Oakcrest Middle School Science Olympiad qualifies for State Tournament
For the fifth year in a row, Oakcrest School Science Olympiad members have advanced to the state tournament. Oakcrest School remains the only all-girls school to compete at the state level.
Science Olympiad is a STEM-based competition with teams of students competing in about 25 events that range in a variety of different subject areas from physics and engineering to physical and biological sciences. Oakcrest School has four Science Olympiad teams, two Middle School teams and two Upper School teams, with a total of 38 students participating.
Coached by Oakcrest science teachers Dr. Kat Hussmann, Christina Friddle, and Leslie Kanuch, the Science Olympiad team meets regularly throughout the school year to prepare for the events which can range from studying for a written test to building a trebuchet or a marble roller coaster for an in-person event.
Dr. Hussmann said that participating in Science Olympiad allows for students to show their academic strengths in ways that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to do so.
“They are facing different challenges that aren’t anywhere else in the curriculum,” she said. “Science Olympiad gives students the space for that while also giving them the chance to interact with other schools. They see how Oakcrest cheers for one another and faces challenges together while staying positive.”
In addition to the STEM skills that students gain through participation in Science Olympiad, Dr. Hussmann added that the students are building their confidence, especially when approaching problem-solving challenges.
The Thomas Jefferson Regional Tournament, which was composed of local schools in the Northern Virginia area, took place over two weekends in February in a hybrid model of a virtual testing day and an in-person tournament.
At the regional tournament, the Oakcrest School Gold Middle School team scored in the top 10 of 30 teams in Division B, thus advancing to the state level. Members of the Gold team placed in the top 6 in the Forestry, Green Generation, and Solar System events.
Over the next month, the Science Olympiad teams will continue to prepare and support one another while gearing up for the state tournament which will be held on March 25 at the University of Virginia.
Oakcrest remains committed to STEM in the classroom, as part of the school’s educational vision and liberal arts focus. To learn more about STEM at Oakcrest, visit the STEM page on our website.