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Science Olympiad (SciOly) at Beckman High School

Enabling students to broaden their understanding of science through collaboration, exploration, and competition

With an OC Community Grant through the Foundation, the Beckman High School SciOly team will be able to purchase supplies and materials needed for competition and cover invitational entrance fees for their members to participate. Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization that organizes competitive science tournaments for K-12 students that foster teamwork and collaboration while encouraging students to develop a passion for STEM through hands-on, team-based events.

School teams compete in five event categories: Life, Personal, and Social Science, Earth and Space Science, Physical Science and Chemistry, Technology and Engineering, and Inquiry and the Nature of Science. Events may require students to design and build functional devices, conduct experiments, solve problems, analyze data, and apply scientific principles to real-world situations. Beckman High School’s teams have qualified for the Division C Southern California State Tournament three times, finishing in 14th place out of 30 teams at the 2022 Tournament, the highest finish in the history of their team.

Being in Science Olympiad has provided me with the opportunity to develop my STEM skills in a way I have never done before. It has fueled my passions for chemistry and math, giving me the chance to focus on what I want to do in college and beyond. I would’ve never been able to build upon my love for STEM if it weren’t for Science Olympiad; it has impacted my journey through STEM immensely.

Raymond Llata, undergraduate student at Stanford University, Beckman ‘22

Beckman Science Olympiad was a major factor in nurturing my interest in science and collaboration. It allowed me to explore ideas not typically seen in the classroom but are still important to know and apply. Science Olympiad also provided a collaborative atmosphere to share and sharpen my interests with others. I learned not to only become a better scientist, but also a better collaborator. Now that I am in college, organizing tournaments and giving back to the Science Olympiad community is one of the highlights of my year. Beckman Science Olympiad shaped my trajectory, and I don't know where I would be without it.

Anh-Thai Le, undergraduate student at Yale University, Beckman ‘22

About the Program

Science Olympiad teams compete in a tournament circuit composed of Regionals, State, and Nationals. Teams may also compete in invitationals. Events in Science Olympiad can be split up by type: lab, hybrid, build, and study. Lab events stress the importance of the scientific method, and students are required to plan and quickly carry out investigations, analyze data, construct explanations, and design solutions based on evidence within the event timeframe. Build events require participants to design, create, and test a device or object given specifications before tournaments. Hybrid events can include any combination of test, lab, or build portions, and there are numerous study events which are also aligned with NGSS curriculum.

Science Olympiad focuses on hands-on activities and practical applications of scientific concepts that can be used in the real-world. Additionally, the experience helps prepare students for advanced placement science classes and supports development of vital academic skills such as note-taking and test-taking strategies.

Beckman's Science Olympiad program allowed me to explore various subsects of engineering such as solid mechanics and aerodynamics, which shaped my goals to become a mechanical engineer, while also making me a more well-rounded thinker in related STEM fields. The tight-knit community within the team cultivated an environment for me grow my leadership skills and encouraged me to consider alternative perspectives when finding solutions to problems. SciOly has shaped the person I have become today and taught me to constantly be in the pursuit of knowledge - a trait I hope to carry with me for the rest of my life.

Dominique Sun, undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, Beckman ‘23

Video and Images from SciOly's First Meeting

On October 19, 2023, the SciOly team held its first meeting. Activities included a lab workshop on titration and computer quizzes to support competition achievement.

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Thanks to Derek Kong, President of the SciOly team at Beckman High School, for contributing content to this page.