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Science Olympiad: The Exceptional Sport of Academics

Enlightening. Challenging. Intense.

Never captured before, one high school team journeys through this exceptional sport of academics. Three teammates must confront conflicts and battle obstacles in order to make the cut for the Varsity team. As they compete their way to the top of the nation, will they find success or will they find failure?

With 11 State Championships and 5 consecutive top ten places in the Nation, Mounds View’s Science Olympiad team has high expectations. A riveting and intense film proves just how competitive science can be.

  • Elise Tsai
    Basically Perfect (PSA)
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Elise Tsai

Elise Tsai is a 17 year old nationally awarded photojournalist and filmmaker from the Twin Cities of Minnesota.

She loves traveling the world and has captured everything from the wonders of Machu Picchu to the freezing ice caves of Iceland.

Her ultimate hope is to give a voice to the voiceless and humanize the dehumanized. Through her photography and films, she seeks to to tell truthful stories that offer new perspectives and engage relevant conversation.

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Director Statement

When I first started filming for this documentary nearly a year ago, I had no idea what Science Olympiad was. But as I traveled to every competition and attended every meeting, I understood that, in some ways, this team was just like any other sports team. In other ways, it was exceptional.

I wanted to create a film that not only captured the hard work of my classmates, but their individual personalities. The "geeks" and "nerds" of my high school were real people with real stories- and I sought to give them the recognition they deserved.