Dear Dr. Harold Miller,
It has come to our attention that, currently, Ward Melville will be unable to defend their state title due to a mishap with paperwork, we urge you to reconsider your decision in the spirit of sportsmanship and the joy of science.
For all of us, Science Olympiad has touched us in many profound ways, whether in terms of our interest in science, the teamwork displayed by teams, or just the camaraderie that forms within and between teams. It may be a competition, but our priority is always to enjoy that Science Olympiad provides such a great forum for motivated individuals to share a passion for science. We know that Ward Melville is one of the most hard-working teams in the country, and their main goal is not winning but being able to take as much from the experience of Science Olympiad as possible.
Based on testimonies from Ward Melville students and alumni, it appears the main problem was that the paperwork for states was a day or two late. However, this was not due to a fault of the students or coaches, but rather that the form was hung up in administration for a few days. Even though the rules state that this offense denies a team from competing at states, is it really worth taking away the opportunity for Ward to showcase their joy of science at the state competition, and to enjoy the spirit of competition from the other teams? We may forget sometimes, but the main goal of the competition is to celebrate science, and this should be the top priority for everyone involved.
We understand that there is a risk for setting a precedent if this decision is reversed. However, we offer this: would the situation be any different if any other team had this problem? Say a team qualified for states for the first time; would it be fair to deny them the chance to show their skills at the state stage because their paperwork was a few days late? There are rules for a reason, yes, but sometimes exceptions must be made to maintain the integrity of the competition.
We implore you to rethink this decision, as we feel it is incredibly heartbreaking to deny Ward the opportunity to defend their state title against other worthy teams, but most importantly, to deny the opportunity to spend a day with the top scientific minds in New York. We hope that the spirit of Science Olympiad is not lost, and that the seniors who have worked so tirelessly throughout their high school careers for Ward will be able to have a proper send-off: with the spirit of science.
Members of the Science Olympiad Student Center
EastStroudsburg13, Drexel University
zyzzyva980, Drake University
AlphaTauri, Hershey High School (PA)
Haverstall, University of Minnesota
Schrodingerscat, St. James Academy (KS)
Samantha Zarate, Stanford University
abby1kanobe, Coaching rep for TN Board of Directors
iwonder, Cypress Falls High School (TX)
olympiaddict, Ward Melville High School
quizbowl, Syosset High School Alum
ThatRoboGuy, Chardon Middle School (OH)
RAntonello, Boca Raton Community High School (FL)
JonB, Boca Raton Community High School (FL)
Gemma W, Ward Melville High School
cmousseau, Plattsburgh High School
caseyotis, Ithaca High School
Mortem_Haedo, Mason Middle School (OH)
StogaSciOly, Conestoga High School (PA)
Atomicbob11, Conestoga High School (PA)
Efficiency, Ward Melville High School
Here is the petition as it stands now, with the current signatures. Any more suggestions?