I've personally never taken an interest in build events, and usually I would automatically mark them as read, but sometimes when I saw that Balsa Man had posted, I would look at the post just for admiration's sake. It has always surprised me how much detail he would put into his posts just for the sake of people he had never met. It feels almost surreal that something like that would come to an end so quickly. I cannot imagine the pain his loss must bring to the Joeris family. I can't comprehend how much the Science Olympiad community must have meant to him. May he never be forgotten.
2016-2021 Treasure Valley Homeschool, 2020-2021 Div C Captain 2021 events: Disease Detectives, Designer Genes, Geologic Mapping, Write It Do It, Codebusters, Anatomy and Physiology
Assassinator for games 118: New Life and 136: A SciOly Pandemic Selected Assassinators for games 121 and 148
I don't really have words to describe how I feel about this tragedy... I communicated directly with Len for a couple of weeks over my years of Science Olympiad and he is the one who I attribute all of my successes in balsa events to. He was the mentor that I had never had and he was a huge influence on my life, especially when it came to my passion in SciOly.
Beyond just me, Len was a mentor to everybody on the forums and I honestly was amazed each time he posted a thorough, in-depth reply to every question that was asked. He embodied the principles of ideal, fair competition that promotes growth and learning, and I cannot thank him enough for that.
I too will be writing his names on our towers before they are tested at each competition. He made each and every one of us feel special, loved and important. I hopes he rests in peace. Len's impact on the forums will live on in both the hundreds of responses he has provided and the huge role he has played in the lives of hundreds of structure builders.
For the last time, thank you Len. I will miss you dearly, and I will never forget you.
This is shocking... He brought so much to this community. With every one of my posts (and those of others) that he personally gave guidance too, I'm confident to say that he was instrumental in my progress with towers. We are missing a big part of this community now, but he surely won't be forgotten.
I’m so sorry to hear this. I wish I had the chance to meet him personally, and thank for his efforts. Just last week I picked up some of those edge strips, 3d printed from a design file he was so kind to share.
I think it would be a wonderful tribute and an enormously valuable resource if all of his posts could be compiled into a sticky thread or Wiki page article. I’d be happy to contribute some of the personal correspondence as well which contains just as much wisdom about coaching and life itself as it did about balsa structures.
Best wishes for the Joeris family, and thank you for the touching post. We’ll all miss him.
I am really saddened by the loss. I would like to offer my deepest condolence to his family. The world has lost a kind, generous and passionate teacher and coach. I am a coach myself. Balsa Man has been inspiring me not only for his insights and passions for building towers, bridges, and boomilevers, but more importantly, how much he loved sharing his knowledge and helping students. He helped students not just on the technique of building, but understand the science and engineering. He consistently posted to the forums for almost 10 years! I can say unequivocally that I benefited from his knowledge and passed on to my teams (they usually take the top medals in the state). The way we should remember him is to continue his passion for this event and generously share our knowledge in this forum and outside as well. May he rest in peace.
...words are so inadequate at a time like this... condolences... sympathy... nothing even begins to explain how deeply this has impacted me and this group... I never met the man in person, yet I feel like I lost my best friend... a peer and mentor, all in one. Len was the first person to point out that redundant questions had been previously answered... then go on in great detail, explaining over the next 3 or 4 pages the same thing he had explained 14 times before... He had the intelligence of Einstein and the patience of Jobe. No matter which team was asking, he never, ever turned anyone away... No matter how stupid an idea was (and I had plenty of these!) he always heard me out and let me down gently, suggesting that there might be a better way. No, I never met this guy in person, but I sure feel that it was my loss... We will certainly miss you Len...
Northmont Science Olympiad
Dedicated to the Memory of Len Joeris
"For the betterment of Science"
Sad news indeed... Thoughts and prayers to his family. I too never meet Balsa Man but thru the years of discussions with him I came to appreciate his knowledge and patients to teach us all what it takes to be a champion. He will truly be missed. It's times like these that we realize how precious life is and shorter than we would like. Always tells those that are special to you how much you love them everyday.
Last edited by baker on February 13th, 2018, 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Len Joeris will be remembered in our community as one who helped so many, and built this entire community up. He's taught me all of the math that goes into this so very gracefully. He helped this Science Olympiad community create wooden structures, lighter than a pencil, that carry tons of weight. He has helped me learn in so many ways I would have never otherwise. May he rest in peace.
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