Zsg11 is a senior at Cumberland Valley High School. She has competed in Pennsylvania Science Olympiad since the 2014 season. From 2014-2017 she competed as a 6th-9th grader at Good Hope Middle School. In the 2017-2018 season, she became the first former-Good Hope member to make the Cumberland Valley High School team under its new coaching, and has competed from 2018-2019 and plans to compete in her (sadly) senior year in 2020. She plans to attend Penn State University and double major in Immunology and Infectious Disease and Microbiology.
This was Zsg11's first year in Science Olympiad, and she was in 6th grade. It was also the first year Good Hope Middle School fielded a team in over a decade. However, the 10-person team only competed in 12 events, and didn't have much success, getting 12th in the Central Region. She was very unaware of what Science Olympiad was, not knowing that there are State and National competitions, or even medals. She competed in three events: Can't Judge a Powder, Experimental Design, and Road Scholar. Despite not medaling at all this year, 2014 sparked a love for Science Olympiad that would motivate it her to compete for the next six years.
|Can't Judge a Powder||8th|
This was Zsg11's second year of Science Olympiad. She was in 7th grade, yet still had a leadership role within the club. This year, the Good Hope team was more competitive and was actually able to field a full team, along with 1 alternate. Zsg11 again competed in Can't Judge a Powder, Experimental Design, and Road Scholar, and also picked up Picture This, which was her favorite event that year. She didn't expect much going into regionals, and was just really excited to compete again, as it had been over a year. However, much to the surprise of both Zsg11 and her entire team, Good Hope Middle School improved by 8 places in the competition, securing 4th place, and making states for the first time in many years! Zsg11 herself won two medals, 4th place in both Experimental Design (her first medal ever!) and Picture This, despite believing she'd bombed the latter, as her team had only guessed 4/25 terms correctly. The team advanced to the Pennsylvania State Competition where Zsg11 filled in for Entomology, but failed to medal in any of her events. However, she reflects that this was probably her happiest year of Science Olympiad, as there were no expectations, every little success was celebrated, she met some of her best friends (to this day), and her team was incredibly close.
|2015||CPA Regionals||PA States|
|Can't Judge a Powder||5th||22nd|
This was Zsg11's third year of Science Olympiad as an 8th grader. She again competed in Experimental Design, Picture This, and Road Scholar, the latter of which she'd grown to hate but was forced to do since she had experience, and picked up Fossils. In 2016, the coach became less involved, and the entire team was run by a student committee of 4 8th graders. Zsg11 was the secretary of the committee, and did a majority of the work organizing and motivating her team. Because she had to spend so much time coordinating things for her team, she didn't have enough time to work on her events, and did not receive any medals this year, bombing most of her events. Zsg11 and her team were convinced that they had missed States that year, because they had won fewer medals than in 2015. However, her team was still able to make States, earning 5th in the region. After this year, the person who had coached Good Hope Middle School had stepped down, and a new coach took her place. Zsg11 assumed this would be the end of her Science Olympiad career, and was happy that her last year was surrounded by her best friends, despite not being as successful as she'd hoped in her events.
|2016||CPA Regionals||PA States|
In 2017, Zsg11 returned to Good Hope to compete as a 9th grader. She began attending Cumberland Valley High School, and decided to try out for its team, as she realized she wasn't ready to let go of competing, but after going to an informational meeting for the CV team, she discovered it was hopeless, as they didn't accept freshmen. Slightly upset, Zsg11 began talking to one of her Good Hope teammates, an 8th grader at the time, and was invited to join the team as its only freshman. Since most of the 2014-2016 Good Hope team (or as Zsg11 calls them the "OG Good Hope") had either aged out of Division B, or simply quit doing Science Olympiad, she was the member on the team with the most experience, and she began helping out her younger teammates understand the process of competing and preparing for events. This year, Zsg11 also attended her first invitational, Little Tiger. She was incredibly excited for this, as she had only ever competed against Pennsylvania teams at Regionals and States. This season, she again competed in Experimental Design and Road Scholar, and picked up Microbe Mission, which was her favorite event this year, due to her interest in microbiology. She also filled in for Fast Facts at Little Tiger(she was selected to fill in the day of the invy), which she had wanted to do at Regionals and States, but it unfortunately conflicted with events she wanted more. Despite her experience with Science Olympiad, Zsg11 still didn't truly understand how to study for Science Olympiad, and decided to focus more on school, and she failed to medal again this year. Because her team had little experience, she was unsure that Good Hope would be able to maintain its 2-year streak of making states, but luckily for them, they managed 7th place in the region, barely advancing to the state competition. During the state awards ceremony, Zsg11 remembers feeling very sad, as she believed it to be her last one ever. She hadn't medaled in any of her events, and the Cumberland Valley Science Olympiad Coach had stepped down, and there wasn't going to be a team next year. Her generalized feeling of sadness during awards made her miss out on cheering for Eagle View Middle School, who had gotten 3rd in the state that year. In retrospect, she quite regrets this, as she would proceed to work with and be on a team with many of the 2017 Eagle View team participants. Overall, Zsg11 loved her experience competing for Good Hope Middle School, and often flexes her "humble beginnings" to her CV teammates, believing she's morally superior to her teammates from Eagle View since she failed to makes States once, often joking how she misses the lightheartedness of Good Hope in comparison to the intense expectations of Cumberland Valley. However, she recognizes that winning is a lot more fun than hoping against hope that she medaled, and wouldn't trade her current team CV for anything--except maybe a nats bid ; )
