By Andrew Wong
The annual Science Olympiad competition took place last Saturday at San Jose City College. Along with this, Math Team will be participating in the annual SCVMA (Santa Clara Valley Mathematics Association) competition this Friday.
Science Olympiad is a regional competition in which participants compete in over twenty events covering subjects such as Physics, Earth Science and more. With this, they set themselves to answer questions and build electronics as a team.
The SCVMA competition includes high schools from across Santa Clara Valley. Contestants compete in one of several categories; there are categories for each high school math class (Math 1 through 3, Calculus, Statistics, Pre-calculus) and additional events open to all grades such as Leap Frog and Discovery Quest.
Science Olympiad has been preparing for this competition through study sessions. Those competing in the biology event attend biweekly practices, and other teams have been meeting up to practice usually once a week as well. Science Olympiad’s funding is self-raised and completely student-run.
“Our school has never qualified, and we usually rank in the lower half or near bottom because we’re a new school with no funding and no coach or teacher support,” said Co-President Kenneth Lien.
Despite this, the Science Olympiad team stays hopeful.
“We try to have study sessions at least once a week. Especially because it’s second semester and everything’s super busy right now, we try to have them whenever we can or when the team captains assign them,” says co-president Vivian Lin.
Math Team has also been preparing for SCVMA through weekly practices on Fridays. With math teacher Stewart Kuang’s help, they review math techniques and previous tests in order to compete against their strong opponents.
“I prepare for the math and physics contest by taking classes outside and doing a lot of problems at home. Giving a rough estimate, I would say I spend about ten hours per week on physics and five hours per week on math, if you only count the time that I really sit down and slowly do those subjects,” explains Math Team Vice Captain Gavin Yu.
Science Olympiad is determined to place higher this year, since they’ve also been practicing more.
“Every year we are improving. We’re set to beat records again because we did last year. We placed twice, actually,” says Kenneth.
Math Team is equally as determined to compete against their long-time opponents, Lynbrook, and other schools.
“Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. When you work together, you can solve more problems rather than working alone. I’m not really good at geometry but I’m really good at manipulating equations,” explains senior Asher Twu.
If the teams place, the top five winners of SCVMA will receive trophies and the top 15 will receive medals. If PHHS gets first place in Science Olympiad, they will be able to move onto the next competition.