Another season has started for Warren Central’s Science Olympiad team, with a great deal of news rules and regulations to help protect all participants from COVID-19.
“I think with our school schedule, it will be different to get to practices and keep each other accountable. I think we will still really do well at competition, though despite all of these hoops we need to jump through,“ Science Olympiad coach Lauren Martin said.
Along with Warren’s efforts to protect students, the Science Olympiad board also has changed the rules, competitions, and events used for the season to accommodate and protect participants from COVID-19. They are using the same events from last year, changing rules and parameters of events to limit contact, and complications with the new option to have at home competitions.
“The new rules certainly are interesting. They definitely affect events more than students, as for right now, these competitions we go to will be all online, a new setup that will make for some different but new experiences, and provide a challenging way for us to compete with the other teams, ” senior Darian Spencer said.
Previous competitions have multiple rooms set up for different events. Usually lasting for an entire day, teams are spread out by competitions usually by the hour, and all put together in auditorium or theater for the awards and final scores, and with COVID-19, this obviously is not possible. So the Science Olympiad committee has made it possible to do online competitions, having teams do all their events at their home or school, making it virtually impossible to increase the spread of the virus.
“I think there will definitely be more guidance on the aspect of competing away that will come out. All testing events will have to be distributed either online or given early for the coach to have the opportunity to give it. It is all guessing at this time as to how we will compete in our events, but we are excited,” Martin said.
With online competitions, teams are becoming worried of cheating during events and a difficult way to maintain a just competition, with the ease of technology at our fingertips, cheating, intentional or not, is more likely to happen.
“As coaches, we will not tolerate cheating on competitions. It is not fair to our competitors, it is not fair to our teammates, and frankly it is not fair to ourselves if we cheat on events. We wouldn't do it in person, we won't do it the competition is at home,” Martin said.
Even with all the new rules and online competitions, the Warren Central team is looking well with a few weeks of practice under their belts already, it is just a matter of time before we see how hard they have been working when their first competition rolls around.
“I think the new team is great. It's really awesome seeing some new faces in Science Olympiad. I have full-faith in the new team to be as good or even better than past Science Olympiad teams because already I can see their dedication to their work and events,” Spencer said.