LIVINGSTON, NJ – While none of Livingston’s residents are currently competing in the 2014 Olympics at Sochi— there are award-winning Olympiads in Livingston. Recently, Livingston’s Science Olympiad teams took home top medals in the Science Olympiad at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, earning spots to advance to the State Finals Tournament taking place on March 11 at Middlesex County College.

Livingston High School finished first overall for high schools and Heritage Middle School finished second overall for middle schools. Students received medals for ranking in the top six places for each event. The combined total of rankings in all events determined the overall place for the team.

The Science Olympiad is an annual academic competition that gives students a chance to put their knowledge of biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, computers and technology to the test. Some events, such as Dynamic Planet and Rocks and Minerals, require students to study information and then take a written test.

Events such as Scrambler and Wheeled Vehicle require students to build a device prior to competition and then test it at the tournament. The students are not given a target until they arrive at the competition and they then have to calibrate their device to hit the given target. Other events require students to design an experiment and to write a report.  

The students were selected for the Livingston Science Olympiad team after participating in a rigorous tryout. To get ready for the competition, they met several times a week, starting in October, and also worked on their assigned events at night and on weekends.

LHS science teachers Caitlin Keller and Melissa Pelullo coached the Division C team, which is comprised of students in Grades 9-12. The team placed first overall, winning medals in 10 of the events at the tournament. Below is a list of the award winners:
•    Compound Machines: Shira Li and Cathy Nie—First Place
•    Disease Detectives: Oriana Tang and Jeanna Qiu—First Place
•    Experimental Design: Christina Qiu, Jeanna Qiu and Evan Zou—First Place
•    We've Got Your Number: Kanchan Misra and Albert Chalom—First Place
•    Dynamic Planet: Jeff Chen and Sora Nithikasem—Third Place
•    Write It Do It: Larry Chen and Oriana Tang—Third Place
•    Rocks and Minerals: Puja Deshpande and Amanda Glatt—Fourth Place
•    Scrambler: Larry Chen and Meng Guo—Fourth Place
•    Astronomy: Danielle Lee and Evan Zou—Fifth Place
•    Circuit Lab: Puja Deshpande and Shira  Li—Fifth Place

Dr. Jennifer Wirt, LHS assistant principal, and Heritage Guidance Counselor Nick Guardabasco coached the Division B team, which is comprised of students in Grades 6-9. The team placed second overall, winning medals in nine of the events. Below is a list of the winners:

•    Dynamic Planet: Andy Jiang and Melody Xiao—First Place
•    Experimental Design: Eileen Deng, Christie Hung and Serena Zhao—First Place
•    Simple Machines: Tina Wu and Jenny Zheng—First Place
•    Write It, Do It: Tina Wu and Serena Zhao—First Place
•    Rocks and Minerals: Yibin Long and Catherine Yu—Second Place
•    Solar System: Isabella Tang and Kevin Xiang—Third Place
•    Disease Detectives: Carrie Li and Melody Xiao—Fourth Place
•    Shock Value: Max Chien and Evan Tong—Fourth Place
•    Biology Blitz: Caleb Chow and Jason Wang—Fifth Place