Science Olympiad Green Team takes gold at regionals


Alice Yu

While many spent Valentine’s Day celebrating with loved ones, the Green and Gold Science Olympiad teams, each with 15 students, boarded a bus at 6 a.m., heading to Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla to compete the in regional level of Science Olympiad and for the second straight year, the Green team brought home gold.
Green team qualified for state with their first place finish, but the Gold team won’t be advancing to the state level, despite their fourth place finish. Tournament rules state that each school can only send one team to the state tournament.
“It takes a whole team of dedicated students to accomplish such a feat and I am proud that I get to be associated with not only the Green team, but both of our teams,” RBHS Science Olympiad coach Stephanie Harman said. “Although it is disappointing to only get to send one team when both performed so well, I have been, as a student and coach in the past, on the other side of the coin so I can appreciate the need to spread the wealth. They did change the rules a bit this year so that even if your team doesn’t make it to state, if you place first in an event, you can go individually. I think that is a decent compromise between the two conflicting ideals and I think some of our Gold team members will benefit from it.”
As a member of the Gold team, senior Anmol Sethi won’t be able to participate in the state tournament Sat., April 18 at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. In her individual events, Sethi placed fourth in Anatomy and Physiology, but didn’t place top four in her two other events, Experimental Design and Protein Modeling.
“I think it’s just that I’ve done it for so long, I feel like I should and it’s been fun going with everyone,” Sethi said. “Also I’ve done pretty well in the years past so it’s always interesting to see how I can live up to it.”
Junior Wendy Zhang who is a member of the Green team will be headed to the state tournament for the first time in her two-year career as a Science Olympian.

“It takes a whole team of dedicated students to accomplish such a feat and I am proud that I get to be associated with not only the Green team, but both of our teams,” RBHS Science Olympiad coach Stephanie Harman said.”

“I’m excited about going to State, and grateful for the opportunity,” Zhang said. “I’m also determined to be serious about preparing for the competition so I can hopefully do well in my events.”
For her individual events, Zhang placed first in Dynamic Planet and Protein Modeling and third in Green Generation. For her fourth event, Disease Detectives, Zhang didn’t place in the top four places.
“Science Olympiad has helped me learn a lot about scientific topics that I usually wouldn’t explore, but it’s also tied together many of the concepts that I’ve learned in various classes throughout the years,” Wendy Zhang said. “The most rewarding part of being on the team for me, is supporting everyone and watching each other’s hard work pay off.”
As part of her preparation for Protein Modeling, Zhang met with her partners, junior Zoya Khan and sophomore Richard Shang, the night before. Zhang and Khan stayed up until 1 a.m. finishing their pre-build model. At the competition, the team had to build an on-site model and take an exam, so the three split the task up, with Zhang building the model based on her experience with the software program and Khan and Shang taking the exam.
“I’ve always been interested in the science field, so I joined Science Olympiad to expand my knowledge. I continued participating because I had a lot of fun last year,” Zhang said. “Working on a team in fun events reduces the stress of a competition, and doubles the value.”
For Harman, the most rewarding part of Science Olympiad is building a connection with all the team members and witnessing their successes and triumphs.
“Since so much of it does hinge on the students’ responsibility, it is always so much fun to see them succeed and earn recognition for their hard work. I also enjoy getting to know students I don’t get to have in class,” Harman said. “One of the things I miss about working in a small district, as I did before I came to Rock Bridge, is getting to know the students early in their careers and watching them mature and change and grow into their futures as they progressed through high school. Science Olympiad allows me those opportunities and I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. Just this year, I have also realized that, with our new middle school feeder system, I have a really cool opportunity to start to get to know students before they even get to Rock Bridge.”
As some students begin preparing for the state tournament, other senior students on the Gold team are drawing a close to their career as Science Olympians.
“I think its been a good experience,” Sethi said. “Some years are good and some aren’t but it’s fun to compete and do your best.”
By Alice Yu
Photo by Stephanie Harman