Leamington District Secondary School Team B members holding medalsLeamington District Secondary School Team B claimed top honours in the Science Olympiad.

Olympic mindset challenges high school science students

During the annual Science Olympiad, Friday, Oct. 13, the Faculty of Science transformed the UWindsor campus into a dynamic arena where up-and-coming scientists from high schools across the region gathered to tackle 30-minute science challenges from various disciplines.

A total of 37 teams from 20 different schools took part, with an addition this year — the first-ever team from outside Windsor-Essex joined all the way from Port Elgin, Ontario.

“The goal of Science Olympiad is to challenge passionate science students in a fun way that promotes teamwork and problem-solving,” explains Vivian Peng, a co-lead student organizer and second-year biochemistry and biomedical science student.

According to Joshua Matthews, fellow co-lead student organizer and fourth-year integrative biology student: “The UWindsor Science Olympiad not only sparks student enthusiasm for science but also highlights the diverse offerings of the Faculty of Science at UWindsor — which they might consider joining in the future.”

The sports-themed economics challenge emerged as a highlight for this year, since it took many participants, who were ready for more traditional scientific subjects, by surprise.

“In the end, it turned out to be most participants’ favourite event of the day,” says Peng. “Whenever I walked by the room to check how things were going during the event, everyone was cheering really loudly and it sounded like they genuinely had fun with the activity.”

The hard work and dedication of the organizers and volunteers culminated with the award ceremony at the end of the day

“Seeing all the students packed into the room, waiting in anticipation to find out the results that my team and I had determined, was exhilarating,” says Matthews.

“The uproar from the participants upon hearing the announcement of the first-place team was especially rewarding. It was a testament to how much the students enjoyed the experience and had fun.”

The top three teams overall were Leamington District Secondary School Team B, which secured first place in both the biology and economics events, Cardinal Carter Team A, and Walkerville Team B, which also earned the top spot in the computer science event.

First-place team members will receive a $1,000 scholarship, and second-place team members will receive a $500 scholarship for enrolment in a program within the UWindsor Faculty of Science.

“I’m hoping the students that participated left campus that day feeling inspired about studying the field of science and learned something they didn’t know before starting the event,” Peng says.

—Kasey Brown

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