Who We Are
YUSO was originally founded as “Science Olympiad Volunteers” in January 2013 by Ike Lee ES ‘15, Xiyu Wang BK ‘15 and Nick Billmyer DC ‘16. The three were looking to remain involved with Science Olympiad in college and started to volunteer at local competitions. They quickly found that hosting an invitational on Yale’s campus was the actually the best way to help the SO community in the Northeast, especially the newer developing teams in Connecticut. By working with state directors, regional coordinators, the University, teachers, and countless Yale students, we put together the nation’s first college student-run tournament in January 2014 and continue to host an invitational every year.
Our mission is simple. We want to leverage Yale University’s capital and human resources as best as we can to deliver a high quality Science Olympiad product for high school students and teachers. It is common for teams in the Midwest to attend multiple invitationals prior to their regional or state competitions. Why shouldn’t Northeastern teams have that luxury? We are here to serve the Northeast region at large but are also particularly interested in helping local Connecticut teams expand their SO programs by allowing them easy access to competitions in their backyard.
Since 2001, the University has invested over $1 billion in research funding, curriculum expansions, faculty appointments, and building renovations in the sciences and engineering departments. As students at a university that is traditionally focused on the humanities and social sciences, we’re glad that there’s a place at Yale for Science Olympiad.
As SO alumni, we have all had our horizons broadened, self-doubts challenged, and intellectual capacities expanded through Science Olympiad. Many of us owe our curiosity for STEM fields to our high school SO experiences and it’s important to us that today’s high school students in the Northeast have even better opportunities to develop their interests.
Yale has a long tradition of community and public service. We hope that our commitment to hosting quality Science Olympiad competitions for local teams upholds that tradition faithfully and helps to motivate high school students’ love for science, much as we were inspired not so long ago.
* The views expressed here are those of YUSO’s members and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the University.