BY Santiago Serrano
Amid a flurry of activity ranging from people looking over solutions to others marking out and building the space they needed was one guy sitting behind a computer, quietly taking attendance, and orchestrating this controlled madness, his name? Jake Dyke. The club? Science olympiad. The one thing everyone had in common? They were all eating animal crackers.
Quickly into our conversation I got to the bottom of the cracker caper, the teacher sponsor Mrs. Bradley has a whole stash hidden in her room for the kids to munch on while they work, but I was not satisfied I needed to know the reasoning behind this meeting of minds- that to came quickly, each group had an assignment that they needed to finish for competition ranging from studying for a test to researching and building an instrument.
I want to know more about the president though, and he was more than happy to oblige with one of the best cramming stories I have ever heard,
He said, “[I] Spent 3 hours getting information the night before the competition till 8:30, last 30 minutes I found something new and showed it to the rest of the club, so it showed up on the test as a 12 part question. Naturally I was pretty stoked, my partner did not know what to do and was looking at me like i’m freak…. cuz I am.”
He left me with two pieces of advice, check out Trent’s and Xian O’s groups, and that science olymopiad was about giving your all, because what made him president was not that he was the smartest but because“ [I} found that I was the latest person to stay and worked outside meetings a lot, figured I should put back in what I got out.”
Without further ado I leapt to get a closer look at a gaggle of guys grouped around a large box they were procedurally cutting into smaller pieces. I stood by and watched as, Trent Famuliner 12, one of their group members came by to explain what exactly they were planning to make. He explained that they were simple making an arena to house their project, a contraption that needed to raise a block, but for each extra step added in they got more points. When I asked
He responded, “Always liked stem, making things with my hands, and a lot of people told me to join. Didn’t want to at first, but I don’t regret the decision”
Not to be outshone by more boisterous boys, I gladly sat down with Xiaonuo Fan who was busy researching for her project, building a mousetrap car that would go a set distance without overshooting it, even though this was her first year it was clear to anyone who passed by that she was dedicated to the club. When I asked her why she liked to be part of science olympiad,
She answered, “Everyone is participating – not super serious- not super relaxed”, and that
“ great team- a place you can really have something to accomplish and be proud about, and to work
I left the classroom with a much greater understanding of what exactly was happening in room 203, several groups of kids working in tandem with each other all while being directed by the senior officials who were there to encourage innovation. All in all while it might be a tad late to join up this year this club seems to be perfect for those of you out there with a passion for science and exploration, so don’t be a stranger and drop by room 203 on a tuesday to see if this might be something your interested in.