Science Olympiad takes home ten out of twenty medals

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Dante Bombardiere

Science Olympiad team advisor Ms. Marla Ezratty, members Nuran Mirdha, Joseph Pizzuti, Raj Talukdar, Daniel Bidikov, Arjuna Lal, Annie Kim, Justin Calamari, Julia Zeh, Aaron Brezel, advisor Mr. Scott Carmody, and member Crystal Ren received numerous awards for their performance at last month’s regional competition.

Tessa Peierls, Staff Editor

For the first time in five years, the Science Olympiad team has qualified in the state competition, after a strong showing at the regional competition last month.

At the event, which took place on Feb. 1 at Kellenberg Memorial High School, Schreiber competed against 33 teams from schools around western Nassau County.

“Schreiber’s team hasn’t been able to progress this far in a long time, and the group is very excited.  Going to states is a great opportunity for Schreiber and is a time to really show other schools who we are,” said sophomore Raj Talukdar.

“States is a nice way of recognizing the time and work we put into the events. And the competition itself is always fun,” said junior Crystal Ren.

The team meets Tuesdays after school during the months approaching regionals and every day after school starting a few weeks before.  According to science teacher and staff advisor Ms. Marla Ezratty, there is a huge range of events for which the members need to prepare.

The team won medals in 10 out of the 22 total events and ranked sixth overall with 123 points.  These medals were in Chemistry Lab, Chemistry of Food, Disease Detectives, Dynamic Planet, Experimental Design, Forensics, Green Generation, Materials Science, Mission Possible, and Write It Do It.

There are 15 members on the team, with two alternates.  Each student works with a partner and participates in the event for which they signed up.  Some students work with technology and build for their event.  These events include making a magnetic levitating car and a glider.  They also have to build a machine that tests water quality, called a salinometer.  All the students have to study their events, and sometimes use a binder with notes.

“We started studying a bit earlier than usual, so we naturally went into the competition feeling more prepared,” said senior Annie Kim.  “One other thing we’ve done differently is that we’ve had the seniors take on more responsibility, as opposed to having just one or two of them trying to run things.  We work pretty well together, I think.”

Ms. Ezratty agrees that part of the success can be attributed to how “the partners really work well with each other.

This is the first time in five years the team has qualified for the state championships.  After several disappointing seasons, Schreiber was able to take advantage of the newly establish and much smaller Nassau West Conference.

Prior to this season, all Nassau County Schreiber Science Olympiad teams would convene in a 70-plus slug fest with many of the state’s strongest programs duking it out for the few state qualifying slots.  This year, however, the Nassau County Conference was split into East and West, leveling the playing field.

“There are always schools better than us, or who have more funding and resources, but it’s great just to have made it with what resources we have,” said Ren.

All competing schools faced the difficulty posed by the breaks and cancelled days of school.

States will take place March 14 and 15, once again at Kellenberg.

“I think the team did pretty good. They worked very hard for the few weeks approaching, and put in a lot of effort,” said science teacher Mr. Scott Carmody.