Science Olympiad and The Robotics Team Face Their Competitions Head On

Science Olympiad and The Robotics Team Face Their Competitions Head On

Double trouble at FHHS as the academic teams Science Olympiad and Robotics face their respective competitions head on.  

The Science Olympiad team, commonly known as SciOly, is coached by Ms. Marmaropoulou and Ms. Pirulli. The team recently competed in the NYC South Regionals on Feb 4 at Grover Cleveland High School, where they received a numerous amount of medals for a variety of different categories. 

The NYC South Regionals consist of schools from Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the lower half of Manhattan.

Science Olympiad, although usually referred to as one team within FHHS, is split up into teams of three: A team, B team and C team. At regionals, the C team placed 12th, the B team placed 10th and the A team notably placed 2nd overall in the region out of 50 participating schools. Hills was just 5 points behind Stuyvesant High School. 

In addition to placing 2nd overall, there were also impressive placements, including Bryan Li and Benjamin Yee’s 1st place in Optics and a 1st place in Astronomy by Owen Xu and Pretom Chowdhury. 

With these great wins, SciOly will be moving onto the States competition which will be held at Le Moyne College in Syracuse over the upcoming weekend of Mar 15-16. Unfortunately, not the entire team will be able to attend. A selection of 15 students have been chosen to compete in States. However, although there are only a select few physically competing, the entire team, as said by Ms. Marmaropoulou “builds each other up” by creating practice questions, practice tests and helping their fellow team members in any possible way.

“Through relentless practice, self-studying, quizzing and testing, the SciOly team are clearly very driven and determined when it comes to their competitions as “most of them put in like about 6 hours of work a day,” as Ms. Marmaropoulou told The Beacon.

Each group and each individual student has their own specific material that they focus on, depending on their category and event in competition.  Morna Wang, who placed 3rd in Robot Tour and 5th in Wind Power with her partner Owen Lin, wishes to “focus more on physics,” while others wish to focus more on “Geology” or “Microbiology: Microbe Missions.”

“The reason that we’re doing better this year is because we’ve gotten more invitationals so more practice this year and we also have a larger team so they all help each other,” said Ms. Marmaropoulou.

In comparison to last year, there were only two teams rather than three. These teams continue to bounce off one another. These invitationals serve as practice competitions, which are sometimes assessed, especially the ones that take place at prestigious schools such as Columbia University and Cornell University. Overall, the SciOly team has participated in six invitationals, a combination of online, in-person and hosting one here at FHHS. 

Along with Science Olympiads victory at Regionals on Saturday, Feb. 4, the Robotics team also went head to head at their own competition. At the New York City Championship, out of a couple hundred teams across the entire city, two FHHS teams faced the top twenty-four teams in NYC. To prepare for the competition, our teams have tirelessly been working since late Sept., to succeed at the highly competitive championship. 

Emmanuel Moreno, Captain of CSJReapers, told The Beacon, “As we get ready for the competition, we chose to engage with the community. We go to middle schools, talk to local organizations, go to the FTC stem center and spend countless hours there consulting with programmers, engineers and outreach to make sure our robot looks good and presentable for the competition.” 

Each year there is a different challenge students have to conquer in order to win the competition. This year’s task consisted of dropping 3D printed pixels onto a backdrop and having the robot grab it with a claw. Unfortunately, neither of the teams that made it to championships were able to complete this task, thus marking their end to World Championships. 

As we all know, with success comes failure, and we applaud the 2024 robotics teams, as they were the first FHHS robotics team to make it to the City Championships in the FTC history. 

Regardless of their successes and failures, all of the teams are working with a school in Jamaica, the country, to make a project that introduces them to STEM and Robotics in an interesting way and a way that can relate to their everyday lives. 

“Even though defeat is tough to handle sometimes, we want students to feel the competition, meet other teams, and do the best they can. Where they finish is not as important as having the motivation and kick to improve,”  said Mr. Liu, a co-coach of the Robotics team. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to THE BEACON

Your donation will support the student journalists of Forest Hills High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to THE BEACON

Comments (0)

All The Beacon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *