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Student Spotlight: Shreyas & SciOly

written by Caroline Reed

A couple months ago was a busy time for Shreyas Puducheri and the Science Olympiad team. They were preparing for a virtual state-wide competition. Shreyas recalls "working with teammates through late nights and early mornings, doing whatever we could to cram as much information as possible." It must have paid off, because the team stepped away from the 2021 State Competition (Division C) with the following awards:
  • 1st Place in "Protein Modeling"
  • 1st Place in "Forensics"
  • 2nd Place in "Code Busters"
  • 2nd Place in "Chem Lab"
  • 3rd Place in "Designer Genes"

Science Olympiad is a club at New Century led by Ms. Karman Morgan, and aims to develop students' love for science and acknowledges students' accomplishments in all scientific disciplines. Shreyas, a member of the Varsity team, is a biomedical-strand student and mainly focuses on events related to his coursework in biology and chemistry. He was involved with three of the winning categories. Other team members include Nicholas Johns, Shushruth Yellumahanthi, Ethan Smith, Michael Ivan, Alex Ivan, Lilli Buchanan, Saad Ata, Meggie Mirabella, Shreyas Puducheri, Katy Samba, Madeline Szcepanski, Nathan Allport, and Collin Langseth.

In a recent interview, Mr. Puducheri shared his insight.

  1. Tell us more about the 2021 State competition. Given how unpredictable and difficult this year has been, we didn't know much about the competitions until a few weeks before the test day, March 27th. However, thanks to the hard work of our team, we managed to do exceptionally well in several events and even put up a good fight against the larger schools in Alabama. In the week leading up to the competition, I remember working with teammates through late nights and early mornings, doing whatever we could to cram as much information as possible. We used whatever resources we could get our hands on, including YouTube videos, school textbooks, and event rubrics. The competition was virtual, and aside from a few hiccups, it went smoothly.
  2. Can students plan to join next year's Science Olympiad team? I would highly encourage every New Century student to join Science Olympiad, as every scientific discipline is covered in one or more of the several Division C events. Computer science students may want to compete in an event like Codebusters, engineering students may decide that Machines may be the perfect event for them, and biomedical students may enjoy competing in Disease Detectives. If anyone is interested in joining the team, they can contact Ms. Morgan, our sponsor, directly, or they can wait for the sign-up link that will be shared at next year's New Century Club Fair.
  3. Any final thoughts? I think that everyone on the team really did amazing this year despite numerous obstacles. I am excited for next year and can't wait to see how we will grow and build upon our successes so far.