|2017||Little Tiger||CPA Regionals||PA States|
The week following States 2017, Zsg11 received an email from the Eagle View coach--he had decided to begin coaching the Cumberland Valley High School Team and wanted her to try out! Zsg11 immediately replied "yes" and regards that email as the best she'd ever received. She realized right away that Eagle View/Cumberland Valley was ran a lot differently from Good Hope. They met every day during the school year and even held summer practices, which she attended excitedly. Come August, she had made the team! This was the first time Zsg11 had ever had to try out, as "OG Good Hope" had a policy in which veterans had an automatic spot on the team, and everyone made the team her 6th grade year. However, she was the only Good Hope person to make the team, which intimidated her, as she barely knew her 14 teammates. It took awhile, but eventually the Eagle View kids took her in, and became her family. Her events were Experimental Design and Microbe Mission again, as well as Rocks and Minerals, and she filled in for Chemistry Lab at regionals. She attended two new invitationals, The Battle at Valley Forge, and MCBarons. This year proved to be quite difficult, as she was only a sophomore, and only 2 members of the 15 had any Division C experience. At MCBarons, though, she finally broke her two year dry spell of not medaling, and medaled 3rd in Experimental Design. Her team also got 3rd overall, which was the best she'd ever done in a tournament. At regionals, the team got 2nd place by only four points, and Zsg11 medaled in both Experimental Design and Microbe Mission, but bombed Chemistry Lab. After regionals, the team was quite discouraged, as very few of its members had ever gotten less than 1st at regionals. Zsg11, however, wasn't as disappointed, as she had never done as well as second place in a tournament before. The team worked incredibly hard between Regionals and States, and Zsg11 was unfortunately one point off from her first states medal, which would have been in Experimental Design. Overall, this was a rebuilding and a learning year for Zsg11. She had lots of expectations when she had made the team, as the coach and 14/15 members were from Eagle View, whom she'd looked up to as a SciOly legend for many years. The team expected to go far in the beginning due to Eagle View's previous success, and ended up 10th in Pennsylvania. While she was upset at the time, Zsg11 recognizes how significant their achievements--going from not making States to getting 10th place in one year--were.
|2018||BAVF||MCB||CPA Regionals||PA States|
|Rocks and Minerals||18th||8th||-||18th|
In her 11th grade year, Zsg11 again made the Cumberland Valley team. This year, she was no longer the only competitor from Good Hope, which she was quite happy about. Her events were Experimental Design for the 6th year, Designer Genes, and Forensics. She also picked up Disease Detectives and Protein Modeling for an invitational. The team dynamic changed a lot this year, and went from a good central regional team to a real threat at States. They again went to The Battle at Valley Forge and MCBarons invitationals, but were much more successful this year, going from 13th place to 2nd place in the former, and from 3rd place to 1st place in the latter. Additionally, they went from losing 1st place in the region by 4 points, to winning it by 74. The Battle at Valley Forge Invitational was Zsg11's favorite, as it was the first time she'd ever received a medal above 3rd place. She was beyond thrilled to get 2nd in an invitational that was admittedly a "bloodbath" the previous year. She medaled twice, and barely missed a 3rd medal in Protein Modeling, blaming the near miss on her dizziness. MCBarons, however, went worse for Zsg11. She only medaled once, in Forensics. In Designer Genes, she was beat by her own B team using her notes. In Experimental Design, they got screwed over by a bad experiment, and lost to their B team in the second tiebreaker of the event. Despite this being the first time her team has ever won a tournament, she still left feeling very upset. However, this loss became motivation for Zsg11, and the 2nd half of her season was much better than the 1st. Cumberland Valley had won the region easily, and Zsg11 got her first gold medals here, in Designer Genes (big surprise) and Experimental Design. She also received a 3rd place medal in Forensics, which she was upset about, and she and her partner studied Forensics harder than ever following regionals. Going into the State competition, Cumberland Valley had a lot of hype, especially within its team. They were the only Pennsylvania team to never get beaten by another Pennsylvania team. They were one of the top 4 teams in the state, and were hoping to clinch a nationals bid for the first time in Cumberland Valley High School history. Zsg11 worked harder on her events than she ever had before, and the day of, she had never in her life felt better about her events. She was confident that they were making nationals. Unfortunately, however, her team's events didn't go as well as she'd hoped, and the team sadly got 4th place. Zsg11 got 4^4: 4th place medals in all her events, and 4th overall. As happy as she was to win her first state medals, and to have improved so much as a team from the previous year, she was still incredibly upset about missing nationals, States being the first competition she full-out cried during (tearing up definitely doesn't count). However, despite this sadness, a few weeks later, things began to look up for Zsg11. She was elected to the executive board, and is currently spending her summer thinking about how to get the team to nationals and writing SciOly tests, rather than thinking about the impending doom of college apps.
