Brahmas get a leg up on competition season

Starting off its season with an impressive win, Diamond Bar High School’s Science Olympiad team placed first out of 30 other teams in the invitational competition at Cerritos High School on Dec. 7.

The team competed in 23 different events, placing in the Top 5 in 15 of them.

Junior Kaihao Wen and senior Simon Wang took first place in the circuit lab. The duo took a written test on currents, voltage, resistance and more before moving to the hands-on portion, where they performed calculations and set up circuits.

DBHS also placed second in astronomy, dynamic planet (where members took a paper test focusing on coral reefs, tectonic plates and ocean currents), forensics, a chemistry lab, geologic mapping and machines (where they created a compound machine that could determine the ratio between two masses).

They placed third in the boomilever event, in which members built a structure attached to a single point on a wall supporting as much weight as possible in three minutes. The team was also third in code busters and water quality, fourth for anatomy, physiology and designer genes and ranked fifth in ornithology, fossils and experimental design. 

Leading the team were senior Keshav Sriram, who participated in four events, and Jay Siri and Ryan Lou, both seniors,  competing in three events each. 

To prepare for their first competition, the team held regular study meetings on Saturdays, where their engineers would test out new designs.

Senior co-captain Sean Ru explained that the idea behind these gatherings, other than preparing for the competitions, is to help build chemistry amongst the members.

“This year, our team has great synergy, always supporting each other through encouragement and planning team bonding activities,” he said via Instagram.

In addition to their study sessions, Ru said the members held a much more serious practice the day before the competition, where he gave the team a surprise test to help them perfect their notes.

“Everyone was scrambling to organize and add on to their notes, [and] some members even stayed at the meeting until 11 p.m. or stayed up really late studying,” he said.

Sophomore Eileen Zu, who competed in anatomy and physiology, designer genes and forensics, said the competition taught her to remain calm under stressful circumstances and to manage her time in order to enhance her performance.

“[To] prepare for [the] next competition, [I’ll] look at the tests they gave back to us after the first competition and look at what we got wrong and learn [it] or add it to our notes,” Zu said via Instagram.