Science Olympiad Student Testimonials

Here is what students are saying about being on the Science Olympiad Team!

First of all, I definitely feel proud of everyone who contributed to making us go to State and get 11th, even if you weren’t on the team. Science Olympiad has taught me many morals and lessons about life, some of which are sportsmanship, resilience, and happiness. However, these are all daunted by a simple fact: Road Scholar is a real one of those haters actually competed. Everyone is speaking a lie simply because they feel it is the truth. Yet, Science Olympiad has shown me just how great, and real, of an event Road Scholar is. To hate on Road Scholar, or on anything, you must have to experience on it first. Yet only 8 people (approximately) this year competed in Road Scholar, with none of them saying it isn’t a real event. Now, repeat after this paper: ROAD SCHOLAR IS A REAL EVENT!!! (3x). Some of my other events were Fast Facts, Optics, Wind Power, Invasive Species, and Write It Do It. Fast Facts was amazing with my teammate and I winning medals in the event all but once. I learned enough to explode anyone else’s mind, including The_Wild_Max of 841 (Road Scholar is a real event >_<). Optics led me to improve my knowledge of physics, along with the occasional high noon showdown with greatly to some hilarious moments, like when some opponents shot their laser out of the box instead of on the point. Wind Power went great, winning me a first place medal in Cornell University. However, Write It Do It was, by far, the most fun and most random event ever. Only 2 people ever medaled in Write It Do It this year and they felt lucky. We messed up so horribly that we practically got 37th place out of 40th every single time. Next, we have Invasive Species. Here, I learned just how messed up our world is with foreign turtles and fish invading our country. The event did teach me how to work with people as it was timed and we were put under intense pressure. Finally, Road Scholar. This is arguably, the best event in Science Olympiad. You basically read a map and answer questions about it, making it similar to other events. However, Road Scholar is the only one that has criticism towards it. An event with enemies is a great event, teaching me basic skills that GPS today overshadows. Ironically, I struggle to read GPS but can easily read a map. Road Scholar has taught me what some call outdated, but something that I call necessary, like getting a bigger boat when leaping sharks attack. I also wouldn’t have made it to Science Olympiad without motivation. Examples are my love of science, my cats and John Adams, one of the greatest founding fathers to have ever lived. Before I end this speech I have one final word of advice to give: Road Scholar is a real event and to persevere, (that may be a motif, not a theme, but you ain’t here now Ms. Curren). Road Scholar and perseverance go hand in hand, because if you don’t persevere, you will get lost. I hope that some of you see this memoir and keep the Road Scholar shaped footprints I left behind fresh. Road Scholar shouldn’t be overshadowed by GPS, but honored instead. Treat Road Scholar as you would treat a savage Steve: with respect. You will never know when you will need it.

Science has always given me the understanding of the world and it gave me the why in my problems. What I loved about science is that it was like a neverending puzzle that I can continue to solve. And it gets more exciting over time. I’m not gonna lie but through 5th grade, I stopped loving science as much. My school didn’t offer science advanced classes and I felt pretty much bored and helpless that I scribbled or slept when science class came along. The science classes were easy and I thought that’s the way it would be in 6th grade. Oh, boy was I wrong! When I saw Dr.Cubbin’s face I knew my real world of science has just begun. I was astonished about the things I learned in a matter of weeks and tieing a knot with every fact I learned to create my a string of science that will pull me up to success. Just being in Dr.Cubbin’s class made me smile. I had a goal, a real goal: You Rania is gonna remember and expand your knowledge in science.

    My self-esteem was drowned quickly when I took my Science Olympiad Test. I felt dumb, so pretty damn dumb. I felt as if I don’t really have a chance in science and there’s no place for me to squeeze in with another scientist. I pretty much gave up. I stopped raising my hand in science class, I started hanging out with kids who hate science and get in trouble and was always depressed when I came home. I bet no one realized it because I always had a big fake smile. Wait until I learned I had an opportunity to be on the Science Olympiad! I felt my whole world lit up in a matter of seconds and Dr.Cubbin gave me the most important thing I would carry on with my life: knowledge. I bet if Athletics talent read this they would be like “knowledge? What a useless thing.” However, I found myself digging into books and the internet, learning things I’ve never known was out there. It gave me the satisfying feeling when I learned something new. Thanks to Science Olympiad and the staff on it, they made me realize something important, that science saved my life once. It gave me a second chance at life when my heartbeat stopped. That’s when I realized I must work with science and spend the rest of life working with it to prove that my another chance was worth it. That I can help someone else. I had another goal: To the best at Science Olympiad and never forget that science saved my life when I needed it most. I took too much, now is my time to give.

