WJ Should Do More To Celebrate Scientific Excellence

An Outcry For Recognition


Photo by Steven Shockley

Event leaders of Walter Johnson Science Olympiad celebrate another round of success.

The basketball teams, the football team, and the lacrosse teams parade into the auditorium during pep rallies with pride and grin on their faces. Students, teachers, and staff cheer for them\; I, too, cheer for them, but not without a burning sense of envy. As a competitive member of both the Science Olympiad and the Math Team, I’ve spoken to my friends numerous times, sharing my hope that our efforts on math and sciences could be celebrated the way athletes are applauded. Now, I’m done just speaking with my friends\; I want to share our story. This is an outcry for our recognition.
Dear reader, I realize it would be hard to ask you to be sympathetic to us without knowing exactly who we are and what we do. Thus, allow me to share with you the way Science Olympiad, or SciOly, as affectionately called by its members, works.
Unlike most sports teams, anyone’s participation in SciOly is guaranteed, as there is no limit to the number of members we can have. Each member is assigned to three events with different focus and missions. I’m the leader of Circuit Lab, in which we study and play with components of the circuit. The amount of time each competitive member devotes to the club is no less than a fall or spring sport athlete to their respective sport.
In SciOly, most of us are really passionate about our events. Personally, I was always excited about the meeting and often forget time. I also enjoy calibrating instruments and discussing problems with my friends after school, which made us more like a huge family than simply a club. Having a pre-game hangout the evening before a competition and a whole team dinner the night after are just some of the ways that we resemble a coherent sports team. Participating in a SciOly competition is a mind-opening process, literally. My partner and I think as a single entity, sharing thoughts fluently and rapidly. The feeling is similar to that of an athlete under the influence of adrenaline\; our hearts are racing, and our minds are soaring. Furthermore, the way we cheer for those who receive medals would make you mistake us for a track team that has just won the championship.
The Math Team is a bit more selective. Although everyone is invited, the pace of the presentations and the demand for critical thinking skills have intimidated more than a few. My favorite part about Math Team competitions is the group sessions since my teammates never cease to surprise me with creative approaches to the problems.
Despite being competitive, both SciOly and the Math Team fulfill the biggest goal of clubs: socializing. In junior year, I transferred to WJ from Taiwan and did not know anyone. An event leader used to hold meetings in his house every Saturday, after which his friends and I just played board games and hung out. They became the first friends I made here at WJ and my best friends today. The process was heart-warming, and my newfound friends also helped me overcome the language barrier quickly. I wouldn’t be the version of me now if I didn’t join SciOly two years ago.
Please, recognize us as competitive members of WJ. Give us a space in the hallways to showcase our extensive collection of trophies and medals. Give us a chance to demonstrate our pride in the pep rally. We won the regional championship this year and made WJ known for its scientific excellence. I humbly ask for your attention to make us known in school, known for our purpose, known for our efforts.