The San Diego Regional Division B Science Olympiad was held on Feb. 2 at Rancho Bernardo High School and Bernardo Heights Middle School. This year 31 schools, 98 teams, and over 1,400 students competed in 23 science-related events.
A rookie school in this year’s Science Olympiad was Carmel Valley’s own Solana Pacific Elementary —a 5th/6th grade school. Under the guidance, and leadership of Head Coach Monalisa Chakraborty, the Sand Pipers competed in 18 of the 23 events with 63 students participating! Pulling this off was no small feat! Chakraborty first approached principal Brian McBride last spring to ask about starting science olympiad at Solana Pacific. Principal McBride was thrilled and gave his support. He opened up the school for the informational meetings, got the PTSA to help support this endeavor, and he even made the school available for coaches to hold practices. Then Chakraborty got parents and high school students to volunteer their time and expertise to coach the various events.
The high school students, many of whom have siblings at Solana Pacific, earned volunteer hours, as well as great experience, teaching these 5th and 6th graders science . Since October, each group met weekly for at least one-and-a-half hours to prepare for the big event. Each child participated in two-three events which ranged from Anatomy, Boomilever, Disease Detectives, Meteorology, Heredity, Rocks and Minerals, Science Crime Busters, Metric Mastery, Keep the Heat, Road Scholar etc.
The Rookie Sand Pipers showed that they will be a big contender soon! They actually placed high in several events (out of 96 teams):
1st - Reach For Stars; 2nd, 15th and 20th - Meterology; 2nd - Rocks and Minerals; 4th - Water quality; 5th - Reach For Stars; 7th, 9th , 10th &12th - Mission Possible; 7th - Crime Buster; 13th and 21st Anatomy; 13th -Helicopters.
The students worked hard, had fun and learned some new things! They also learned about teamwork and working with partners.