Within only two years of existence at Van Nuys High, the Science Olympiad team has made history by making it to State for the first time. The Van Nuys High School Science Olympiad team competed among the top teams in all of Southern California on April 4. Flowing through the daunting solution of unknowns, Captain Keshan Huang and Assistant Captain Jared Peralta led the way for their 13-member team.
The State competition consists of 23 events that encompass a wide variety of disciplines through study, labs, and hands-on groups. While the names of some of the events suggest a straightforward topic, such as Cell Biology, it is far from it. Similarly, while some of names of the events, for example, Compound Machines sound convoluted, they are. However, two people from a team compete in each event, and sometimes three for some exceptions; this fosters teamwork on an intimate level with different individuals and with the collective team as a whole.
The team prepared for State through uphill battles and persistence that were only overcome with self determination and aspiration to help their teammates. The Science Olympiad team met nearly every day after school for hours in the weeks leading up to the competition and for them, the occasional inside jokes and outbursts of laughter gave them a peace of mind. The drive to learn more and the motivation to win fueled their tired minds to go farther than they had ever thought they could be capable of. The conviction that science, knowledge, and work ethics could only be learned in the classrooms left their mind the moment they made the Science Olympiad team. When asked about his experience and message to future Science Olympiad members, Jared Peralta said, “I enjoyed every moment of the time that I spent with the Science Olympiad team. Although I may call some of the team members peasants (inside joke), they are all actually very brilliant people who have a passion for science. Best wishes to all of my underclassmen in next year’s endeavors and competitions. Go kick butt!” If SciOly, an abbreviation in Science Olympiad jargon, were a chemical equation, hard work and determination would be its reactants, fun and victory would be its products, and the love for the innovations of science would be the catalyst that just makes the whole process that much more enjoyable and successful.