By Jen Luu

On Mar. 18, the PHHS Science Olympiad participated in its annual competition hosted by San Jose City College’s science department.  The competition was divided between divisions B and C.  The B Division is reserved for middle school students, while the C Division is for high school students. A total of 31 schools participated. This year, Piedmont had two teams: Piedmont Hills White and Piedmont Hills Maroon.
To prepare for the competition, members devoted themselves to practicing for months.

“We were on it.  We set up a tent in front of the science building and waited for our events,” recounted Captain Anne Tran.

Once the whole team settled down at the designated area, they awaited their respective competition times.

“Each event has a different time slot, and we were given that schedule before we arrived,” stated Anne.

There was a variety of categories for individuals and teams to pick from. The primary categories were biology, chemistry and physics.  While some topics may be large in scope, they were divided into subcategories.

“I specialized in biology and took the ecology test,” explained competitor Jeffrey Chang.

After the teams and solo participants finished their exams, the score was calculated based on the type of competition.

“Individually, it’s just whoever scored the highest,” said Jeffrey.

However, the scoring guide for teams is different. Raw scores on the answer sheets are calculated as follows: first place receives one point, second place receives two points and so on. Contrary to the traditional system of scoring, the team with the lowest overall score wins.

Palo Alto High placed first and received a medal, while Piedmont Hills White placed 21 and Piedmont Hills Maroon placed 22.

Despite the low placement, members enjoyed the overall experience.

“The test itself was uneventful; it was more of the bonding aspect,” recalled Anne.

Though PHHS did not place first, it still laid the foundation and momentum for future competitions since this year was its second year participating.

“Michelle and I are very proud of everyone who competed because they put in a lot of effort and the officers helped immensely with fundraising,” said Co-President Veronica Roy.

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