Science News: Solar Energy Speaker, Science & Chemistry Olympiad

Solar scientist Kate Trinkaus visits Physics Class
In May, Mrs. Connelly invited a former student, Kate Trinkaus to visit her physics classes to present about her research in solar technology. Trinkaus is beginning a doctorate in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Oxford in the fall as a Clarendon Scholar. The goal of her research will be to make organic solar cells — the solar technology with the lowest environmental footprint — more efficient at turning light into electricity so they can help accelerate the renewable energy transition.

Hopkins students enjoyed the presentation about practical applications of physics to solve climate and energy problems, and asked many questions. 

Trinkaus graduated with her Masters in Physics from the University of St Andrews in 2021.  Her dedication to reversing the climate crisis motivated her to find a field where she could make a difference, which led her to renewable energy and specifically solar cells early on – in fact, it’s why she decided to pursue a physics degree. She decided to take a gap year before beginning a doctoral degree to assist with and learn more about implementing climate solutions in the real world and to develop skills that will increase her impact beyond academia alone. Over the past year, she has been working with several environmental groups across the state including New Haven Climate Movement, CT Climate Crisis Mobilization, Sunrise CT, and Sierra Club CT. 

Science Olympiad

Two Hopkins Science Olympiad teams competed in a somewhat unconventional CT State Science Olympiad competition on Sunday, April 3. The competition took place at Hopkins run by our very own coaches, Sarah Leite, Priscilla Encarnação, Ashley Sjolund, Maura Foley. Students competed in 23 different events ranging from "Forensics" to "Experimental Design" to "Gravity Vehicle." 

Team A earned an impressive 2nd place overall, just missing a spot for nationals, while Team B earned an equally notable 9th place out of 40 teams. 

We had many standout performances, receiving 1st place in:
It’s About Time - Arin B. ‘23 and Vittorio M. ‘24
Forensics - Savan P. ’23 and Amy Z. ‘22
Experimental Design - Arin B. ‘23, Vittorio M. ‘24 and William C. ‘22
Write It Do It - Cameron M. ‘22 and Florence P. ‘24

We earned 2nd place in:
Chemistry Lab - Amy Z. ‘22 and Arin B. ‘23
Write It Do It - Michael K. ‘23 and Alyssa F. ‘24
Disease Detectives - Benji P.‘25 and Arin B. ‘23

3rd place honors were earned in 
Codebusters - Zach B. ‘22, Will C. ‘22 and Sarvin B. ‘24
Dynamic Planet - a Charles W. ‘22 and Price C.‘24

Students demonstrated a love for science, dedication, and amazing teamwork, and they represented Hopkins brilliantly!

Chemistry Olympiad

Over the Hopkins spring break on Saturday, March 26, four Hopkins students took the Local Chemistry Olympiad exam sponsored by ACS (American Chemical Society). 31 students from multiple schools participated in the New Haven section exam and four Hopkins students finished 11th, 7th, 4th and 3rd. 

Only 2 students per school are permitted to qualify for the next round, which is the National Chemistry Olympiad exam. Joy X. ‘23 and Arin B. ‘23 were our top two scorers and made the cut for the next round. Joy and Arin took the National Chemistry Olympiad exam on Saturday April 30. This exam was a full day of chemistry and consisted of multiple choice and free response questions in addition to a hands-on experimental laboratory component. These exams will be scored on May 14th. Congratulations to Joy and Arin!

Science faculty Sarah Leite has been writing test questions for the Chemistry Olympiad exams since 2020 and was asked for the first time this year to grade the National Chemistry Olympiad exams. She traveled to Washington, DC to ACS Headquarters on Friday May 13 to grade exams. Only 15 people in the entire country write and 10 grade these exams. Congratulations to Mrs. Leite for such an honor! 
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