Science Olympiad 

Regional winners bring home medals from State tournament as hundreds of young scientists vie in CPS competition

May 23, 2011

More than 300 Chicago Public Schools students earlier this year participated in the CPS Science Olympiad Regional Tournament at Wilbur Wright College. One of eight regional tournaments in Illinois, the CPS Regional sent the top six middle school teams and top four high school teams to represent the district at the State Science Olympiad Tournament at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Middle school teams battled in 23 events including Disease Detectives, Battery Buggy and Junkyard Challenge. Led by their teacher Heather Rocen, Stephen Decatur Classical Elementary School’s team took the first-place prize at the tournament followed by Ole A. Thorp Elementary Scholastic Academy in second place. The team from John C. Coonley Elementary School finished in third place; Oriole Park Elementary School in fourth place; George Washington Elementary School in fifth place; and Amelia Earhart Options for Knowledge Elementary School in sixth place.


High School teams competed in 23 events including Sounds of Music, Mouse Trap Vehicle, and Towers. Albert G. Lane Technical High School’s team, led by their teacher Scott Vessalo, took the top spot. Wendell Phillips Academy High School, led by Kevin Phillips (who also served as the tournament’s director), took the second-place trophy. Kelvyn Park High School and Spry Community Links High School took the third- and fourth-place spots, respectively.


At the State Science Olympiad tournament, Decatur Classical School earned the most medals of all CPS teams with seven (one shared). Lane Tech and Spry Community Links each took home two medals for the high school teams. Students from Phillips High School took a first-place medal in the Wind Power category. Spry Community Links and Lane Tech also placed in this event, which requires teams to essentially build a propeller that generates energy from wind.


Science Olympiad tournaments are rigorous interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of team events requiring knowledge of science concepts, process skills and science applications. Students prepare for the challenges throughout the school year, focusing on biology, earth science, chemistry, physics and technology.


Since its launch in 2007, CPS has employed school-based Science Olympiad clubs to prepare students for the competition. Supported by the CPS Teaching + Learning Science team Opens in a new window icon, the program has grown to more than 20 school-based clubs in just four years. For more information about the Science Olympiad program or to learn more about Science enrichment activities, contact Jean Westrick at


Congratulations to all our students who participated.


Learn more about Decatur.


Learn more about Lane Tech.


Learn more about Spry Community Links.



Was this information helpful? Give us your feedback. Better yet, tell us a story about your child's school. Share your story.

Photo gallery
Science Olympiad
Photo gallery: Science Olympiad