Ninth grade CVHS student Jad Yehia is on his way towards leading the first Castro Valley Biology Olympiad club. CVHS already has a Science Olympiad club, but Biolympiad focuses on the subject of biology and trains students to participate in the renowned USA Biology Olympiad competition which features students from high schools all across the country.
Yehia plans to prepare future club members, along with himself, by engaging in labs, taking practice exams, bringing in guest speakers, and even going on field trips.
“Kind of like a comfy study group, we’ll all work together to gather resources, give presentations on our favorite biology topics, and work together to make sure everyone can do their absolute best on the exam!” said Yehia.
Though Yehia’s main goal is to equip potential competitors with all the possible knowledge and skills to partake in USABO, Yehia does not want the club to be seen from a competitive standpoint.
“We also want to be somewhat of a doorway to the field of biology, so if competing isn’t your jam you can just come along for the ride!” he said.
Yehia had always wanted to participate in the USABO competition, but starting a whole new club was the last thing on his list. Nevertheless, after scrolling through the USABO website and gaining more information by reading a PDF document about starting a club for USABO, he decided to follow through with the idea.
“As soon as I read through, the idea struck me, kind of like that cheesy Eureka moment, and I asked a friend what they thought. A few hours later, I got Alyssa Oum and Jishnu Sanyal to co lead the club with me plus a proctor, and the club was born,” Yehia claimed.
The passion in Yehia’s voice is very evident when he speaks about biology. He described how this pandemic paved the way for many interesting breakthroughs, like improved vaccine methods and new gene editing techniques.
“Taking the time to really dig deep into the subject of biology is really worthwhile! I stuck to biology for a similar reason, because of its power and relevancy in the world today,” he said.
Yehia’s dream is to major in molecular biology and become a researcher. “I just think cells are cute honestly,” he added with a smile.
Establishing a successful club is no easy task and Yehia is very aware of that. With a club like CV Biolympiad, club leaders face the struggle of advertising their club, persuading people to join, study for the competition, as well as managing the overall logistics of everything.
“We have to fully know the curriculum ourselves so we actually know what we’re talking about and fitting our school work into speed reading textbooks for USABO is definitely a struggle,” said Yehia.