Science Olympiad

In mid-December, the Grace Science Olympiad Team competed in the New England Invitational Tournament at Dartmouth College. The team turned out impressive results earning several awards:
  • Gold medal for Thermodynamics
  • Gold medal for Optics
  • Bronze medal for Rocks and Minerals
  • 4th place for Astronomy
  • 8th place overall  
Nineteen high school students from every grade were accompanied on the trip by three Grace science teachers, Kal Zia, Jon Benadiba and Cindy Jackson who is also the Science Curriculum Coordinator for grades 9-12.
The results were particularly notable given that the Grace team is in its first year. Mr. Zia, was impressed by the dedication of his students on the trip. “On our drive up to Dartmouth, because of the snow and weekend traffic, the 5-hour trip ended up taking 8 hours. We got into the hotel after 11 p.m. with our events starting the next morning at 8 a.m. The kids took over one of the rooms and turned it into a mini science lab; they were up till 4 a.m. putting finishing touches on their helicopter, practicing thermodynamics, and reviewing herpetology. That kind of motivation and enthusiasm was incredibly inspiring.”
Mr. Zia went on to describe what drives the group, “The kids are self-motivated, more than anything else. Mr. Benadiba and I have really been hands off with the group; they have been the ones to pick their events, find time after school to practice, and learn things not covered in the school science curriculum.”
Junior Jack Levy said of his team’s performance. “The team really bonded throughout the earlier half of the year by meeting every week and sometimes after school. It felt amazing to see the team do so well, and I was very impressed that we won two gold medals.”
The Grace team will compete next at the NYC Regional Science Olympiad in February.
“To be honest, they are such a self-driving group it made our job as chaperones easy,” said Ms. Jackson. “This is an up and coming academic team. I foresee great things in their future!”

MORE SCIENCE NEWS: Junior Wins Grand Prize for Scientific Research