Vienna’s Oakcrest School made history as the first and only all-girls team to compete at the Virginia State Science Olympiad on March 23 at the University of Virginia.
Coach and teacher Dr. Kat Hussmann received the Virginia Science Olympiad (VASO) Committee's Coach of the Year Award and sophomores Annaliese Anderson and Katiebelle Thompson finished 5th in the state in the science-caching event.
Although this is the fourth year Oakcrest has participated in Science Olympiad, it's the first time the school has sent a team to the state level. Oakcrest’s Upper School team competed in 23 events covering everything from engineering to geology to genetics.
Of the 24 high school teams who were at the state tournament, Oakcrest finished in the top ten in the categories of Designer Genes, Fossils, and Protein Modeling. Annaliese and Katiebelle grabbed the fifth-place medal in science-caching by traveling around the UVA campus to collect the most QR codes in the course of 50 minutes. Dr. Hussmann's award recognized her leadership and contributions to promoting STEM education over the years—not only has she headed up Oakcrest’s Science Olympiad team and led the first all-girls team to states, but she also has done important volunteer work for Science Olympiad.
“Virginia Science Olympiad was delighted to welcome the team from Oakcrest School, our first all-girl school, to the State tournament. We are proud that 48 percent of the participants in Science Olympiad are girls and glad that Oakcrest School is an active part of the movement to inspire young women in STEM fields,” said Karen Emmons, VASO State Director. “Dr. Hussmann founded and has grown the program considerably at Oakcrest, as well as being a valuable test writer and judge for VASO, and is a worthy recipient of our 2019 Coach of the Year award. Congratulations to both Oakcrest and Dr. Hussmann!”
Oakcrest School is an independent school for girls in grades 6-12 guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church. For over 40 years, the school has provided an exceptional liberal arts education to girls of all faiths while fulfilling its mission to grow, challenge and inspire its students to thrive in college and throughout their lives. Learn more at Oakcrest.org.
"It was a wonderful weekend, and we are grateful for all of the support for Science Olympiad throughout the year," Dr. Hussmann said.
Science Olympiad is a school-based program for students from third grade through their senior year in high school. It offers students the opportunity to improve their understanding in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and to work together in teams to learn new skills. Virginia science Olympiad (VASO) is a non-profit organization engaging and challenging students in these disciplines through team-based competitive tournaments in Virginia.