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Image via Pixabay
Image via Pixabay

Teams from high schools all across New York City will put their science knowledge to the test in Ridgewood on Saturday, Feb. 3, during the Science Olympiad competition at Grover Cleveland High School.

A total of 65 teams from 41 different schools representing all five boroughs will compete in 25 different events throughout the day. Hosting for the 15th consecutive year, Grover Cleveland High School is the only non-specialized public school to have three teams competing, said assistant coach Lloyd Kiefer.

“This allows kids to learn science outside the classroom and in the real world,” said Kiefer, who has been involved with the competition for his entire 20-year teaching career. “There are so many different events that everyone gets an opportunity to shine.”

Some of the events are knowledge based exams and quizzes, while others involve building structures and testing their effectiveness. This year’s topics include helicopters, tower building, mousetrap vehicles, hovercraft, anatomy and physiology, thermodynamics and forensics.

A new feature for the 2018 Olympiad is the “trail events” that allow more kids to compete even if they aren’t on one of the official teams. The trial events are much simpler than the main events and are intended to expose more kids to science by allowing more to join in the fun. The trial events can be completed by any student who attends the event and they will be dubbed as “alternates” for their school.

The trial events include a duct tape challenge, science quiz bowl and parasitology test.

Krishna Mahabir, the head coach for the Grover Cleveland teams and nearly 20-year veteran as well, said that his favorite part about the event is “seeing the students competing and achieving their goals, and if they don’t do well they see what they have to aspire to and how they can improve themselves for next year.”

Mahabir and Kiefer have led the Grover Cleveland students to several honors at the Science Olympiad in the past, and Mahabir said this year’s goal is to win at least 3 to 4 medals.

The Science Olympiad at Grover Cleveland starts at 8 a.m. on Feb 3 and the award ceremony will be at approximately 4 p.m. It is the largest regional competition in the United States, and the winners have the chance to move on to the national competition held at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado on May 18 and 19.

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