Science and Technology Clubs

Catherine Valentine

Interested in science and/or technology? We have a club for that at Harriton.

TSA:
Under faculty heads Mr. and Mrs, Ochiogrosso, Ms. Kiley, and Mr. Lehman, students in TSA can “integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts, through co-curricular activities, competitive events, and related programs,” according to the TSA mission statement. A few of a wide variety of events and activities offered include biotechnology, website design, extemporaneous speaking, and 3D modeling.

“TSA also provides opportunities to run for an officer position at the local, state, and national levels. Harriton currently fills 5 of the 7 state officer positions. Phil Hayes, President; Dhruv Pillai, Vice President; Sabrina Sayoc, Secretary; Ben Hewitt, Reporter, Liza Atillasoy, Historian,” says Mr. Lehman.

Students are encouraged to join through this October, with the regional competition taking place in February 2012.

Science Olympiad:
Science Olympiad is a national competition for middle and high school students, where teams of students compete in 23 events, with 2-3 students working per event. “These range from Astronomy to Forensics, and the testing of prebuilt devices such as robots, towers, or wheeled vehicles, “says Lauren Johnson, co-captain of Harriton Science Olympiad alongside Alex Settle, and head coach Mr. Gauvin.

“Teams participate in Regional tournaments to qualify for State tournaments. The top 2 teams at the Pennsylvania State tournament advance to the National Tournament. Ultimately, competition is one of the end goals at Harriton, especially since we are a very competitive team (14 time state champions). However, learning about different areas of science, and building devices are rewarding beyond the competitive aspects.”

Lauren emphasizes that new members are welcome at any time, and practice is everyday after school in Mr. Gauvin’s room until 4:30 and also during RAM, so interested students are welcome to come and see what it’s about.

Physics Olympics:
Physics Olympics is a competition between physics students of local high schools, such as Radnor and Penncrest, with events based around doing labs and solving physics problems. “Some events in the past have been building a tower from post-it notes, building a bridge out of bricks, and making planes that have to support pennies while flying across a gym,” tells Niki Green, a student heavily involved in Physics Olympics, along with Justin Keenan and Kai Chang.

Niki says about the competition, “There are roughly six events per meet, and they change each time […]. Throughout the year, there are three competition meets held around once each of the first three quarters of school. Teams win individual meets, with their points also adding up so that one team will win the whole thing at the end.”

Mr. Schwartz runs Physics Olympics, and his RAM is open to any students interested in joining. Extra credit is given to any students currently taking a physics class.

Science Club:
The only club on this list that isn’t competition based, Science Club pairs students, who then pick and learn a science demonstration, and put on a science show for a class of elementary school students a couple of times a year. “Its purpose is to try and get younger kids more interested in science. We do demos involving liquid nitrogen, teaching kids about surface area by creating fire with lycopodium powder, letting them ride a homemade hovercraft and other awesome stuff, “ says Niki Green, co-president of Science Club with Eileen Hoang.

Even though all demonstrations are important, according to Niki, “It all culminates around Science Night at the end of the year, which is a night at Harriton open to all kids (and their parents)…we set up all four Physics classrooms with demo stations, and kids walk around while everyone does their demo.”

Once again, Mr. Schwartz is the head of Science Club, so students interested in joining can sign up for his RAM.