Des Plaines school's science team takes 3rd at state finals

  • The Science Olympiad Team from Science & Arts Academy, Des Plaines, who earned a third-place finish at the Illinois Science Olympiad State Finals.

    The Science Olympiad Team from Science & Arts Academy, Des Plaines, who earned a third-place finish at the Illinois Science Olympiad State Finals. Courtesy of Science & Arts Academy

Submitted by Science & Arts Academy
Posted4/25/2016 9:53 AM

After months of hard work and preparation, the Science Olympiad Team from Science & Arts Academy, Des Plaines, was awarded with an overall third place Finish at the Illinois Science Olympiad State Finals.

This is the third consecutive year that Science & Arts Academy has finished in the top three at the state level.


The Illinois Science Olympiad competition was held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At the state level, schools compete with 15 varsity members and up to 12 junior varsity members. Forty-six Division B (middle school) teams and 51 Division C (high school) teams competed in 28 different science events covering the areas of Life & Social Sciences, Earth & Space Science, Chemistry & Physics, Technology & Engineering, and the Inquiry & Nature of Science. Teams of two or three students competed in each of these events, as they sought to build the lightest possible bridge to hold the highest mass, analyze clues to solve a crime, keep a glider in the air for as long as possible, and much more.

SAA's Science Olympiad team earned five first place medals, and finished in the top 10 in 25 out of the 28 events that took place. Team captains, Emily Cho, Wilmette, and Matt Feinberg, Arlington Heights, both eighth-grade students, shared that although they are sad to have their Science Olympiad experience end, they have many great memories and have learned so much throughout their years in the program. Both students have been involved with Science Olympiad since they were in fifth grade.

Mary Catherine Hanafee LaPlante, Mount Prospect, a seventh-grade student who earned second place in Green Generation and fourth place in Mission Possible commented that being at state was "an awesome experience"

"Even though we didn't make it to Nationals this year, it was really fun and we learned a lot of science," said Hanafee Laplante. "I can't wait for next year!"

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Colleen Storiz, who has coached SAA's Science Olympiad Team for the past seven years shared her excitement of the thrilling third place finish.

"Coaches and students have been working for this moment since September. It's been months of hard work, teamwork, and dedication to these events. I couldn't be more proud of the accomplishments of our students. It was such a thrill when they called our name to come and receive our third place trophy," said Coach Storiz.

Though the official season for Science Olympiad has come to a close, middle school students throughout the Chicago area can continue the excitement and fun of Science Olympiad into the summer months. An officially sanctioned Illinois Science Olympiad Camp will be offered at Science & Arts Academy in June and July. Participants in this camp will have the opportunity to compete with like-minded peers in events such as Fossils, Tower Building, Crime Busters, Invasive Species, Food Science, and more. For information or to register, visit

• Submit 'Your News' at