|2019||BAVF||MCB||CPA Regionals||PA States|
This year, Zsg11 was elected to be an officer, specifically The Coordinator, for her team. The team plans to attend three invys this year: LISO, BAVF, and Solon. Zsg11 again plans on competing in Designer Genes, Disease Detectives, Experimental Design, Forensics, and Protein Modeling. As it is her last year, she really hopes that her team will be able to make the 2020 national tournament. #CV4NATS2020
Welp. Rip this season. Though we didn't recieve the ending or the closure that any of us expected/wanted due to the ever lovely coronavirus, this season was still my favorite. Yes, the end was sudden and heartbreaking, but I don't regret a single second that I put into Science Olympiad this year. The most amazing thing about Science Olympiad is the community, and I just want to genuinely thank everybody who has been by my side on this incredible 7-year (and counting:))) long journey, both on my team and across the nation. I love you all, and I simply cannot thank you enough for helping me grow as both a scientist and as a person, and for always being there for me.
|2019||LISO||BAVF||Solon||CPA Regionals||PA States||Nationals|
- *total points were miscalculated, and this rank should have been top 5.
Here is an alphabetical list of events that Zsg11 has competed in:
- Can't Judge a Powder-2014-2015
- Chemistry Lab-2018
- Designer Genes-2019-2020
- Disease Detectives-2019-2020
- Experimental Design-2014-2020
- Fast Facts-2017
- Microbe Mission-2017-2018
- Picture This-2015-2016
- Protein Modeling-2019-2020
- Road Scholar-2014-2017
- Rocks and Minerals-2018
Here is a ranked list of events that Zsg11 has competed in:
- Microbe Mission- Microbe is the best event. Microbes. Microbiology. Nothing can beat it. Ever. Definitely the event I miss the most. 14/10
- Disease Detectives- Very fun because I love epidemiology. Sadly, I've only been able to compete in this once, due to conflicts with EXPD. If they conflict next year, expect t e a r s NSO. (Y'all pulled through, and I thank you) 12.5/10
- Experimental Design- Very fun, yet very stressful. My partners have been amazing, especially in Division C. Annoying though, due to it's randomness. ED and EXPD are the only valid ways of abbreviating this event, don't @ me on this. 11.5/10
- Forensics- I am the analysis writer, and solving the crimes in my head is one of my favorite parts of the event. Also c h r o m a t o g r a p h y. 10.5/10
- Picture This- I remember thinking that practicing for this event was the most fun thing ever, since it's literally just pictionary. 10/10
- Designer Genes- Good event. I really enjoy the biotech and hate mitosis. I enjoy the higher level bio, and make my partner do all the probability, because m a t h. 10/10
- Can't Judge a Powder- Interesting event, but dangerous in retrospect, because they really gave a 6th grade HCl. 9/10
- Rocks and Minerals- I enjoyed spot-id, and my partner was amazing, but binder events suck. 8/10
- Protein Modeling- The only valid part of this event is naming the protein models. 2019- Vladimir Protein; 2020- Rasprotein and Aminostasia Romanov. Name your proteins after Russian historical figures or not at all. 6.9/10
- Fast Facts- Weird, but fun enough for an invy. Basically just scattergories but hard. 5.5/10
- Entomology- Bugs. I filled in for this event once, but it was weird and buggy and I remember nothing except head, thorax, abdomen. 5/10
- Road Scholar- Getting to look at maps was the saving grace of this event. I joined because I love geography, but I never really understood this event. 4/10
- Fossils- The only fun part was the ordering of the rock layers. 2.5/10
- Chemistry Lab- This event was too much for my brain to handle. Also, I hate actual chemistry. 2/10
So far, Zsg11 has volunteered at three invitationals, helping write the Disease Detectives test for the 2019 Eagle Invitational. She plans to volunteer at these invitationals again in 2020, and hopefully other ones once she graduates.
|Invitationals||Rustin Invitational||Garnet Valley Invitational||Eagle Invitational|
|2019||Heredity (Assisted ES)||Heredity (Assisted ES)||Experimental Design (Assisted ES)|
|2020||Meterology (Assisted ES)||Solon Grind||Crimebusters (ES)|
|Invys and Beyond||Eagle||CV Tryouts||Captains' Exchange|
|2020||Crime Busters (+assisted Heredity)||Designer Genes; Forensics||Disease Detectives; Forensics|
Surprisingly, Zsg11 does things outside of SciOly. Her hobbies include playing and watching soccer, reading, procrastinating on school work, and dreaming about nationals.