The Lyons Township High School Science Olympiad team placed third in state and won the spirit award.
The finish is the best in school history, and comes only four years after the team was created. More than 50 students participate in the club with a 15-person varsity squad that has advanced to the state tournament in each of its four years.
Lyons Township beat Hinsdale at the season’s second invitational, beat Illinois Math and Science Academy at the regional tournament, and finished one spot below a trip to nationals, while beating both Hinsdale (fourth) and Illinois Math and Science Academy (sixth) again. Nearly all other teams that finish in the top ten at state have programs that begin as early as sixth grade.
One of LT’s biggest challenges is to engage team members as young as freshmen in order to have experienced seniors. The team’s last goal was to have at least 10 freshmen on the squad, but the team fell just shy of that goal.
Science Olympiad is a particularly challenging academic event as only four out of 23 events directly correlate to an LT class. This means 19 events (such as entomology, rocks and minerals, technical writing and material science) are essentially new courses for coaches to teach and two to four extra courses for students. Students benefit from this team by having a much more direct experience with a topic they may want to pursue in college. Three students have decided to major in material science and another chose biomechanical engineering explicitly due to their experience in Science Olympiad. Many students start an event from scratch and develop skills and knowledge that they will retain for a lifetime.
Science Olympiad winning students with place and what area they won:
Jimmy Dudley: 1st, it’s about time; 3rd, magnetic levitation
Thomas Kiely: 3rd, experimental design; 3rd, chem lab; 5th, material science
Jack McDermott: 1st, rocks & minerals
Ben Miller: 3rd, magnetic levitation
Ben Reardon: 4th, geologic mapping
John Scott: 4th, geologic mapping; 4th, astronomy
Jessica Zeisloft: 3rd, experimental design
Madeline Bernstein: 1st, rock & minerals; 3rd, chem lab
Tom Derrah: 3rd, bungee drop; 4th, astronomy
Matt Nutley: 1st, it’s about time
Vince Pittacora: 3rd, magnetic levitation
Lauren Remijas: 2nd, write it do it
Chris Scotty: 2nd, write it do it
Adam Hemauer: 3rd, bungee drop
Julia Kiely: 3rd, experimental design; 5th, material science