AV Science Olympiad wins sixth place at Bay Area Regional Science Olympiad tournament


Provided by Keerthi Nalabotu

The AV Science Olympiad Team poses on the bleachers as they wait for the awards ceremony to announce the final placements.

AV Science Olympiad placed sixth at BARSO, the Bay Area Regional Science Olympiad tournament, and qualified for the Northern California Science Olympiad tournament last weekend. AV Scioly took three teams with 15 members each to compete against 45 other Bay Area schools.

“Each student has to compete in three to four events, and it’s a variety of different science topics like engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, and there’s also build events. So that would involve building different devices and whatnot to meet competition requirements,” said AV Science Olympiad Co-president Eaton Huang (‘23).

The tournament was divided into 23 build or study events. Participating in either three or four events, members were taking part in testing exams or competitions with the build devices they created ahead of time. 

“Some people do study events that require weeks of preparation beforehand, because it’s so much content in one test alone. And then for build events, it’s so much time commitment, because you go days on end, late nights trying to test out your builds,” said co-president Keerthi Nalabotu (‘23). 

Ever since team tryouts in September, preparations for BARSO began through club meetings, tournaments, and seminar groups.

“We changed our team structure to seminar groups, and we split the big team into multiple smaller teams for each event. So we basically had 23, small teams of six or eight people each, and they were able to focus a lot more on their own individual events. We also had seminar captains who would teach the members about their events,” said Huang.

BARSO was a one day event at CSU East Bay, where members competed in three to four different events. 

“Balancing my four events was definitely rough sometimes, but the preparation for each was pretty different and interesting. Some focused on identification, others wet chemistry or laboratory questions, and some data analysis and formulas. It was definitely an experience carrying around 3-4 different binders for each event,” said vice president of communications Brandon Huynh (‘24). 

AV Science Olympiad members regrouped after each tournament event to recap or study before attending their next events. (Photo provided by Keerthi Nalabotu.)

With one-hour time blocks for all 23 different events, AV Science Olympiad members went around the campus classrooms for their individual and partner events. The team members frequently reunited at their designated homebase in a library for more preparation.

“To prepare for my study events (Anatomy, Remote Sensing, and Dynamic Planet), I used different platforms like Wikipedia and Quizlet. The trickiest part was fact-checking my information, and I compiled all of it into study binders for each event,” said natural sciences captain Tho Nguyen (‘23).

Following the end of the tournament, the teams went around visiting college libraries, going to the beach around the East Bay, rewarding themselves with Starbucks, and getting ready for junior prom before the awards ceremony.

“My favorite BARSO experience would probably have to be all of the juniors rushing around to get ready for prom right after the competition. Seeing make-up looks come together right before some of our tests definitely got a lot of laughs,” said Huynh.

Out of 45 teams, Amador Valley Science Olympiad’s team eμ placed sixth, team πgeon placed 12th, and team ρbin placed 16th.

“It was so exhilarating. We were all sitting on the bleachers, and when they announced AV Scioly for sixth place, we were like, oh my god, we didn’t know how to react. We just jumped up, and everyone just got so excited,” said Nalabotu.

Amador Valley Science Olympiad qualified for the Northern California Science Olympiad Tournament in April as the top four schools from the Bay Area Regional Science Olympiad tournament (Photo provided by Keerthi Nalabotu.)

AV Science Olympiad qualified as one of the top four schools from BARSO Division C for the Northern California Science Olympiad tournament, alongside Mission San Jose High School, Castro Valley High School, and American High School.

“We’re probably going to prepare in the same way that we did before. States is almost two months away, so that gives us a little more room to continue making edits and testing (and also studying for study events),” said vice president of finance Isabelle Lo (‘23). 

Qualifying for the Northern California Olympiad tournament in an in-person setting was no small feat. While AV Science Olympiad qualified for states last year online, Amador hasn’t placed as the top four schools for the state level tournament ever since 2014.

“States is definitely a dream for us. And the fact that we got our dream to come true… we’ve got to pursue it,” said Nalabotu.