NEWS: Law Science Club Shines At UConn Olympiad (With Slideshow)

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By Laura Gonzalez – News Editor

Law’s Science Club discovered just how much it has improved while competing at the 2015 UConn Science Olympiad on March 28.

Science Club members and advisors agreed the club has made unprecedented progress throughout the course of this year. They recently placed 35th at the MIT Invitational and then jumped to 15th place out of 40 teams at the UConn Science Olympiad.

The team won first place the “Mission Possible” event thanks to seniors Alessandra Alling and Rasheeda Samih.

“We had two first place medals so we didn’t go home empty. Last year and the year before we were totally blanked, we didn’t win anything,” said Law physics teacher and co-advisor of the club Mr. Stanton.  “And in other events, even those we didn’t place in, we got some fourths, eighths, and elevenths. So you figure there are about 40 teams, anytime you do above 20 or 21, you’re pretty much in the top half. It looked like in almost all the events we moved up a bit, or actually quite a bit. I would hope that next year we could find ourselves moving up to the top 10.”

Law chemistry teacher co-advisor Ms. Turcotte said competing at the MIT Invitational allowed members to gain the confidence, experience, and motivation that allowed them to compete with schools such as Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youths, The Taft School, Amity Regional High School, Richfield High School, Miss Porter’s School Home at the UConn Invitational.

“At the UConn Invitational we were more prepared since students got to learn from their mistakes at MIT and fix them for the Olympiad,” Turcotte said. “Especially for some of the building events, because they were given some feedback and they also got to what other more experienced teams were doing.”

Senior Sravya Jaladanki, the founder and third-year president of the Science Club described leaving the club as a “bittersweet” prospect, since it is a project she has put so much effort into.

“I try to stay on top of things as much as possible, whether it is communicating with Olympiad directors, sorting out trip logistics, or just being there as a source of moral support for my teammates,” Jaladanki said. “[Science Club] has been a huge part of high school for me and I’m really going to miss the team and the competitions. But I’m excited for college, and also can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the club.”

Alling and Samih also said leaving would be sad but they are excited to begin their college careers with all the experiences and knowledge they gained in the club. Of course, they are happy to leave on such a positive note.

“We were called up for having first place at the award ceremony at the end of the day. We were super excited about it,” Samih said.

After the MIT Olympiad, at which senior Kavita Rana placed first in the “Bungee Jump” event, and Alling and Samih took fourth place in “Mission Possible” they redesigned their machine to include two more energy sequences and while they were optimistic, first place seemed out of reach.

“I was cautiously optimistic. I was hoping we would place, but I really didn’t believe we would get first, just because all the teams there are so good. I was ecstatic when they called our team for first place,” Alling said.

As the club bids farewell to nine seniors, they hope that with their recent accomplishments will come more success and new enthusiastic members.

For the remainder of the year the club will be recruiting, planning for next year, and holding elections.

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