Olympiad Rocks Invitationals!

Yidi Wu

The Harriton Science Olympiad team attended the annual Twin Tiers and Battle at Valley Forge Invitationals in January. These two invitationals are competitions that the team uses to prepare for the regional, state, and national tournaments later on in the year (they do not count for moving on).  The first invitational was the Battle at Valley Forge Invitational, which took place at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, January 8, 2011. The Harriton Science Olympiad team brought, according to tradition, two teams of fifteen people each. The two captains, Jesi Kim and Greg Kurtzman, each guided one team. Greg’s team (Team Slytherin) placed third, and Jesi’s team (Team Ravenclaw) placed fifth. Thirty-four teams competed in at this invitational.

The fifteen competing members on Team Ravenclaw were Jesi Kim, Marec Serlin, Selin Sakarcan, Jessie Vander, Peter Downs, Arielle Herman, Alex Settle, Brian Gao, Emily Mazo, Grace McKenzie-Smith, Yuxi Zhao, Camilla Schneier, Holden McGinnis, and Matt Zhao.

The fifteen competing members on Team Slytherin were Greg Kurtzman, Alex Mechanick, Shachar Blat, Michael Paglione, Marisa Sobel, Lauren Johnson, Leora Haber, Eileen Hoang, Niki Green, Isabel Lake, Michael Schaffer, Yidi Wu, Lindsay McKendrick, Aiste Balciunaite, and Ian Guinnane.

The medals are as follows:

First place:

Marec Serlin and Camilla Schenier, Astronomy.

Lauren Johnson and Ian Guinnane, Dynamic Planet.

Lauren Johnson and Yidi Wu, Remote Sensing

Michael Schaffer and Alex Mechanick, Wind Power

Second place:

Michael Schaffer and Isabel Lake, Astronomy

Lauren Johnson and Aiste Balciunaite, Ornithology

Alex Settle and Brian Gao, Remote Sensing

Jessie Vander and Jesi Kim, Towers

Holden McGinnis and Grace McKenzie-Smith, Write it Do it

Third place:

Greg Kurtzman and Isabel Lake, Ecology

Yidi Wu and Niki Green, Fossils

Niki Green and Michael Schaffer, Optics

Jesi Kim, Emily Mazo, and Matt Zhao, Protein Modeling

Ian (freshman) and Marisa Sobel, Towers

Alex Mechanick and Lindsay McKendrick, Write it Do it

Fourth Place:

Eileen Hoang and Isabel Lake, Forensics

Marec Serlin and Justin Keenan, Optics

Fifth Place:

Marec Serlin and Brian Gao, Chemistry Lab

Yuxi Zhao and Grace McKenzie-Smith, Fossils

Marec Serlin and Brian Gao, Technical Problem Solving

The week after the Battle at Valley Forge Invitational, Harriton Science Olympiad attended the Twin Tiers Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament at Athens Area High School in Athens, Pennsylvania. The competition was a overnight trip, with the competition itself taking place on January 15, 2011. Fitting with a different tradition, the Harriton Science Olympiad team only competed through the sophomore and freshmen members, though the entire team attended the invitational. The team is well pleased and was somewhat surprised by the results of the invitational.

Harriton High School placed second overall at the Twin Tiers Science Olympiad Invitational at Athens. Thirty teams competed at this invitational.

The competing team consisted of Yidi Wu, Yuxi Zhao, Camilla Schneier, Isabel Lake, Holden McGinnis, Michael Schaffer, Justin Keenan, Harry Smith, Lindsay McKendrick, Aiste Balciunaite, Grace McKenzie Smith, Matt Zhao, Emily Mazo, and Ian Guinnane.

Medals are as follows:

First place:

Yidi Wu and Yuxi Zhao, Fossils

Emily Mazo and Isabel Lake, Forensics

Michael Schaffer and Justin Keenan, Optics

Michael Schaffer and Justin Keenan, Wind Power – Physics Lab

Second place:

Emily Mazo and Yidi Wu, Disease Detectives

Third Place: None

Fourth Place:

Grace McKenzie-Smith and Aiste Balciunaite, Anatomy and Physiology

Michael Schaffer and Justin Keenan, Technical Problem Solving


Michael Schaffer and Camilla Schneier, Astronomy

Holden McGinnis and Isabel Lake, Chemistry Lab

Emily Mazo, Lindsay McKendrick, and Justin Keenan, Experimental Design

Holden McGinnis and Michael Schaffer, Sumo Bots

Sixth Place:

Yidi Wu and Camilla Schneier, Dynamic Planet

Grace McKenzie-Smith and Matt Zhao, Microbe Mission

Holden McGinnis and Yidi Wu, Sounds of Music

Additionally, four 7th place medals and one 8th place medal were awarded.

The Harriton High School Science Olympiad team looks forward to its first official competition of the year, Southeast Pennsylvania Regionals, at Juniata College on February 28th.