Olympiad Overload

By Pranav Padmanabhan

The logo of the American Mathematics Competition or AMC, a contest many Charter students participate in every year. Photo courtesy of the American Mathematics Competitions.

Upon hearing the word “olympiad,” the first thought that likely comes to mind is the Science Olympiad, a venture that the Charter School of Wilmington performs quite well in. However, beyond that are the many Science Olympiads, contests those in this school are quite familiar with.

All of the olympiads begin with regional competitions and eventually culminate at an international competition dedicated to a certain field of science, whether it be the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) or International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL).

The premier example of the olympiads at Charter begins with the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC), a 75-minute, 25-question test with interesting problems encompassing various fields of mathematics. Every year, students, mostly from Charter’s Math League team, take the test to try to progress to the next level, the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, or AIME. Few make it past this stage, but those who do earn untold glory. Qualifying for these higher level competitions adds a gem to any student’s résumé.

Each of these olympiads contains interesting problems in specific fields of science. The North American Computational Linguistics Open Competition (NACLO), a competition that I attended, included problems on deciphering ancient languages, analyzing complex grammars, and translating to and from little-spoken languages.

Or, as many did on January 28, take the F=ma test, an examination that assesses one’s knowledge of physics, starting from classical mechanics. It offers a pathway to the prestigious International Physics Olympiad (IPhO), a competition that, in 2018, Charter’s very own YuQing Xie had the honor of competing in, winning a gold medal.

All in all, the Science Olympiads offered at this school present unique opportunities for bright students to show off their skills in various fields of science. Without a doubt, students benefit from taking them, whether it be improving one’s knowledge of a field or participating in prestigious international competitions.