Sophomore Staff Writer, Amith Jagannath
For years, Science has been developing and directing our society in ways that have made the world as advanced as it is. With small efforts originating from all across the world, an organization called Science Olympiad has provided children with a promising future by giving them ways to express their knowledge and various cognitive abilities. On a small scale, states across the U.S. have been competing for years to win the pride and infamous identity as the national Science Olympiad champions. Founded in 2007, Voyager Academy has been an active participant in the statewide Science Olympiad competition since 2009 throughout all three of the schools.
Voyager Academy High School has formed many rivalries since its preliminary stages in competing in both regionally and statewide. Ranging from recently founded home schools to well-established public schools, Voyager has always been put to the test when it comes to winning as a team. For those who don’t know about the fields that are covered in Science Olympiad, events are classified between hands-on, testing, and stations. Hands-on activities can include building a structure prior to the competition and impounding it on the day of. One of the most historic events that continues to give teams a run for their money is, “Bridges.” This event involves constructing a bridge that has a lightweight but can hoist a larger one. The organization ensures that they include specific restrictions to really challenge the event entrants.
In the past few years, Voyager Academy has been striving for excellence, hoping to one day make it to the revered state competition. Students even look forward to that as it is a prideful accomplishment and it looks excellent on college applications. Last year, Voyager made history by making to the state competition for the first time. Constructing a solid team requires a few key factors. Firstly, to even be able to start a team, a coach has to be involved. Voyager has been lucky to have Brandon Le in the past and his involvement has been essential. Mr. Le says that, “Being part of a greater cause has allowed me to turn my students into my friends. I love helping people with a field that I enjoy and am passionate about.” Unfortunately, Voyager lost such a great teacher as he left to pursue his degree in Biology. This year, the school will be in the hands of Amanda Honey, the Chemistry teacher at the Academy. The second most important factor in constructing a great team is the students. Usually, students who have the drive to succeed participate in Science Olympiad to sharpen their skills and broaden their horizons in the various fields of science.
In a grueling competition like this however, experience matters. From the get-go, Voyager has been efficiently grooming students from a young age, so that when it comes time to participate in high school, their skills are polished. One of Voyager’s most infamous students, Rosie Scott-Benson has been an active member in the Olympiad throughout her Voyager career. Starting from 4th grade itself, she has been involved and is a wonderful team player. When asked about her favorite kind of event to do, Rosie said, “I like the stations actually. I like that the stations give a variety of questions and some are interactive.” Throughout Rosie’s schooling career at Voyager, she has been successful on all fronts. In Middle School, Rosie won the schoolwide spelling bee two years in row making Voyager Academy history. When it comes to athletics, Rosie takes part in cross-country, swimming, and track. She says that her versatility influences her focus when it comes to the academic portion of school. “I’ve been doing it for a long time, I know a lot of people who do it, and it’s fun! I like getting to compete at states,” she says in response to her liking of Science Olympiad. To motivate others to join, Rosie says, “I think it’s a good out of school activity, you learn a lot, and it’s a fun team competition.”
Voyager Academy is also home to students who are not as extracurricularly affiliated. But, as they get older and more mature, they realize that afterschool activities are imperative to having a good future. One student that is a recent participant in the Olympiad is Dillon Woodward. Dillon has only been in Science Olympiad for one year but his experience and teachers have had a lasting effect on his growing knowledge basis. Throughout Voyager, Dillon is known for his intelligence, so naturally, he likes testing events in Science Olympiad. “I prefer having a nice knowledge base and comparing that objectively against other students.” He says that his Biology teacher, Mr. Le provided Dillon with a few suitable events and that that has sparked his interest in Science Olympiad. His goals for the future in Science Olympiad are to, “Go to states on the varsity team.” He encourages people to join by saying, “Sometimes science class can be fairly boring by learning subject matter that is boring. Science Olympiad has such a broad spectrum of topics, that you can find one that appeals to you and fully delve into that.”
One of the ways that people can be affiliated with the Olympiad is to talk to Amanda Honey, the Chemistry teacher. The VAHS Science Olympiad is in dire need of more students and the people we have at this school are the right choice. So, who will be the next champion? The Viking Tide says Voyager Academy.