Robotics, Math League are small but mighty competitors


Hannah Duncan, Journalist, Editor

Pencils flew anxiously across slips of paper, eager to prove themselves to the proctors. Time ticked faster and faster, and finally a bell sounded in the air. The students dropped their pencils and a collective sigh was heard throughout the room. Each hand eagerly turned in its sheet and waited for the results. The proctor proudly announced the winning team, and they jumped up from their seats, rejoicing and hugging each other.

This is what it’s like to be a team, to win something together. Students of John Dickinson High School have been participating in competitions like these for as long as we can remember, through clubs like Math League, Science Olympiad, Robotics, World Quest or TSA. With the entrance of middle schoolers through the IB Middle Years Programme, interest in clubs has only just begun to rise.  However, one question still remains: who will lead them?

Robotics Club senior Kandice Dill points out that it takes a bit of experience in order to hold up the Robotics club.

“You’re going to need teamwork and some knowledge on robotics or programming… or just building Legos.” The former team of five–now trio–laments the fact that their precious club may be at risk because of their lack of consistent members.

“A lot of people would just come and go, and there were really only five of us who actually did stuff,” Dill says.

Dill brings up the fact that minimal dedication is necessary for the things you love. What gets people amped up about building robots, then?

“No one at our school is interested in robotics. they prefer sports, but…asking friends to join normally [worked]. It was all about who really wanted to, though,” Dill says. The trio, consisting of only seniors, wishes to recruit underclassmen to carry on their legacy.

Math League is another club that has existed for ages, with harsh competitors such as Sanford School and Wilmington Charter. Senior Gary Snyder comments on our unrecognized potential success.

“The struggle is people thinking that they aren’t good enough at math. It’s really easy if you break it down into steps,” Snyder says. Recent participation has been low because of the notion that you must be ‘advanced’ or ‘talented’ to compete in a math competition. “[Students] are certainly intimidated,” Snyder adds.

Math League requires a solid team and dedication. It takes five people to compete, with current enrollment being just that. Compared with other schools, Dickinson is severely outnumbered. Snyder believes that the only thing holding us back is the lack of people, not the lack of skill.

“There are points where you have to buckle down and do work, but there are other times where you can just be yourself,” Snyder states.

For these students and others, clubs unite students with common interests and goals and give something to look forward to.  Students take pride in contributing to their teams’ success.