Science Olympics foster competition among AP science classes


Credit: Benjy Renton

Varsity Chemistry were the victors in this fall’s Science Olympics.

By Benjy Renton, Editor-in-Chief

While many would not consider AP Science students as star athletes, Hackley’s Science department has proved otherwise. This past November, AP Biology, Chemistry and Physics classes competed in the first round of the “Science Olympics.”

In 2010, biology teacher Tessa Johnson wanted to turn the AP Biology class into more of a team to enhance their excitement about the material and foster collaboration. This class, which she affectionately calls “Varsity Bio,” will help students prepare for any challenge they will face in college-level biology. After being inspired from chemistry teacher Katherine Netto’s ultimate frisbee tournament in her previous school’s AP Chemistry class, Ms. Johnson alleviate course-related pressures. “I wanted to create some fun activity to engage AP students and make them want to be in class,” she said. Each class created custom t-shirts for this fall’s event, and AP Biology students wear these shirts on test days.

This year, the competitions will have three stages. In addition to this fall’s Science Olympics, there will be a second game in February and a kickball tournament in April. Taking a suggestion from her husband, Ms. Johnson searched Acadia National Park in Maine for a trophy in the form of three buoys, one for each AP class. Each buoy is a different color, and the winner of the trimester’s competition will keep all of the other class’s buoys until the next face-off.

The Science Olympics took the form of a relay race between the three science classes, and included events such as jump roping, hula hooping and crab walking. Seniors Izzy Ampil and Aurora Straus contributed to the event’s atmosphere with a rendition of the national anthem.

Although Varsity Chemistry triumphed this round in the Science Olympics, AP Science students look forward to more friendly competition in the future.

See photos from the event below.