Photo courtesy of CodeHS. Similar to many other competitive organizations at school, Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) has transitioned from competing on MESA Day at Cal State LA to competing over Zoom and CodeHS. “One [event], Coding Solutions, requires at least one member of a group to complete 60% of the CodeHS Python course on the website [within] a three-day window,” senior public relations Kelvin Hoang said.

Academic clubs compete, habituate virtually

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As COVID-19 continues to spread, competitive clubs have adapted virtually for the remainder of the school year. Although competitions are still running and club goals remain relatively the same, the platforms and methods of preparing for and completing competitions have changed.

The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) club, in particular, has been collaborating with members and project managers weekly over Zoom in preparation for its upcoming competitions. Depending on which events they choose to participate in, students will be competing through the website, email, or through live Zoom presentations.

“This year’s projects, [including] MESA Machine, Think Tank, Coding Solutions, and the National Engineering Design Challenge are all going to be virtual aside from Civil Structures,” senior public relations Kelvin Hoang said. 

As for the Young Aspiring Writers with Power (YAWP) club, students are submitting recordings of their performances for competitions instead of competing live. 

“Although it’s definitely a better experience when it’s in-person because you get support from the audience when they snap or clap to your poems, being online was the only option left due to COVID-19,” senior co-president Ashley Fung said. “[However, competing online has enabled members] to support the people performing with the reactions bar and write comments on the chat.”

The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) team held their sectional competitions over Zoom in the beginning of February.

“We were not able to hold study sessions this year to give additional support to the members,” junior secretary Valerie Ng said. “[However,] we have provided resources for the members to study for their events and have been sending them reminders over email and [social media].”

Students must finalize their MESA projects from late February to early March. While YAWP competitions are ongoing, awards for FBLA were announced on Feb. 13.

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