Science & Arts Academy Olympiad team advances

  • The Science & Arts Academy Science Olympiad Team.

    The Science & Arts Academy Science Olympiad Team. Courtesy of Linda Spataro

Updated 5/4/2021 10:38 AM

The Science & Arts Academy Science Olympiad Team has qualified for the 2021 National Tournament after earning second place in Division B at the state competition.

The National Science Olympiad Tournament is one of the nation's most prestigious science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions for middle school and high school teams.


The 37th annual Science Olympiad National Tournament will be hosted in partnership with Arizona State University from May 17-22.

For the first time, the competition will be held virtually. Rigorous events will be led by experts from government agencies, top universities, industry and Science Olympiad state chapters covering topics in engineering, physics, epidemiology, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology and coding.

The 2020-21 Science Olympiad team is the third Science & Arts Academy team to qualify for the National Competition.

Throughout the school year, SAA Science Olympiad members practiced after school and on Saturdays preparing for tournaments and invitational competitions, and will continue their rigorous schedule in preparation for the National Tournament next month.

Faculty, staff and parents volunteer countless hours coaching teams in various competitions across the Science Olympiad slate of different events.

"We are incredibly proud of our varsity team, whose dedication and passion for science was evident as they have adapted to practicing and competing fully remotely this year," said head coach Darrin Bonecutter.

Bonecutter, along with additional SAA faculty and parent volunteer coaches, will lead 18 Varsity events and several Junior Varsity trial events to the National Tournament.

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SAA Science Olympiad Varsity students headed to the 2021 National Tournament include: Evan Blitz, Alexander Danielski, Leir Dierdorff, Amanda Feinberg, Nicholas Georgakopoulos, Simon Gidalevitz, Twisha Hegde, Jackson Hirsch, Alexander Myerholtz, Nikhil Nair, Evelyn Neyman, Donald Price, Roshan Shah, Rahm Sheinfeld, and Ethan Terry.

A special thanks to the dedicated current and alumni parent coaches: Mary Helen Arthur, Steve Bayer, Joanna Beu, Darrin Bonecutter, Marc Chodera, Aaron Feinberg, CC Dierdorff, Natasha Jindal, Aarti Malik, Darlene Neumann, Larry Neumann, Kajal Patel, Simeon Peebler, Chirag Shah, Shilpi Shah, Ritesh Shah, Colleen Storiz, Paul Storiz, David Terry, Shirley Terry, Lisa Torres and Caroline Welch.

"We couldn't be prouder of our Science Olympiad students, coaches and families for this wonderful accomplishment. Science & Arts Academy will be participating in the National competition for an impressive third time, representing our school with class and distinction. This was a Science Olympiad season unlike any other, and I am awed and inspired by the resiliency and adaptability of our team," said Tim Costello, head of school, Science & Arts Academy.

Science & Arts Academy in Des Plaines fosters excellence through a specially balanced program that incorporates methodologies and approaches to learning for gifted children in junior kindergarten through eighth grade.

SAA supports gifted students in understanding and seizing the full capacity of their potential while finding a home away from home.

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