   I was very scared at first. All these BIG KIDS with the knowledge I didn’t know existed was sitting in the same room as me. The people I saw the first day at after school I never knew they were gonna treat me and the other kids as a family. I really have no way to describe it. The Science Olympiad team is a huge family working together to brighten up the world and achieve something they didn’t think was possible. Every person I met has a place in my heart because they taught, cared, and loved me and the others. I was very anti-social (still am) but Science Olympiad taught me that yes, your gonna find people who like other things than you and yes, there gonna be people who look different than you but no, that doesn’t make them incapable of being a true friend or upholding a friendship. We laughed and talked on the bus sharing our favorite music, reviewing notes (Alek, mostly), having fun, and reminding ourselves that every choice, decision, achievements, and people we meet make us who we are. The people on the team made me feel that friendship is actually possible for me. This competition helped me make my first true friend, Hong.

   I remember the time Dr.C picked my events. I was happy but really disappointed because he only picked one of the events I put on my wanted events list. I’m so happy I put my trust in Dr.C decision of picking my events. At first, I was like “What?? Really microorganisms?” but, now I’m amazed there are a small species under my fingernails. Now, I’m in love with physics and microorganisms. That’s not the only thing I gained from being on the Science Olympiad. Write, Do It, Fast Facts, Experimental Design, and Wind Power were events that I was put in, at the last minute. Some I didn’t do so well and some I did well. However, I learned to be proud that I did the best I could. Before being on this fun rollercoaster, I punished myself for every mistake I did and I forgot the most important thing which is to learn from your mistakes. Thanks to this competition I began to realize every mistake I did, I learned a little more. Isn’t that the beauty of science? There is no right or wrong and every failure can teach us about success. I worked harder for Regional and did better and I want to tell everybody, future participants or not, you WILL fail in the world but what matter most is what you do next.

   I never trusted anyone and preferred to do work by myself. Some people say this is because I’m depressed or want to take all the credit. However, the real reason was that I hated working groups because I did all the work and never trusted my partners to do the work with their best ability. You see what I mean about not trusting anyone. I felt that no one would try to work hard like me. The Science Olympiad made me meet people who work hard and even harder than me which made me able to trust more and work in groups more often. I was also able to effectively collaborate will my partners and split up our work without worrying that there would be a slacker.

   Science Olympiad has given me an opportunity to show me I’m not the BEST and that there will be people with greater knowledge. Ok, I admit I’m jealous. But that jealousy is what made me so determined to gain as much knowledge I can. Some kids say that I breathe, eat, and sleep Science Olympiad and science. There actually very much true. I dream about science and Science Olympiad. I eat while thinking about. When I have to draw, I draw things like ray diagrams, complex diagrams describing reflection, refraction, total internal reflection, etc. Some call me crazy/and weird but I ignore the comments and continue doing it because it makes me happy and makes me feel good. Science is the love of my life and I will stay attached to it forever. Every day I go on the computer and research something advanced related I get closer to my goal. To me Science Olympiad is more than a competition, it’s a series of goals to build up young scientists minds.

   Science Olympiad made me a better thinker and made me a better reasoner. It helped me create strategies to remember things and increased my IQ. When sitting in my bed hopelessly trying to remember all the characters a bacteria has and then it hit me to just imagine a bacteria and what it has inside and make flashcards for its pH level and etc. I sought to find a new way to expand my knowledge and Science Olympiad gave me that. For Fast Facts, I would sing fast songs in my head. Each song was a category and the words sing from a-z. Science Olympiad also helps me treat my slurred speech that is an effect from my stroke.

Since now we are talking about strokes Science Olympiad helped me overcome my fear of rejection people will think when I told them my childhood. But, this competition was not the only factor; it was mostly the staff and students in it. They made me feel like this where I belong. I’ve been an outcast for most of my life and it was hard for me to fit in even without telling people my secret. I got bullied a lot and people will slap the glasses off my face and say that I was a nerd and a weird geek. However, when I was surrounded in this competition with such knowledgeable people, it was the first time I felt that I fitted in. So, the big secret was that I have an artificial heart because of my Afib and I feel pretty good about it because Science Olympiad taught my science and not to be afraid. Not to be afraid about being rejected because now we are a huge family working our heads off. And no matter what happened I learned that yes, there will be haters and no, it’s not okay to let them down and no, it’s not okay to be one. I learned through this competition science, life skills, and the most important thing – is to believe in yourself when others don’t. I learned to pick yourself up even if you fall.

Rania Zaki (631)


Aribah Z., 831

I was a part of Science Olympiad from 4th grade until I graduated high school. Science Olympiad was the most helpful and productive activity I could have possibly done during those years. Because of the friendships I gained, the problem-solving and teamwork skills I developed, and all the interest in and preparation for a career in science and math, competing in Science Olympiad was awesome. In my nine years of competition, I can say that Science Olympiad is much more that just another extracurricular activity to me. It gave me some of the greatest experiences I have ever had while feeding my curiosity more than a standard education ever could:

  • Sophomore Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • Software Engineer (Summer Intern) Altair Engineering

Science Olympiad is an opportunity to excel outside the classroom with nonstandard learning and real projects that give you subject-matter expertise in a myriad of topics that you can’t get anywhere else.

Systems Engineer, Texas Instruments