West’s Science Olympiad Team Places Fourth at Invitational


By Sonja Malek, Academics Editor

On Saturday, Jan. 27, West’s Science Olympiad team competed at Libertyville High School against 19 other schools in their second invitational competition of the season, bringing home several junior varsity and varsity medals. Two invitationals remain before the regional competition, where a top finish could qualify them for the state competition in April.

Science Olympiad is a team competition where students participate in events ranging from astronomy and anatomy to forensics and game design. The events fall into two major categories: study events and building events. After a full day of events, tests are scored and scores are compared, and the results are compiled into an exciting awards ceremony at the end of the day.

Senior Michael Rohn explained that West’s performance at this invitational was significant, especially when compared to the first meet of the season in December.

“We were at [James B. Conant High School] last month, and we underperformed,” he said. “That was due to a few reasons. First, we were missing many of our team members who couldn’t make it that Saturday, and we also have never had a competition so early in our season. We were pretty unprepared, but now I think we’re back on track. We still have a long way to go, but these next invitationals coming up — two more in the next three weeks — will help to get us where we need to be to do well at regionals and qualify for state, just as we have in the past several years.”

Head coach Michael Boll agreed that the team’s performance at this meet was a step in the right direction this season.

“The team did an excellent job at the invite,” he said. “We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores really step it up this meet and bring home medals.”

Senior Myra Esmail believes that this season has a lot in store for the Niles West Science Olympiad team, but for now, she’s satisfied to have done well this past weekend.

“I’m super happy. We worked really hard between December and now, and I’m just really glad it paid off.”

Awards were given to the top five competitors at both varsity and JV levels for each event. The awards were as follows:



Darby Chamness and Myra Esmail, Anatomy and Physiology, 3rd place; Darby Chamness and Daniel Cudzich, Astronomy, 1st place; Darby Chamness and Hana Frisch, Disease Detectives, 2nd place; Michael Rohn, Christopher Rohn, and Zachary Werth, Experimental Design, 2nd place; Muhammad Afzal and Jeremy Steegmueller, Game On, 2nd place; Vanessa Reis and Leander Chappotin, Herpetology, 5th place; Heba Sattar and Muhammad Afzal, Hovercraft, 5th place; Michael Rohn and Daniel Cudzich, Thermodynamics, 2nd place; Daniel Cudzich and Christopher Rohn, Towers, 1st place.

Junior Varsity:

Leander Chappotin and Katie Benstead, Anatomy and Physiology, 2nd place; Alex Thoppil and Kunwar Singh, Dynamic Planet, 1st place; Katie Benstead and Hana Frisch, Herpetology, 1st place; Alex Thoppil and Kunwar Singh, Microbe Mission, 4th place; Darby Chamness and Wyatt Zwik, Remote Sensing, 2nd place; Jesvin Sebastian and Christopher Rohn, Write It Do It, 3rd place.