Science Olympiad Competes at States


Jerry Sheng ’20

David Lloyd George ’20 created a mousetrap vehicle.

The room holds its breath as David Lloyd George ’20 drops a ping pong ball into a complicated contraption. If the machine works correctly, a sequence of actions will cause a motor to raise a square platform with a single nine-volt battery on top.
Lloyd George competed in the Mission Possible event at the Connecticut State Science Olympiad Competition on Saturday, March 30 with a team of 15 other students. The team traveled to the University of Connecticut to compete against 48 different Connecticut high schools, including top placers Hopkins, Old Lyme, and Staples.
The Mission Possible event required students to build a Rube-Goldberg machine, which transfers energy through multiple steps to perform a simple action. For example, in one of Lloyd George’s machines, a dropped ping-pong ball hit a golf ball, which then rolled down a ramp and activated a switch, triggering the next action. Lloyd George said, “This type of build is not something you want to put off to the last minute. It’s one you cannot procrastinate on. Inevitably, when you’re constructing something like this, things are going to go wrong, and you’re going to have to deal with it before the competition.”
Each member of the team participated in up to four different events throughout the day, which included written exams as well as activities. Some events, like Mission Possible, required prior construction. In the end, Lloyd George’s machine earned ninth place.
Krit Boonsiriseth ’19 and Tina Deng ’21 won second place in the Astronomy event – a written exam testing the teams’ knowledge of stellar evolution in galaxies. Boonsiriseth ’19 said, “Having to take the test forced me to look up information that I wouldn’t really have known before.”
Boonsiriseth and Jerry Sheng ’20 placed fourth in the Codebusters event, in which participants decoded messages using cryptanalysis techniques. Ian Gill ’19 and Mitra Kardestuncer ’20 placed fourth in Geologic Mapping, an exam including problems using cross sections, topography, and geographic maps.
The team, lead by co-captains Gill, Josephine Li ’19, and Brian Wong ’19, placed 11th overall after placing 48th at the MIT Invitational earlier this school year.
The first place team, Staples High School, will move on to the National Tournament on May 31st at Cornell University.