman – 3rd place Dynamic Planet; Ann Wang – 3rd place Remote Sensing