Competitive Clubs Thrive at LMS


After-school activities encourage students to get out of their comfort zone and develop essential skills. Several of Longfellow’s most popular and successful clubs, MathCounts, Science Olympiad, Science Bowl, and Debate, all share something in common; students must qualify by taking a test. 

These clubs participate in big regional competitions that test students’ skills against others across the nation, and Longfellow routinely does very well in these activities. 

MathCounts is one of the most competitive clubs, and to get in, students go through a process of elimination that includes rounds of testing.  Once the scores are in, they are part of the MathCounts team and will compete against students from other schools. 

MathCounts is also intertwined with other competitions, including the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) and Math League. Students will compete in several rounds of competition testing, consisting of school-wide, state-wide, and nationwide rounds.

Science Olympiad is another extremely competitive club.  Students must pass the initial testing, and then the club meets nearly every day for 2 blocks after school. 

  “I’m pretty sure there were, like, around 120 students who tried out, and only 30 people make the team,” explained member Nikitha R. “So there were two rounds. You have to take a test, and then you have to come in for a building expo.”

It is designated for students who have an interest in science and want to compete throughout the year in local and state competitions. The students spend their time building and engineering things like bridges or trebuchets but also studying specific areas of science like immunology. 

Both Mathcounts and Science Olympiad have been extremely successful in their state and national competitions, routinely placing in the top 10.

If you don’t make the cut for Science Olympiad or would rather compete in a buzz-in quiz-style format, Science Bowl might be the club for you.  It is a competitive club that is mainly for students who are interested in and are good at science. It requires testing to join but is a little less rigorous than Science Olympiad.

“Getting in wasn’t a tough thing because you just need to answer basic questions,” said one of the members. “If you did well on them, it would add to your tally, and you would get on the team and do more practice rounds.”  

Students group in teams of 5 to participate in the Regional Science Bowl Competition, where they might have a chance of advancing to the National Finals. 

Not all of the competitions are science and math-related.  Longfellow has an extremely competitive Debate team as well. 

“I wanted to join debate because I wanted to practice my public speaking skills because I was really shy,” explained Madelyne B.

Debate is for students who enjoy defending a side of an argument and competing. The students who pass the debate trial begin debate practice and learn the fundamentals of debate, and practice defending an argument regardless of personal opinion.

“I’m looking forward to improving my skills and winning more rounds in the tournaments with my group,” said member Soraya L., who made it through the difficult qualification process.  “It was pretty difficult writing the case and the rebuttal. It was definitely scary presenting them, but all in all, I think it wasn’t that bad.” 

Students will participate in tournaments that cultivate important skills, such as public speaking. The debate team is led by several Longfellow graduates from last year’s team.

But don’t worry, Longfellow may be competitive, but they have options for those who don’t want to test to get in. 

The Model United Nations (Model UN) team will welcome anyone who is interested in joining.  Teacher Erin Caswell leads Model UN and the club meets every Thursday. Model UN enhances students’ skills in research, public speaking, public policy, and speech. This club also gives students the opportunity to grow as a diplomat, delegate, and leader.  Model UN will allow students to write a position paper, practice resolving issues, and debating important world issues by representing different countries. After the delegates make their position papers and do lots of research, they will attend conferences to discuss their worldwide topics and create a resolution

One of the most popular clubs that don’t require a test is Quiz Bowl, led by algebra teacher Mr. Huang.  They meet every Monday and Tuesday during first block. This club is a great alternative if you do not want to go through the qualifying process. Quiz Bowl is a way for students to experience a competitive environment in which they will be tested on their knowledge of questions regarding geography, science, math, history, English, and pop culture. 

All of these clubs are competitive and provide excellent educational opportunities, including learning skills students can use for their whole life. Longfellow offers a wide selection of after-school clubs in hopes of preparing students for the real world.