Clubs Gear up for Spring Activities

Isabel Owens, Staff Writer


The Academic Decathlon Club attended a tournament on February 1, held at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, and are now awaiting the results. “We’ve been meeting and reviewing our material, doing student driven activities as well as basic review, quizzes, and activities,” said senior Tristan Caro, AcaDeca captain.

The tournament included 10 different competitions: 7 tests on subjects such as literature, economics, and math, and 3 subjective tests on speech, interviewing, and essay writing.

According to Caro, their 4th tournament of the year will be a regional rather than county competition, so schools from outside of the county will be present.

“I’m hopeful that we’re going to win because we have a strong team, but Acalanes is strong as well, so I hope we can pull through,” Caro said.

Robotics Club

Robotics Club is gearing up for the Northern California Championship on February 23, for which they have attended 4 qualifiers and won 6 trophies. The club ultimately qualified for the championship as an “Inspire Award” candidate by being one of the best teams both on and off the field with their robot and their positive attitude toward the competition.

Robotics has been meeting for 3 hours after school on Fridays, and has recently ordered parts for a robot that they will use to compete at the championship.

According to senior Kourosh Arasteh, club president, the robot has been evolving since December. “Our robot has been adapting to the competition. We’re constantly in a state of building and rebuilding, and making our robot as best we can for the next competition,” he said.

The process for building a robot is arduous, according to teacher Nita Madra, club sponsor. “They have to design the robot, they have to brainstorm, and then they have to build. They usually meet at the coach’s house to build the robot, and there are programmers that program the robot,” she said.

While winners from the Northern California Championship usually compete in the Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship in April, this year they will advance from the regionals to the super regionals, and then on to the championship.

According to the FTC website, this competition offers students a chance to apply math and science concepts, develop problem solving and team cooperation skills, and qualify for over $13 million in college scholarships.

Robotics club placed 1st at their last competition, which included 32 teams rather than usual 18.

“I’m actually very confident in our team because, short of technical difficulties, our team has done really well, and I think we have a really solid chance,” he said.

Math Club

Madra also hosts the Math Club, which takes part in Mandlebrot competitions after school on Tuesdays or Thursdays. In competitions, there are 3 teams and 4 or 6 individual tests. The tests are sent to each school on a predetermined date, and results are sent back to the contest coordinator. According to Madra, the club has been doing individual tests since October, and they took their first team test in January.

“In math club, we prepare for the competitions, and we try to look at interesting math problems, math concepts, and we have presentations,” said junior Gyu Bin Jang, co-president.

In addition to regular after-school competitions, the Math Club will compete in the Stanford Math Tournament in February. “We have individual tests for algebra, calculus, advanced math, geometry, and we just choose 2 topics,” Jang said.

Math club is also looking forward to the Berkely Math Tournament on March 22.

Bhangra Club

The Bhangra Club combines the traditional Indian dance of Bhangra with modern music, exposing a diverse range of students to Indian culture. The club invites both boys and girls, although traditionally Bhangra is only performed by boys.

The club started meeting February 4, and will continue to hold meetings at lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “That way when people can’t make it on Tuesday or can’t make it on Thursday there’s a back up,” said senior co-president Ajali Bajaj.

Although Bajaj was initially hesitant to join the club, she is now glad that she did. “I was nervous because I typically don’t dance in front of big groups of people, but I feel like being a part of this club gave me an opportunity to learn more about the culture, to gain more confidence dancing in front of people, and it’s a good leadership opportunity,” she said.

“The first day I want to just play the music, so people can hear it and learn to move to the beat. I just want them to be familiar with the music and get comfortable,” Bajaj said of the first meeting.

“We probably might try out just one dance move, a simple one so they don’t feel overwhelmed, but we will get to practicing pretty quickly,” Bajaj added.

The Bhangra Club hopes to perform a prepared dance in April’s talent show.