COLORADO SPRINGS — One local science group is making leaps and bounds in the science world.
Homeschool Science Colorado is local group organized to allow homeschooled students in grades 6 through 12 participate in the state and nation’s Science Olympiad. Recently, the team won a state-wide Olympiad and they’re on their way to compete in Nationals this week. But that’s only part of the team’s story.
Science Olympiad is a non-profit organization created to help young students excel in all areas of science. The organization hosts a number of competitions where students compete in all areas of science, including, biology, earth science, technology, chemistry and physics. These competitions are challenging and teach students how to think outside of the box while competing. Homeschool Science Colorado is unique because the students are homeschooled and face a number of challenges because they have to schedule times to meet in-person in order to grow as a team of scientists. Recently, Homeschool Science Colorado won a statewide Science Olympiad and the group is set to compete in nationals this week.
“We do intend to go and do our absolute best against some of the best scientific minds in the country. As I mentioned earlier, we competed against them at these invitationals and they are absolutely phenomenal. It’s jaw-dropping what some of these kids can learn and what they can do at such a young age,” said Cindy Puhek, the Homeschool Science Colorado coach.
Homeschool Science Colorado will compete with 60 prestigious teams nationally this Friday, hoping to bring back the hardware to the state of Colorado. But those on the team tell me it isn’t about winning, it’s about what the program has allowed them to learn over the years.
Two members of the team have been able to do something many teenagers don’t do. They’re on their way to college. 14-year-old Homeschool Science Colorado team-member, Omar, has already started taking local community college classes. But he will officially become a student at Colorado School of Mines in the fall. His best friend and teammate, Caleb will be making the trip to start as a sophomore at Virginia Tech in the fall at just 16 years old. They both say this homeschooled science program has helped prepare them to do just that.
“It’s helped me get into the mindset of an independent learner. While in Science Olympiad, you research by yourself to fulfill a list of roles, in college classes and college, you also have to research for projects, assignments, quizzes, and things like that,” said Omar Mansurov, a Homeschool Science Colorado Teammate.
“I’ve taken circuit lab for three years, which has been really fascinating and I feel like that has helped me definitely want to pursue a career in robotics or artificial intelligence.”
As for Omar, he says he wants to pursue a career in engineering and he will decide which area of engineering is best suited when the time comes,” said Caleb McIrvin, a Homeschool Science Colorado Teammate
The pair says it will be hard separating because they are both best friends but they are both excited to use the skills they’ve learned in this program to excel in their science careers.