Last week, our children and their Science Olympiad team competed in the Friendship Invitational, on the campus of Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, TN. This year, there were 24 teams competing, from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and maybe even North Carolina – very strong competition.
Invitationals are the not-so-secret weapon of strong teams to prepare for Regionals – the event that qualifies a team to State, which is followed by Nationals, if you win State.
So really, in the big scheme of things, invitationals “do not count,” but they do. They give the students a feel for where they are in their studies and against their competition.
Science Olympiad Division B means middle school grades: 6-9. The coaches will take very mature fifth graders if they see fit. But once you reach 10th grade, you have to transfer to the high school team, which competes in Division C. Our children are in Division B, but we have a lot of kids, so Cedar Springs Division B has two teams: Team A and Team B. Stay with me here. Do not confuse Division with Team.
This year, the coaches have asked our children to be on Team A (of Division B), after being on Team B and KAH (Knoxville Area Homeschoolers) in previous years. In previous years, Team A has qualified to State and even Nationals several times. But those kids have now gone up to Division C. This is a “next level” experience for our children.
Not only are they in Team A, our son is the team captain. What that means is that he competes in 5-6 events, while most students only participate in 1-3 events. Also, his events are such that most students do not like or do not have the math skills for. I explained more about our children’s events in this post about the Dodgen Invitational.
The Friendship Invitational helped motivate our team because they ended up fourth overall, which is a little low. Yes, it is a good result, out of 24 teams, but this team knows and wants more. When you leave a competition with that taste of “I need to study more” in your mouth, then you have accomplished a great thing.
The kids know they have four more weeks until Regionals and they are working hard to prepare to win. We like the color gold. Yes, many other colors are lovely, but gold is the best.