St. Michael Foundation has been taking part in the Malta Junior Science Olympiad since it started in 2014. For the second year running, our Science students won second place in this prestigious competition.
Since 2014, the Malta Science Centre has been organising a Malta Junior Science Olympiad. All Form 5 students, from all schools around Malta and Gozo are able to register through their school.
On November 14th 2015, the Olympiad was held, at St. Theresa’s College. The event began at 9.00am and finished at noon. There was a maximum of three hours to finish three booklets on each science; biology, chemistry and physics. Each booklet consisted of a set of questions together with an investigation/experiment on each science. The school which finished in the least amount of time and had the most correctly answered questions would be the winner. We nearly took the whole three hours but we were quite certain of what we had written down. We had already decided to work as a team, in fact that was the whole reason why three students were chosen, not one. Other students opted to work individually, but we preferred to work as a team as we discussed answers, corrected each other and gave suggestions.
We tackled the questions first. The questions which were asked were not the typical, run-of-the-mill questions. They were different from the ones we had practiced at school. But we stayed calm, logically looked at each question and answered them as clearly and as accurately as we could.
With an hour and a half left to go, we finished the questions and we turned our focus to the experiments. The experiments weren’t simple either. We didn’t have method, or a clear set of instructions to tell us what to do. We had to come up with our own experiment based on the little information the question gave us. Although we knew very well the topics which were being asked, we didn’t quite know what experiment we had to perform. We looked down at our bench to see what apparatus we were given and, after a little thinking and creativity, we figured out what we had to do. We did worry if what we were doing was wrong, especially since we saw the other teams performing their own experiments, however we remained confident and, an hour later, we concluded our experiments and we handed in our booklets. These are some of the marks of a good Olympiad: logic, ingenuity and confidence.
To get the results stating who placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd we had to wait almost two weeks. Two weeks of suspense, anticipation and nerves. Nevertheless, the day we had been waiting for arrived; the 26th November 2015 - the day for the Science Olympiad prize giving ceremony. We were all so nervous waiting until the results were disclosed, as we were seeing all the competing schools sitting beside us. However, as confident as we were we didn’t want to get our hopes up and believe we placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd so that we wouldn’t be disappointed. We kept telling ourselves that it was already brilliant that we were even chosen to participate in such a competition so it wouldn’t be the end of the world if our names wouldn’t be called up.
Sure enough we were called up as we placed 2nd in the Science Olympiad of 2015 and, at that moment, we were probably the happiest people in the world, we couldn’t even believe it, we were elated! So all this goes to show how teamwork, logic, ingenuity and confidence helped us win 2nd place.
The Science Olympiad was probably one of the most amazing experiences of our lives and a fantastic opportunity. It was thanks to our science teachers, who gave us the confidence and urged us to take this opportunity, without them, we wouldn’t be writing this today.
Written by: Francesca Karlsson