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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Tenafly High School Shines at Science Olympiad State Finals


In a remarkable display of scientific prowess and dedication, Tenafly High School’s Science Olympiad team secured an impressive 4th place finish at the New Jersey State Finals of the Science Olympiad 2024, held on Thursday, March 19th. Among 96 schools across the state, only 27 of which qualified for the State Finals competition, THS stood out as formidable competition and showcased excellence in a variety of scientific disciplines.

The team of THS students achieved outstanding success, cinching medals in 14 out of 23 events, solidifying Tenafly’s reputation as a formidable team within the world of Science Olympiad. From Optics to Forensics, the students demonstrated their expertise and commitment to scientific inquiry. Students chose categories based on personal preference and expertise and took a test to indicate their knowledge. To reach the state competition, THS won 5th place overall in the regional competition on January 5th at Union College. 




Optics, 1st place: Yuanning (Helen) Hui (Grade 12), and Derek Cho (Grade 12)

Air Trajectory, 2nd place: Noah Jackson  (Grade 10), and Yuval Amitai  (Grade 10)

Scrambler, 3rd place: Kai Song (Grade 12), and Edmund Hod (Grade 11)

Wind Power, 4th place: Kai Song (Grade 12), and  Derek Cho, (Grade 12)

Forensics, 4th place: Andrew Lee (Grade 12), and Insuh (Sarah) Baek (Grade 11)

Forestry, 4th place: Edmund Hod (Grade 11), and Kiran Muttiah (Grade 10)

Fossils, 4th place: Kiran Muttiah (Grade 10), and Liam Tenenbaum (Grade 11)

Microbe Mission, 4th place: Elliott Yoon (Grade 12), and Jehee Nam (Grade 9)

Disease Detectives, 5th place: Elliott Yoon (Grade 12), and Jehee Nam (Grade 9)

Tower, 5th place: Noah Jackson  (Grade 10), and Yuval Amitai  (Grade 10)

Chem Lab, 6th place: Andrew Lee (Grade 12), and Derek Cho (Grade 12)

Detector Building, 6th place: Kai Song (Grade 12), and Derek Cho (Grade 12)

Ecology, 6th place: Edmund Hod (Grade 11), and Ganghyun (Tony) Yoo (Grade 11)

Robot Tour, 6th place: Kai Song (Grade 12), and Yuval Amitai (Grade 10)


Among the notable achievements, THS soared to 1st place in Optics, thanks to the efforts of seniors Helen Hui and president Derek Cho. While Cho started competing in middle school and has over six years of experience in the club, Hui joined in September of her senior year. “I think what drew me to the club was the opportunity to win awards to put on my resume, but what kept me in the club was the friends and community,” Cho commented. Reflecting on his favorite memories, Cho recounts a mix of panic and exhilaration during his event when he thought he only had five minutes left, but actually had 25 minutes left. While he approaches competitions with confidence and relaxed nerves, preparation involves meticulous note-taking and drilling problems, ensuring readiness to tackle any challenge. He encourages aspiring scientists in the club to find their passions early and stay true to themselves while pursuing excellence.

Hui’s science research teacher and the advisor of the Science Olympiad club, Ms. Aparna Subramaniam, encouraged her to join to make new connections and gain new experiences. “I’ve always admired how organized and supportive the presidents and captains are and how kind and warm Mrs. Subra is in encouraging her students to join Scioly not for winning, but simply for the experience,” Hui said. With just one year of experience in the club, Hui recommends joining to make new friends, be motivated to self-study unique topics, and feel proud to join a close community. “I was genuinely just curious about material science and optics, and I followed that little curiosity for once,” she said.

Director of engineering/building events, Kai Song is a senior who won medals in an impressive four categories. Song’s role model, Dr. Woodie Flowers, recommends practicing gracious professionalism, a guiding pillar in his life that encourages collaboration, sincerity, and kindness. Along with Flowers’s recommendation, Song encourages everyone to “do what they love, and love what they do” to find success.

The success in the Science Olympiad highlights THS’s academic achievements and underscores its commitment to nurturing future leaders in STEM. As the school continues to inspire and empower, students feel motivated and determined to conquer new challenges and make their mark. Congratulations to all the participants, advisors, and supporters for making these outstanding achievements in the NJ State Finals of Science Olympiad 2024 possible!

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About the Contributor
Kavya Chettur
Kavya Chettur, Senior Staff Writer
Kavya Chettur ('25) is excited to be a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo! She is interested in covering stories related to current events, student life, and science. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, playing lacrosse, and spending time with her friends and puppy, Benji. She looks forward to sharing her writing with an audience.