NJ middle school students arrive at WSU for the National Science Olympiad competition
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - On Friday, 2,000 of the nation's best young minds will be on campus at Wichita State. The National Science Olympiad will be bringing students from all over the United States, and even one group from Japan.
Schools from all 50 states are at WSU. They've sent teams of 15 very special students who've survived regional and state competitions. Hoping now to be named the best in the US.
“I think we're very lucky to actually make it through states. None of us were expecting it, said Aarush Prasad, an 8th grader from New Jersey.
Aarush Prasad and his classmates from Thomas Grover Middle School flew from New Jersey all the way to Kansas for America’s top science Olympiad. The competition in Wichita, as you might imagine, will be incredibly fierce. Teams will face off against each other in nearly two dozen challenges.
“We build a trebuchet so that it launches like a tennis ball or a racket ball into a bucket,” said Ritwik Mohanty, a 7th grader from New Jersey.
The 120 science teams will compete in areas like engineering, physics, and chemistry. It’s a long road from now to the national title. So, what does it take to win?
“In science Olympiad you have students doing build events, study events, and lab events, and everybody has to collaborate. Every event is a team event. So it's two kids or three kids doing each of these events,” said Jenny Kopach, the CEO of Science Olympiad.
Each student is competing for a low score, like in golf. Then they advance.
“I'll be doing three other events besides that. One is called Crave the Way, it's about wave physics. The second is disease detectives and it's about Epidemiology. So the study of disease spread. And then the last one is Green Generation. So that's a number of different environmental sciences,” said Anish Khandalkar, an 8th grader from New Jersey.
But, these teams say no matter how they do, they've already won by making it this far.
“It's my first year in science Olympiad so it's like really exciting and like we're really proud of ourselves,” said Naaman Sidahu, a 6th grader from New Jersey.
Among the players is a global ambassador team from Japan. The tournament starts Friday and ends on Saturday.