Ion the prize: science team looks to dominate at regionals


Photo by Photo by Madeleine Lawler

Nithila Kannan, sophomore and science team member, reviews the periodic table for the upcoming regional competition this Friday. The team has been studying concepts such as this since October in preparation for Friday’s event.

Madeleine Lawler, Co-Web Editor-in-Chief

Some students use extracurriculars to catch a break from test taking, but science team is hoping to dominate their sport by putting pen to paper and letting their knowledge spill out.

Science team will compete in the Academic Challenge competition at College of Lake County this Friday, Februrary 8th, and event comparable to regionals in other varsity sports. They hope to advance to sectionals and even state, both as a team and individually. Each competitor will take two 40-80 question tests on a chosen science subject, with the scores then being ranked against other schools in the area. John Chen, junior and state qualifier last year, is confident the team will see success this year.

“There is definitely some amount of pressure, especially considering that we have three returning sectional qualifiers from last year, however, I know the entire team is highly motivated and ready to compete. Although we are mostly underclassmen this year, I think we have a lot of potential going into this,” Chen said. “We are all very excited and have been preparing since October, and our coaches have both been super supportive and helpful.”

One of these coaches, Robert Moore, chemistry teacher, believes the competition will benefit the students in the long run, no matter how the team performs on Friday.

[It’s a chance for the students to] have a good time, it’s good for their transcript or resume, and it shows they competed in something science oriented, which always looks good on a record,” Moore said. “They can say they participated in something that is a challenge, where all the best schools in the area participate.”

Besides the benefits of the actual competitions, just being a part of the team opens up a whole new world of possibilities in science, according to Chen.

“I developed a sort of enjoyment for just jamming my brain full of bio knowledge. It definitely sparked my interest in bio, and it’s actually so cool how everything I learned last year from science team is all coming together this year in AP bio,” Chen said. “I was actually so intrigued by what I learned while preparing for [science team] that I got a research internship over the summer to work in a microbiology lab in the city.”

Despite it’s connections to future jobs and it’s competitive nature, Chen admits that competitions such as these are not always taken seriously by other students in the school.

“Just like an athletic team, [the science team has] regionals, sectionals, and state competitions, and though they aren’t as high profile as most athletics teams, they definitely hold a lot of pride in what they do,” Chen said. “It’s also a chance for them to show their school spirit, as doing well in these competitions and beating out other schools really shows what [LZHS] is capable of.”

No matter what Friday’s events will bring, Chen says he is ready for the team to showcase their talents and leave it all at the competition.

“I would say my ultimate goal this year is to make it to state again, though it would be even more amazing if we could get there as a team. We definitely have a lot of potential this year, so I think if we encourage each other and really grind it out this week, we have a really good chance of getting to sectionals and maybe state on Friday,” Chen said. “At the same time though, the goal of science team is always to learn something new and to challenge ourselves with unfamiliar content, so being able to do so is, to some extent, more important than doing well in the competitions.”