by Aditi Deokar
February 17, 2020
Alvin and I frantically flipped through the pages of the protein modeling test, trying to find one more problem we knew the answer to. It was Saturday, January 25, and BUA’s Science Olympiad team was competing at the MIT Science Olympiad. We competed against 65 teams from around the US and placed 57th overall, one of our best rankings in recent years at that competition. Our competitors were June Ahn ’20, Rachel Wang ’20, Giovi Hersch ’21, Ava Landen ’21, Michael Lang ’21, Jiahe Niu ’21, Jenny Wang ’21, Eunice Yun ’21, Alice Khomski ’22, Claire Hsu ’23, William Liu ’23, Alvin Lu ’23, Adi Venkatesh ’23, and Aditi Deokar ’21. Our best scorers were June and William, who placed 27th in Chemistry Lab, an event in which teams take a test and perform a lab involving a specific theme of chemistry, Alvin and me, who ended up placing 38th in Protein Modeling, an event which involved building a model protein as well as a written test, and Alvin and William, who placed 38th in Wright Stuff, a model airplane building event. All of our competitors had a lot of fun at MIT Science Olympiad, and we gained knowledge that we were able to apply to the Harvard competition the following weekend.
This was our first time at the Harvard competition, which is fairly new, being only in its third year this year. As a competitor, I can say that it felt much easier to me than MIT. In Protein Modeling, Alvin and I found that we knew the answers to nearly all the questions, though we hadn’t prepared much in the week between MIT and Harvard. Overall, BUA’s team ranked much higher, placing 35th out of 59 teams. Our competitors at Harvard were Rachel Wang ’20, Aditya Bachina ’22, Alice Khomski ’22, Zoe Xi ’22, Alyssa Ahn ’23, William Liu ’23, Alvin Lu ’23, Rishi Roy ’23, Salena Tang ’23, Giselle Wu ’23, and Aditi Deokar ’21. Alvin and I were ecstatic when we found out that we placed 4th in Protein Modeling, the highest score on our team. Our next top scorers were Aditya and William, who placed 8th in Machines, an event in which teams build a machine to measure the ratios of different masses and take a test, Alyssa and me, who placed 13th in Boomilever, a event in which competitors build a structure similar to a one-sided bridge, Alvin and Alice, who placed 15th in Designer Genes, a test about different topics in genetics, and me, who placed 19th in Chemistry Lab. We had more top-20 ranks at Harvard than we had at any competition in the last two years! Congratulations to everyone on the team for this success! We will soon be competing at the Massachusetts State Science Olympiad on March 21st.