Claire Falatko, ’20, and Frances North, ’20, participated with their mousetrap vehicle, which earned them fourth place at the regional competition.
This year, students from Oakcrest School participated for the third time in the regional competition of the Virginia Science Olympiad which took place at Woodson High School on Feb. 17. The all-girls team came away with medals in two events and improved scores. In this competition, students, in teams of 15, participate in 23 different science and engineering events throughout the day. In Oakcrest’s region, 34 teams from Northern Virginia participated at the high school level and 26 at the middle school level.
The events spanned the breadth of the sciences and explored topics that are outside of most high school curricula. Some take the form of exams, others display unique problem solving skills, and some have students engineer devices assigned to perform a specific task. Oakcrest students prepared for months, making study guides for the exams, building prototypes and working together to practice their various skills.
The unique component that separates the Science Olympiad from traditional science fairs is that every event is collaborative; students participate with at least one partner, and at the end of the day the event scores are totaled for the whole team. This promotes collaboration in science as well as skill. Oakcrest attended with two Upper School teams and one middle school team, led by coaches Dr. Katherine Hussmann and Patricia Romano. The Upper School participants improved from their previous year’s score and earned medals in two events: fourth in Mousetrap Vehicle (Claire Falatko, ’20, and Frances North, ’20) and fifth in Dynamic Planet (Sophia Dort, ’18, and Julka Syska, ’19). All of the participants represented Oakcrest with outstanding sportsmanship, as the only all-girls school in the state of Virginia that participates in this rigorous science and engineering competition.