Jaguars Crushing Science


Angelin Porter // Photo by: Hailey Tesser

Camila Escobar and Savannah Searcy

   Over the week of spring break, several PPCHS students represented the school when they competed virtually in the Florida States Science Olympiad Competition.

   Battling it out in the competition were juniors Anjali Balla, Nicole Becerra, Matthew Castillo, Sushant Kannan, Tejpreet Kaur, Ahil Mahendra, Chelsea Ugwuozor, and Luca Vega-Franco, along with sophomores Emily Brown, Matthew Estevez, Valerie Glen, Lucas Porven, Nikhil Sangamkar, and Isabella Simko, and freshmen Mia Fu, Jonathan Kim, Benjamin Nguyen, and Angelin Porter.

   Leading up to the competition, the team prepared themselves by prepping and retrieving all of their information for the event.

   “I was very confident that my team and I were going to make it to states,” says Lucas, “and we did!”

   Lucas and his teammate Valerie placed in two out of the three events that they competed in at the previous competition before states.

   “States was a whole different ball game though,” Lucas expresses. “The online version of it [was] very disorganized by the committee, and it also made me disappointed when the committee took out a few events that many of our members placed in, which definitely threw us off a bit.”

   While competing, there were many different emotions going on throughout the team. “The overall energy was very tired, stressed, excited, anxious, and hopeful, while still hopeless at times,” Mia expresses.

      In addition, Mia Fu and Annabelle Acevedo placed third in the state in Bio Process lab.

   Mia also placed second in the state in the Dynamic Planet category along with Angelin Porter, and both students also placed second in the state in the Food Science category.

   After the competition, the team all celebrated their wins in their own special ways. Lucas and a few of his friends that were also at the competition celebrated by going to a party, “Because we knew we already made it to states, haha,” he says.

   “I was just yelling,” says Mia with laughter. “It was very surprising.” 

   For the live announcements of those who placed in the competition, some of the team gathered in C Building to celebrate, to which there was a lot of singing, hugging, and overall celebration of one another.

   Congratulations to the team on all of their wonderful accomplishments!