Quantumplaters Club Takes On the MIT SciOly!

By Lily Levitzky

On January 21, Winsor’s Quantumplaters took part in MIT’s High School Science Olympiad, more commonly known as the MIT SciOly. With teams flying in from all across the country, competition was fierce in each event. Winsor’s team, made up of members of the Quantumplaters STEM club, participated in eight of the 26 events: Anatomy & Physiology, Astronomy, Chemistry Lab, Cell Biology, Codebusters, Fermi Questions, Forestry, Trajectory, and Write It Do It. 

At the competition, teams of two and three from Winsor went to their assigned rooms to participate in the events. Many of the events consisted of written tests in the form of multiple choice questions and free-response questions, whereas others, like Chem Lab and Trajectory, required hands-on experiments. 

The club members who participated in the Olympiad were heads Natalie Pan ’23 and Lily Levitzky ’23, Youjin Choi ’26, Michelle Wang ’26, Gracie Zhou ’26, Susan Zuo ’26, Julia Bae ’25, Amber Lan ’25, and Sophia Lichterfeld ’24. Science Faculty Ms. Holtz coached the team. Since November, Quantumplaters club meetings were centered around preparing for the competition with the help of Ms. Holtz and Math Department Head Ms. Cohen, who advises Quantumplaters. 

Club members also spent time outside of school learning the material. Trajectory, in particular, required extraordinary effort, as Wang and Lichterfeld collaborated outside of club time to construct a wooden machine that could launch a tennis ball. They credit Technology Support Specialist and Robotics Coach Mr. Cox for his guidance in building a functioning launching device; Mr. Cox even provided the wood from a tree in his backyard! 

At MIT, the device had to shoot a tennis ball at a specific target, and it came very close to hitting it! Reflecting on her competition experience, Wang said, “The MIT SciOly was a really fun and insightful experience. I learned a lot about both my assigned event topics, as well as collaboration with peers in the STEM field.”

Overall, Winsor placed right above Brookline High, most notably placing 12th in the Write It Do It event and 29th in the Forestry event. As this was Winsor’s first time attending the competition, the club is excited to see how they can do in the future with a bit more experience and preparation. Quantumplaters would like to send a special thanks to Ms. Cohen and Ms. Holtz for supervising and advising them throughout the process! The Quantumplaters had a great time at the MIT SciOly and are excited to participate in next year’s High School Science Olympiad.