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Camas Hosts Science Olympiad Regionals for the First Time

CHS+auditorium+filled+with+competing+teams+from+the+SW+Washington+region
CHS auditorium filled with competing teams from the SW Washington region

Camas High School (CHS) has had a Science Olympiad program since 2006, encouraging students to participate in STEM research and learn how to study and apply the knowledge effectively. Though Black Team, CHS’s varsity Science Olympiad team has taken first in the region 17 times, the Southwest Washington regional tournament has always been hosted at another school, usually a local high school or college. This year, the regional tournament was hosted at CHS for the first time, which was exciting but foreign to Camas’s competing teams. 

The familiar environment seemed to keep the competitors on their toes; between their top two teams: Black Team and Red Team, Camas Science Olympiad swept the podium and took first place in 24 out of 24 events. 

Arvin Shyam (11) with 5 gold medals and Nhan Truong (12) with 6 gold medals

“It’s not about the location. We were able to come together as a school, we were hanging out and having a great time. Of course there were some challenges, but it was a blast,” Black team CHS junior Arvin Shyam said.

When the regional tournament is hosted at a different school, all Camas teams are required to wake up early to travel to the tournament. 

“I preferred [having regionals at CHS] because I didn’t have to lose so much time before the competition. When regionals are somewhere else, you either have to go the day before or wake up really early and get on a bus; you’re not going to get any [preparation] done that day,” Black team CHS senior Conrad Parrish said. 

On the other hand, many competitors say they are not affected by the lack of sleep that comes with traveling to tournaments— the adrenaline seems to outweigh the early mornings. 

“I’m hyped the whole day, even if I’m sleep-deprived,” Shyam said. 

Black team senior Nhan Truong has participated in Science Olympiad since elementary school and has competed in many tournaments, from local competitions to invitationals across the country. 

“I feel like Camas hosting regionals makes it a more familiar environment, but it doesn’t give me the foreign excitement I get when I go to a different school. It didn’t feel like the same kind of authentic experience,” Truong said. 

Hosting regionals also posed some administrative difficulties— CHS’s head coach Matthew Chase was not allowed to be the competition director because he is affiliated with a competing team.

Ava Lilleboe (12), Raye Jensen (11), and Arielle Greenstone (11) holding team trophies

“I wasn’t the tournament director the day of, which was weird, because everybody’s used to coming to me for problems. The main stress was that we wanted to make sure it was run as efficiently as our Camas Invitationals are, which everyone loves,” Chase said. 

Overall, Black Team and Red Team took first and second place, respectively, and will both be going to the state tournament. This year, state will be hosted at CWU in Ellensburg, WA. CHS is yet to host the state tournament, but many competitors think that it is a possibility in the next few years. Hosting Regionals seems to have given Camas Science Olympiad a basis of eagerness for the rest of this qualifying season.

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Arielle Greenstone, Copy Editor

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