WYSE minds think alike
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Today, a select number of MCHS students from the WYSE club, sponsored by chemistry teacher Ms. Laurie Tessmer, will participate in a competition held at the University of St. Francis.
The group includes both junior and seniors, whom hold elevated skills in various subjects centered around sciences and engineering.
WYSE is an international program headquartered at the University of Illinois, offering the annual Academic Challenge competition, in addition to summer camps and a myriad of alternative educational programs. With the demand for a greater number of talented and diverse students devotion towards pursuing careers revolving around engineering and the sciences quickly rising, the competition itself serves as a way to kickstart that attraction.
“It’s quiet and all you hear are pencils on bubble sheets,” Mick Ward, junior, said.
This is Ward’s second year, competing in both chemistry and computer science. Ward has always been interested in computer science and plans to pursue computer engineering after high school.
Before the competition date, students involved in the club met every Tuesday since the beginning of the school year, give or take a couple of days, to take part in a plethora of practice tests and to organize fundraisers to not only raise money, but awareness of the club’s presence as well. The club made an appearance at study night days before finals and at Barnes and Noble over winter break to wrap Christmas gifts.
Subjects covered at the competition include biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, and mathematics, and based on either the students’ test scores or expressed interest in a specific topic, students are assigned to what they will be tested on come competition time. The tests consist of 50 questions which must all be completed to the best of their abilities in 45 minutes.
At last year’s competition, Minooka was only a few points from advancing as an entire team. While students can individually progress to sectionals as well, Tessmer has high hopes for the whole group this year.
“We have really good students who are dedicated to learning. I think we have a good shot,” she said.