Battle of the brains: Science Olympiad underrepresented at GBHS

The Science Olympiad involves 5000 teams going head to head in academic competition. Unfortunately, the program has not received proper recognition.


Amre Abumarkheih

Co-president of the Science Olympiad prepares for an upcoming competition.

Competition reaches its peak as 5000 teams go head to head, determined to outsmart and outperform one another. 

 Founded in 1994, Science Olympiad is an organization in which students endeavor to build upon and refine their scientific and mathematical knowledge. 

The Science Olympiad team at Granite Bay High School was founded only four years ago. Therefore, it is commonly overshadowed by other clubs that have access to various resources. 

Club advisor Elizabeth Henderson believes that GBHS’s Science Olympiad team lacks involvement and support from both parents and staff.

“We have 23 events and that is too much for one person to teach and oversee,” Henderson said, “I know teams like Mira Loma that have specialized coaches for each event, which is clearly beneficial because their team is (nearly) unbeatable.” 

According to Henderson the issue is the prioritization of other clubs over Science Olympiad.

“Speech and Debate has a ton of support on campus, in terms of having an academic class dedicated to the competitive team. Of course parents and students recognize that prestige and want to be associated with a winning team,” Henderson said. 

Chandrasekaran participates in Speech and Debate alongside Science Olympiad, and recognizes the amount of preparation both clubs require. 

“Each club member is dedicated to their event(s) and puts in a lot of effort by (regularly attending) club meetings, and doing work outside of school,” Chandrasekaran said. 

Unlike other organizations, Science Olympiad and Speech and Debate have a long term process in which time management skills are a necessity. However, the amount of responsibility and devotion needed often intimidates people and prevents them from joining. 

“I’ve heard the term “homework club,” but if one considers the opportunity to explore and gain knowledge in fields of science a chore, then that’s their opinion, but it doesn’t make sense to me,” Christopher Tan said. 

Tan is the co-president of GBHS’s Science Olympiad and recognizes how personal achievements are just as important as contributing to the team as a whole. 

“(Science Olympiad) gave me a perfect opportunity to demonstrate my passions and meet great people,” Chandrasekaran said. 

Similarly, 172 Olympiad participants indicated that their consistent involvement reinforced their plan to choose a STEM major at college. 

“I think awareness could really help elevate the hard work and commitment that these students have, they deserve that recognition.” Henderson said.