Science Olympiad, a competitive academic team, has been preparing for the regional competition Saturday at Orlando’s Cypress Creek High School.
High school adviser Paula Ladd has received much feedback from students.
“This year’s turnout has been better than ever,” she said. “I had to turn people away. It was pretty painful.”
Middle school adviser Linda Johnson worries about her team’s numbers though.
“The high school had a lot of response, but our middle school division is short a few,” she said. “A lot of the kids are brand new and have never done it before.”
Ladd expects strong results despite difficulties.
“I hope that we place at least third,” she said. “There’s a lot of building events though, [and] there may be about 30 schools there.”
Johnson agrees that there will be a lot of competition.
“There’s over 40 other schools [in middle school division],” she said, “but there will be even more at state. Students have to be motivated.”
Junior Sanju Vardhan, who will be competing in the Forensics and Chemistry Lab events, is looking forward to the event.
“It’s a fun opportunity to compete using my science skills,” she said.
Junior Jacob Smithe, also competing in Chemistry Lab and Microbe Missions, agrees.
“I am extremely excited to be able to compete,” he said. “It’s fun because you get to hang out with other like-minded science-y people and compete using knowledge.”
Johnson said the middle school division practices are each week after school on Thursdays.
“We haven’t had many meetings, but we’ll have many more as we prepare for the state competition,” she said.
By Andrew Lim