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April 26, 2011 > Hopkins students excel at Science Olympiad

Hopkins students excel at Science Olympiad

Submitted by Robert Hou
Photo by Jing Wei

A Science Olympiad team comprised of Hopkins Jr. High School students placed third at the NorCal Science Olympiad Division B State Finals in Fresno on April 9. The team of fifteen students competed against 23 other teams at the tournament hosted by Fresno's Clovis North High School. The winner of this tournament goes to the national tournament, May 20-21 at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

According to the Science Olympiad website, "Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets." The competition consists of 23 different team events in various disciplines. This "encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation."

Hopkins' students participated in three or more events, working in groups of two or three. Some of the events were gathering and interpreting data, diagnosing diseases, ecology, meteorology, building an electric circuit, a solar system, and constructing a catapult. The students worked for a year to prepare for the competitions.

"One aspect I like most about the Science Olympiad is that it motivates individual effort and promotes team spirit at the same time," said team coach Tina Liu. "Students dive deep into a few events in small groups, and their group work contributes to the overall team's success. I am extremely happy with our students' efforts and performance and appreciate all the parents' involvement and support."

This is the second year that this team has competed in Science Olympiad. Before the State Finals this year, the team placed third at the Bay Area Regional Science Olympiad Division B tournament in February, which allowed them to advance to the State Finals. This marked the first time students from the Bay Area have won a Division B trophy (for junior high schools) in the State Finals. "We made history!" said Liu. The team earned one first-place medal, one second-place medal, six third-place medals, and two fourth-place metals. Between the Bay Area Regional Competition and the State Finals, all 15 students won at least one medal in their respective events.

Hopkins students who competed at the State Finals were: Gary Chen, Ken Chen, Alexander Dai, Nathan Fong, Catherine Hou, Clifford Lee, Brian Mi, Brenda Miao, Vipula Racha, Megan Ren, Nancy Xu, Kevin Zeng, Molly Zhang, Wilson Zhao and Andrew Zhou.

Additionally, students from Challenger Ardenwood and Thornton competed at the State Finals in Division B, coming in fifth and tenth, respectively. Students from Mission San Jose High School competed at the State Finals in Division C for high school students, coming in eighth.

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