A group of Huntington students who have earned spots on the high school’s two Science Olympiad teams are currently prepping for the regional championships at Ward Melville in East Setauket later this month.
The two Science Olympiad teams consist of high-powered teenagers. The group is working with science teachers Lori Kenny, Dame Forbes, Amelia Saggese and Matthew Liguori.
One roster features Valerie Rogel, Michael McCooey, Bryce Vitulli, Robert Jean-Gilles, Matt Gennarelli, Hannah Avidor, Hadley Clayton, Ryan Hoffmann, Mathew Hearl, Nathan Gamboa, Haley Mortell, Arashdeep Singh, Ryan Knowles, Patrick Langton and Andrew Knowles.
The other team’s roster includes Mya Davis, Peyton Kalb, Lia Shechter, Oskar Kilgour, John Panos, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Sasha Koulakova, Samuel Roberts, Charles Sze, Katie Stock, Erika Varady, Jack Langton, Adriana Scarpati, Gabriel Medina-Jaudes and Gabriel Moskovitch.
“Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets,” according to the organization’s website. “Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation. Through Science Olympiad, students, teachers, parents, principals and business leaders bond together and work toward a shared goal.”
The Huntington team members involved in “builds” are required to research, build and test before they compete on Saturday, January 26. Some students are building mousetrap cars and airplanes while others are trying to build a 3-D model of a specific protein. Their builds will then be tested at Ward Melville in a field that is expected to total more than 50 teams. The top finishers will receive medals and qualify for the state championships.
“Competition day consists of not only testing these builds, but will also require the Huntington students to take challenging written tests and perform lab experiments,” said Mr. Gamboa, a senior and veteran team member. “Students are expected to have in-depth knowledge of the courses they are tested in; no help is given.”
While some students will test their chemistry skills others will use statistical analysis as “Disease Detectives.” A ticking clock will add to the pressure during the competition. “This is by no means an easy task,” Mr. Gamboa said
Huntington took home five medals at last year’s competition and placed 16th overall in a field of 45 high school teams. Rachel Moss and Noah Morris captured first place in Ecology, eighth in Remote Sensing and 10th in Write it; Do it. Messrs. Gamboa and Hearl finished eighth in Material Sciences and Ms. Clayton and Mr. Singh placed 10th in Forensics.
With twice as many students and teams competing this year, Huntington is expecting an even more impressive performance as the Blue Devils strive to qualify for the state finals.
(Huntington senior Nathan Gamboa contributed reporting for this story.)