Northgate’s Science Olympiad: Regionals to State

Bailey Bullard, Staff Writer

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On February 24th, Northgate High School’s Science Olympiad team competed in their sixth regional competition. To the excitement of many members on the team, Northgate earned nineteen medals overall- ten first place, eight third place, and one fourth place. Most notably, the Science Olympiad team placed first overall, earning them an invitation to the state competition for their fifth year in a row.

The season has not only been a smashing success at regionals, but they have continually done well since the team’s first invitational. Club sponsor and coach Mrs. Thomas shares, “We have had a successful season to date, winning medals at all of the Invitationals and placing first at Regionals. I attribute this success to how prepared our students are!” These students have been pushing hard since the beginning of the year as they worked to construct and perfect various contraptions, cheat sheets, and material boxes to be as prepared for their events as they could possibly be. “Each competition is different and unpredictable, and teams just have to adapt.” Mrs. Thomas explains. “That’s the fun of competing, and I knew that our team had the foundation it needed to succeed.”

After all of this effort, earning a medal, whether at invitationals or at regionals, is always a noteworthy moment. “[It is] exciting and rewarding,” junior Christian Contreras shares. “I feel accomplished.” Junior Ian Meeks adds, “It felt really good overall just knowing that all my hard work had paid off.” But while medaling in an event is thrilling, knowing your entire team placed overall is an even more rewarding moment. “I was elated when Northgate got first,” senior officer Arthi Shankar explains. “It was a very close competition and I was afraid we would lose to Whitewater, but I’m happy we pulled it off!” “I was so ecstatic to be able to go up and get the first place trophy…” fellow senior officer Grace Busby adds. “We both have been working towards high goals each year in Science Olympiad, and this is one of the most memorable moments from competitions.”

The win is not only meaningful to the students, but to the teachers and coaches that helped these students prepare as well. “I especially love the smiles of pride and feelings of achievement when my students receive medals, ribbons, or that first-place trophy,” Mrs. Thomas says. “They choose to work hard and commit to Science before and after school. They spend many hours building towers, vehicles, helicopters, and hovercrafts. They analyze crime scenes, problem-solve, learn and apply new concepts. Working as a team and placing first is a public acknowledgement of these efforts and perseverance. We compete against many of the State’s top schools, and seeing our students succeed against such worthy competitors is a testament to the talent and work ethic of our students.”

After such great success at the regional meet, the team holds high hopes for the upcoming state competition. “I think that we are a hard working team and have a good chance to place high this year,” Busby shares. “…I truly believe that we can make it to the top ten if we continue with this dedication.” Each year, the state competition is held at Emory University, and many of Georgia’s best teams are there and ready to compete. At this level of competition, there is more material to know, and the events are all around more challenging. Despite the effort, Northgate’s team is working harder than ever to prepare themselves for the rigorous competition. “I’m feeling confident,” Meeks agrees. “The team has grown a lot just in the past year so I feel like we are going to be contenders for one of the top teams.” Mrs. Thomas adds, “I’m excited to see how the extra practice we’ve had translates at State. I am confident that we will place in the top half of the schools. This year I am challenging our team to break into the top ten! Last year, we placed 13th so I feel we can do this if we prepare.”

Lastly, Mrs. Thomas and the Science Olympiad team extends their thanks to Mrs. McCord, Mrs. Teets, Dr. Shankar, and the entire science department for their immense support in helping this team become the best is could possibly be. In addition, the team would like to thank Mrs. Thomas for all of her hard work and dedication that she pours into the team. Without these people, and many more, Northgate’s Science Olympiad would not be able to be where it is today. “This collaboration between staff, community, and students contributes… to the team’s success,” Mrs. Thomas shares. “I have seen this year’s team develop strong bonds and friendships between members. The camaraderie and teamwork between the students is really the best part of competing.”

Northgate sends its most sincere congratulations to the entire Science Olympiad team for all of their hard work and dedication in making it this far, and wishes the best of luck to these students as the prepare to compete at state on March 31st.

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