By Alana Farkas
On Feb. 1, the auditorium at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale was filled with hundreds of students from over thirty towns in western Nassau County for 2014 Regional Science Olympiad competition.
The headmaster stood behind the podium smiling. He paused before announcing the five teams with the highest scores of the competition. He said, “To have three teams from the same school place in the top five is extremely impressive.”
He then announced South’s three teams: Team B in fifth place, team C in fourth place, and team A in first place.
Earlier that day, the Kellenberg gymnasium was with filled these same students testing their science-based projects in competitive events. Elastic launch gliders, student-built planes, circled the gym as scramblers, student-built vehicles, raced across the floor.
Junior Jacob Rigos described a scrambler as “a vehicle that uses a falling mass with a pulley system to propel itself forward.” According to Rigos, the term “scrambler” was appropriate, since a raw egg was attached to the front of each vehicle; the object of the event was for students to race their cars without crashing into a barrier—and cracking the egg—placed a certain distance from the starting line.
In addition to these building events, some students took written tests while others participated in laboratory events.
Junior Jay Zussman competed in an event called Designer Genes. Zussman described this as “an investigation of genetics and molecular biology that requires knowledge of the cellular machinery responsible for the health of an organism.
Adviser Dr. James Truglio expressed pride in the team’s overall outcome and the students’ efforts. He said, “[The team] performed their best ever—better than last year.”
The team A members look forward to returning to Kellenberg on March 14 to compete at the State level. Zussman added, “[The team] is trying to make it to nationals this year,” which will take place in Orlando, Fla. in the spring.