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The Science Olympiad 2024 States Trip


If you aren’t aware, Science Olympiad is a 6-8th grade science club focused on several facets of science such as scientific inquiry or world science. In April, the SciOly team went to the state competition in PennState Altoona, going against 36 other middle schools. Here’s what happened.

We boarded our state bus, which we’ll be using to travel back and forth across Altoona. On the way over, we wasted time by talking and later playing Doki Doki Literature Club. Spoilers: We will be playing Doki Doki Literature Club the entire time. It is fun. Go play it.

Our first stop was 29th St Pizza Subs & More, a pizza place with some unique food. When we got there, the owner greeted Mr. Lewis with open arms and led us in, where we got our pre-ordered food and relaxed. The pizza was quite nice and the other foods were cheap. All in all, 8/10.

Next stop: the Boyer Chocolate Factory. While Mr. Lewis fangirled over the chocolate and merchandise, we just grabbed some Mallow Cups and left. I bought a duck! The atmosphere was pleasant and the treats were fairly priced. 9/10.

After we took a quick tour of PennState, we went to the Horseshoe Curve, which is where around a third of the total chaos occurred. After snooping around the gift shop for around 5 minutes, we started our trek up the flights of stairs to the famous railroad. Surprisingly (unsurprisingly to us), Mr. Lewis and Mr. Howarth emerged from the bathroom in conductor outfits, which were neat. After we got to the grass lot in front of the tracks, we played train-themed games like a coal relay, a train tag game, statues, and four stations (which I totally didn’t rig). We also tormented the people in the live chat on YouTube, who were watching the tracks and the grass and unfortunately had to deal with us. We got the train chugging along to sound the horn for us (twice), then we took a panorama where we made it look like we were pointing at ourselves. 10/10 would visit again.

We dropped off our extra belongings at our hotel. After that, we attended the Altoona Curve baseball game against the Akron Rubber Ducks. Despite the fact that the Curve team got demolished by the Ducks, we still had fun. Our team kept trying to collect baseballs from the players, we were on the large screen (me twice specifically), and it started raining. We got some more accessories at least. 7/10.

When we got back to the hotel, only more chaos followed. In adjacent rooms, we were simultaneously making lunches for tomorrow as well as making a hot pot for dinner. There was a lot of noise, people said some questionable things, and vegetables were thrown. Then we played some more DDLC. It’s becoming an addiction. 11/10.

Day two started with just a casual breakfast in the hotel lobby. We then checked out and headed to the competition. It was loud and crowded. After getting everything prepared, we started competing in events, one time slot at a time. Some went well. Some went horribly. Some were decent at best. Did we do our best? Most definitely, yeah. Did we win? Hell no, we didn’t even get top ten. Was it fun though? Absolutely. It was a humbling and exciting experience, and everyone had a great time.

We began driving home. We played more DDLC, then when the laptop died, we did karaoke till our voices hurt. We got lunch at Popeyes and Burger King, I took shots of ranch (don’t ask why), and we told scary stories when it got dark out. Some were good, some were horrendous. It was a good thing that we were accompanied by an English teacher. We talked and yelled and slept until we got back to the school and we parted ways.

Some of us are still helping Mr. Lewis tidy up the SciOly stuff leftover (somehow). Some went home with medals, others didn’t. But we had a great time, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. 10/10 trip, would recommend.

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Derek Thu, Entertainment
Derek Thu provides the entertainment for the Newspaper.

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