Newsbreaker News: BreakerScience Triumphs Over Carmel at Local Science Competition

Courtesy of The Newsbreaker:

Alarms rang. Students grumbled slowly out of warm, cozy beds and struggled to remember why they were getting up at 3:30 AM on a Saturday morning. For Science Olympiad, of course, was the delightful answer!

This past Saturday, March 2, fourteen Pacific Grove High School students traveled to Cal State East Bay University in Hayward, CA, to participate in a Science Olympiad competition. Science Olympiad is an international competition that engages elementary through high school students with science-based events. These events can be testing events, where teams complete written exams, or can be building events, where teams test devices they have built to strict specifications prior to the competition. As a first time Science Olympiad team member, I can tell you the experience was well worth it. I learned about a subject that interested me — Thermodynamics, from entropy to radiant exitance — in a way that was fulfilling and fun. The competition gave us a chance to show what we had learned, albeit without a single win. The highest event we scored in was the Mousetrap Vehicle, where we received 8th place (which is astonishing considering that the night before, the mousetrap car did not even work). Science Olympiad encouraged me to think like an engineer and a scientist, as I designed, built, and tested a mousetrap vehicle that had to drive straight forward for 8 meters, stop, and move backwards offset from the centerline by 10cm and a given distance determined at the time of the event. Confused? So was I.

Pacific Grove High School’s team BreakerScience received 21st (compared to Carmel’s team, who scored 25th) out of 36 teams, which is not actually that bad considering that we did not participate in one event (WrightStuff, where you build a model airplane) and this was our first year. (To view the complete scoring sheet, visit this website: ( ) ). Overall, my experience was a positive one, and I look forward to continuing with BreakerScience next year, as we strive to participate in more competitions and perform better in them. As the team shared dinner in the San Pedro Square Market in San Jose, the team members all agreed that they had a positive experience and sought to continue with BreakerScience (except the seniors!). Special thanks to Mr. Afifi, our team mentor, Mitali Chowdhury, our student leader, and our parent drivers Mrs. Knoop and Mrs. Chowdhury.

If you have a passion for science and are committed to the pursuit of knowledge, then BreakerScience is the club for you! If you are interested, please contact Mitali Chowdhury or me (Oscar Scholin) during school or swing by Mr. Afifi’s room for more information.

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