Meet the Team: Alexander High School

Kindness, collaboration and an open mind to explore new topics make Alexander High School (AHS) special, according to Science Olympiad Coach, Dan Hendershott. These qualities, along with hard work, led to AHS taking home seventh place in the 2018 Ohio Science Olympiad State Tournament, securing the highest rank in the South Eastern region. 

While they made their mark in the SE region, the overall team goal for the 2019 season is to improve, “getting better every year, in every event, with every team member being inquisitive, and safely learning more about the world we live in,” Hendershott said. 

With 23 division events and 2 trial events, Science Olympiad tournaments showcase a wide range of events. From physics and chemistry, to herpetology and public health, students get to engage in a variety of subjects, all of which help students learn about the world around them. 

Thermodynamics and protein modeling are two events that AHS is currently working on. Protein modeling is “particularly challenging,” so starting on the event early is always a good idea. Mission zpossible is another event that the AHS team “needs to get moving on” Hendershott said. Last year, the team did a fantastic job but it took over 100 hours of work, and one challenge the team faces is time. Since AHS is a small rural school, with graduating classes around 100 students, many Science Olympiad members are involved in multiple activities or even work jobs to help their families according to the AHS coach. Therefore, Science Olympiad often competes for time with other events in the members’ lives.

While Science Olympiad is a time commitment for many students, there are undeniable benefits that students gain from participating in the club and tournaments. Through events like Sound of Music, Roller Coaster and Mission Impossible, students gain important life skills and experience. Skills such as communication, collaboration and project management, “are critical 21stcentury job skills…and I believe all of my members will be assets to any university and employer,” Hendershott said. 

From a student standpoint, members also appreciate the experience and “seriousness” of Science Olympiad. One AHS member shares, “I love Science Olympiad because it allows me to be hands on and learn about subjects I wouldn’t have studied. I also love the competitiveness of the events.” This dedication and drive is reflected in their goals for the upcoming season, to win the regional tournament and finish higher at the state level. 

Another member shares, “I love participating in Science Olympiad because I get great new experiences and enjoy every minute of it. It will help me reach my goals of being a chemical engineer.” Regardless of how the rankings end up at the end of the year, it is apparent that Science Olympiad is providing opportunities and preparing AHS members for great things in the future!