by Elli Warsh
The sixty-fourth Annual Merck State Science Day Competition took place on Monday; high-achieving science students took an online test competing against other students across New Jersey. The 90 minute test was administered during the school day. Science teachers selected and mentored the students who participated. WHS placed fourteenth in the state last year, according to junior Jorge Ledesma.
Students compete in biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics and environmental science, according towww.quizcase.com. Twenty-five students from WHS competed; each student took a test consisting of about 100 questions. Ledesma, who tested in the physics category, said, “It is an honor to be in the competition since only five people are chosen per [subject].”
Senior Rachel Fan said the level of competition is rigorous. Added junior Kat Ko, “[WHS] is known for its academic excellence, and I am confident that we will perform well.”
Test preparation is essential, according to Ledesma, who said, “Most of the people competing have prepared by studying for the respective AP exams...some of us will [additionally] take a textbook or do independent research.”
According to www.njacs.org, the four top-scoring students are named Merck Scholars, allowing them to spend a day at the Merck Rahway site with company researchers and enjoy a reception in their honor.
Said senior Abby Cook, who tested in the chemistry category, “I think it will be rewarding to hopefully have all of my hard work pay off.”
The ultimate goal of The Merck Institute for Science Education is “improving all students’ performance and participation in science,” according to www.mise.org. Competition results will be available at www.mssd.fdu.edu before the end of the academic year.