The Hilltopper

Club Corner: Academic Teams Excel

Stacey Tang and Jessica Tang

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Science Olympiad:

The Science Olympiad team competed in the NJIT Regional Competition on January 8th, finishing 7th overall. Science Olympiad is a competition centralized on implementing science skills through tests, labs and construction of devices to be tested. These events are centered around various different sciences, including earth science, biology, chemistry, physics and engineering. Medalists include Neil Shah and Maneera Duddu who placed 3rd in Anatomy and Physiology, Ryan Nguyen and Kerrn Reehal who placed 3rd in Mousetrap Vehicle, Stacey Tang and Neera Chattopadhyay who placed 5th in Dynamic Planet, and Michael Hwang and Ryan Nguyen who placed 6th in Fossils. The team will advance to the State Finals Tournament in March. “We have high hopes to place in the top five at state championships,” exclaims co-advisor Ms. Niemo. “Our underclassmen are performing really well so we expect that the future hold big things for us.” The team is seeking new underclassmen members for next year due to a surplus of current juniors.

Physics Olympics:

The Physics Olympics team took 2nd place from 41 schools at the NJAAPT Physics Olympics competition for northern New Jersey at Monmouth Regional High School on January 19th. Supervised by physics teacher Mr. Cappuccio, the dedicated team members spent their Friday afternoons preparing by testing and modifying contraptions, such as coffee can racers, and preparing for quiz-based events. Rohith Nibhanupudi, Sohil Patankar, Harshul Makwana, Michael Hwang, Abhisar Mittal and Yuvanshu Agarwal placed first in the Fermi questions event, scoring 98 out of a possible 100 points. In this event, the team had to provide estimates of measurements that are impossible to physically calculate, such as, “What is the surface area of Australia in inches squared?” “It was satisfying at the end to see everyone come together.” says Co-Captain Rohith Nibhanupudi, “Seeing some of my teammates answering questions I couldn’t and answering questions that they couldn’t was very cool. We all learned a lot while preparing for the competition and I was thrilled to see our score.” Junior Ryan Nguyen flew solo, constructing a zero-impact vehicle that placed first. The objective was to design a vehicle that could stop as close as possible to a wall 8 meters away. “Even though I built the vehicle myself, my teammates helped me a lot to test the car” explains Ryan, “I felt confident going into the competition as I was getting very good and consistent results the day before.” The team is open to new members joining next year and hopes to perform just as well at future competitions.

Academic Decathlon:

The Academic Decathlon team competed in the New Jersey Region III Competition at Woodrow Wilson Middle School on February 2nd and did not disappoint. The team received 17 medals in 9 different categories related to the theme of the 1960s. Honors regular member and co-captain Rohith Nibhanupudi received various awards, including gold in mathematics, silver in essay, bronze in social science and language and literature, and honorable mention in science. In addition, Rohith individually qualified to compete in the state competition in March. Rohtih’s co-captain Sohil Patankar, a honors regular member, also received several awards including bronze in speech and mathematics and honorable mention in interview. Honors regular member Shalini Kurinchi-Vendhan received honorable mention in language and literature, essay and mathematics. Scholastic regular member Akshay Vaithiyalingam received honorable mention in interview. Alternate honors member Sanat Shajan received a silver in mathematics and bronze in science.Alternate Honors members Stacey Tang and Neil Shah struck gold in art and math respectively. To prepare for the competition, members met after school from October to January and studied together as a team by doing super quizzes: engaging multiple choice tests comprised of questions centralized around the 1960s. “I think that Acdec was a pleasure and a beneficial experience to learn about a ‘transformational’ decade while also being with some of my closest friends” says alternate honors member Neil Shah. The team is looking forward to receiving new members of all academic levels next year and hopes to qualify to states as a team.

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Club Corner: Academic Teams Excel