• Hira Qureshi

Afternoon clubs are helping students prepare for science competitions


Photo by Farhana Chowdhury

Pleasant View School students are preparing for upcoming science competitions with the help of afternoon clubs and science teacher Farhana Chowdhury.

Students will be participating in four competitions this year: Science Bowl, “You be the Chemist” challenge and the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Chemistry Olympiad and the regional first-year chemistry competition.

The afternoon clubs are preparing the students weekly for the competitions. Science Bowl meets on Mondays, ACS competitions meet on Wednesdays and “You be the Chemist” meets Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

About 15-17 students are currently participating in the clubs. Students in grades 10-12 are participating in Science Bowl and ACS competitions. Middle school students are competing in the “You be the Chemist” challenge.

“We’re doing a lot of problem solving,” Chowdhury said. “So it’s like a lot of practice but whatever they can balance with their regular coursework.”

PVS has been selected for a team of five students to participate in the Science Bowl, a fast-paced academic competition for teams of high school students across the state of Tennessee to test their math and science skills. The competition will be held Feb. 29.

ACS's Chemistry Olympiad and the first-year chemistry competition are three-hour long knowledge-based exams on advanced chemistry. Students must pass the test in order to proceed to the next round. The test will be in March or April.

“You be the Chemist” challenge is a multilevel academic competition that tests students on chemistry and elevates STEM careers for middle schoolers. The state-level competition will be on March 7.

These competitions are difficult and require much practice so that’s why Chowdhury decided to create a time slot for students to prepare.

Chowdhury said despite the rigor of the competitions, students enjoy participating because they get to meet other like-minded students.

“So throughout my experience of going to the Science Bowl and chemistry competitions, I have found whether they win or not they always enjoy those working with like-minded students,” Chowdhury said. “So I guess that’s a good motivation for them to balance competing and coursework.”

Students participating in competitions:

Science Bowl:

Said Khatib

Emir Celikok

Naisha Chowdhury

Zaid Hadidi

Ali Sultan Ali

Chemistry Olympiad:

Emir Celikok

Naisha Chowdhury

Jana Elabiad

Zaid Hadidi

Chemistry First-Year Competition:

Riyaad Howlader

Yusuf Mannan

Ismael Qureshi

Ali Sultan Ali

You Be the Chemist Challenge:

Amin Awad

Ibrahim Boudaoud

Zaheen Chowdhury

Aisha Duldul

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