By Theresa Nguyen
The Mirror Staff
By Shimla Rahman
“I was disappointed with the results and thought we could’ve done a lot better, but I feel like we should look at this as a learning experience and a blueprint for next year. We are definitely not going to stop working hard and we will plan ahead for next year,” Diana Chernyak, Sophomore Vice Captain
Mixed Results at Science Olympiad
NEWS: For the first time in three years, the VNHS Science Olympiad team misses qualifying for state finals, but two students finish first in Anatomy and Physiology category.
Although the students on the Van Nuys Science Olympiad team spent many months preparing, they placed a disappointing 12th in the Science Olympiad Regional Finals Competition held at Antelope Valley College on Saturday, Feb. 18.
Thirty-three schools competed in 20 different events ranging from hands-on constructions to lab experiments to written tests subjects which varied from anatomy to robotics to wind power.
“The vibe throughout the competition was a blend of excitement and anxiety,” said Elizabeth Lee, a senior from Oak Park High School whose team scored 6th place.
Students were split into groups of two or three, according to the events that were best suited for them.
Diana Chernyak and Lacthu Vu placed first overall in Anatomy and Physiology, while Chernyak and Teresa Thomas garnered a second-place in Invasive Species.
Second place was also awarded to Keshan Huang and David Park in the Wind Power category.
Van Nuys students had difficulties placing in the other 17 categories, landing them an overall 12th place finish.
Still, sophomore Vice Captain Diana Chernyak remains optimistic about the major loss.
“I was disappointed with the results and thought we could’ve done a lot better, but I feel like we should look at this as a learning experience and a blueprint for next year,” she said. “We are definitely not going to stop working hard and we will plan ahead for next year.”
Even with this year’s finish, the VNHS Science Olympiad team is not discouraged. The students are determined to making their way to state finals next year, building on their experience.
“[The officers] are already coming up with a plan to perform their best next year, and I think they’ve got it,” said Vice Captain of Engineering, Obed Hernandez.
After a long day of relentless competition, the team relaxed and bonded by playing multiple rounds of volleyball, followed by dinner at a restaurant.
VNHS participant David Park says that these actions build trust and cooperation within the team because you “learn how to work with other people and you develop good communication skills.”
Science Olympiad is definitely a challenging extracurricular activity for a typical high school student.
“It requires a lot of dedication, commitment, and time,” said Chernyak, “and our members this year definitely put in that time that was necessary despite everything else going on in their lives.”