by Ciaran Farley
On February 4th, Staten Island Tech competed in the 2017 NYC Science Olympiad Regional competition. Under the leadership of captain Radina Yanakieva and coaches Mr. Ferrigno, Ms. Fertoli, and Ms. Giunta, Tech finished fifth in the city, its best performance ever. The Science Olympiad team won medals in 21 events. This earned the team a trophy and a trip to states for the 3rd year in a row.
Tech participated in an invitational competition in Islip, Long Island for the first time before regionals. The schools competing at this and other invitational are often some of the best schools, so Tech was faced strong competition. In addition, medals were only given out to top six finishes, instead of top ten at regionals. Nonetheless, Tech still medaled in three events with a top 35 finish overall. This served as good practice for regionals, where the results matter.
On a cold February morning, the team woke up before the crack of dawn for NYC regionals. After getting to school at 5 AM, the Science Olympiad team squeezed onto one bus to go to Grover Cleveland High School. After arrival, the team unloaded and set up for the day in its assigned classroom. The students then competed in their events throughout the day; many had three to four events each. Tech’s own Mr. Ferrigno and Mr. Henriques ran the Hovercraft event. After all the events had wrapped up, it was time for the awards ceremony.
Mr. Ferrigno was unexpectedly called up to be one of the medal presenters, in what could have only been a good omen. Tech had top three finishes in nine events after having none last year. The team shined in all areas of science. Ciaran “Dray” Farley and Kevin Mao came in 3rd in Anatomy and Physiology, Timmy Ma and Michael Ruiz placed 2nd in Material Science, Felex Chen and Timur Ibragimov came in 2nd in Astronomy, and Yerim Lee and Clarissa Yee won 1st in Invasive Species, among many other great results from Tech. The team was ecstatic during the announcement of overall results when they learned the school was in the top five. “Honestly that was probably better than winning the volleyball championship. Just a bit. Just like learning to ride a bike, I’ll never forget it,” said Felex Chen.
Mr. Ferrigno happily carried out the trophy as Tech left Grover Cleveland knowing it had done its best. “This was our best year since the team restarted 5 years ago,” said captain Radina Yanakieva. “When I joined my freshman year, winning 21 medals was unthinkable. I’m amazed at how much the team has grown and I’m incredibly proud to be part of such an intelligent group of people.”
The Tech Science Olympiad team will compete at states in Syracuse on March 10th-11th. It plans on carrying its momentum from regionals into its first ever medals at states. This has been a landmark year and will hopefully continue to be so.