PMHS Science Olympiad team qualifies for states for the first time in six years


Pelham Memorial High School’s Science Olympiad team secured third place at regionals on Feb. 1. Through this, the team has qualified to go to the state championship on March 13-14. 

Science Olympiad is an academic competition consisting of challenges that the participants must complete better and faster than their competitors. Challenges range from memorizing scientific key terms to competing to construct the most supportive miniature bridge.

The head coach of the Olympiad team, Joseph DiBello, said his team was able to score well at regionals because all team members stayed late and put in extra work, in addition to persevering when they encountered problems. While the Pelham team had not qualified in six years, this was coach Dibello’s first win.

The culture of Science Olympiad has changed alongside its fortunes. In an interview, DiBello said he preferred the title “coach,” explaining that it was the team’s win, not his. Team members are excited about going to states in March and some decided to give up their February break to prepare their projects as best they can.

DiBello, ever the realist, said the chances of a win at states were slim.

“The team, however, can learn from this experience, so we can possibly do better next year,” he said.

The team’s medals from this year’s regional competition are as follows:

Anatomy and Physiology – 2nd – Vedika Basavatia and Asher Lal
Circuit Lab – 5th – Shreyas Basavatia and Julia Meyerson
Codebusters – 4th – Sarita Nagesar, Julia Meyerson, and Sophie Xu
Designer Genes – 1st – Emily Nakayama and  Peter Wei
Detector Building – 3rd – Julia Meyerson and Shreyas Basavatia
Disease Detective – 4th – Emily Nakayama and Peter Wei
Dynamic Planit – 2nd – Owin Gong and Ann Liu
Geologic Mapping – 2nd – Sophie Xu and Asher Lal
Ornithology – 4th – Ann Liu and Sarita Nagesar
Wright Stuff – 2nd – Vedika Basavatia and Robina Shepherd