Science teachers Dr. Joseph Gill and Ginger Chapman sponsor the Upper School Tampa Prep Science Olympiad team. Historically, student teams compete in person at state and national events hosted by the Science Olympiad. Organizers surveyed parents and students earlier in the year and discovered that while they cannot host in-person competitions, kids still very much wanted to continue competing. To honor that drive, Science Olympiad organizers hosted the first-ever Country-Wide Science Olympiad Invitational conducted virtually. 

Tampa Prep’s Science Olympiad team, guided by Chapman and Gill, competed in this innovative event on Saturday, November 7, from Tampa Prep. The events consisted mostly of tests and experimental data analysis. The students prepared in advance by studying for three to four different events each and took turns competing using their iPads. Students collaborated with other students to answer each question or analyze each data set. 

Ryan K. ‘22 said, "I loved finally being able to have another Science Olympiad competition after States was canceled due to COVID last year. At this practice competition, we learned how to use the new software in preparation for the upcoming invitational competition in just under a month. We also had a chance to see how prepared we were for our events, and we are all actively preparing for the next competition."

Dr. Gill talks passionately about Science Olympiad by saying, “I really enjoy watching students learn about disciplines of science that they may never have heard of. A lot of times they find a new passion for science when they are given an event that they initially were not interested in doing. For example, we had a student a few years ago assigned to an event called "Fermi Questions," where the goal was to estimate very large quantities based on prior knowledge. The level of mathematical and scientific skills she was able to fabricate was astonishing!”