Area students compete in district competition
Nearly 1,000 middle school students from Southwest Louisiana competed at the District IV Junior Beta Club Convention on Wednesday, with the winners moving on to the state competition in February.
Students from 30 middle schools in Calcasieu, Jeff Davis, Cameron and Allen parishes competed in more than a dozen events, including quiz bowl, book battle, engineering, speech and living literature.
“These are the best of the best students,” said Jennifer Desormeaux, district sponsor.
“Fueling the Future” was the theme of this year’s competition, Desormeaux said.
“I think the idea is, how can you get your students and their ideas to fuel whatever’s going to happen next,” she said.
Beta Club was founded in the early 1930s but has stayed relevant by introducing robotics and marketing competitions.
“We’re definitively keeping up with the times and learning connections,” Desormeaux said.
Maci Bailey, an eighth-grade student at First Baptist Christian Academy, has participated in Beta Club throughout middle school.
“I look forward to coming to this every year,” she said. “It’s just so amazing to be in such a positive atmosphere where we all just come together.”
The club also brings students closer together through its annual events.
“Without Beta, I wouldn’t be the person I am now,” said Leyana Chaisson, an eighthgrade student at Hathaway High School. “It lets me bring out the welcoming side of me I never knew I had.”
The convention took place at the West-Cal Arena and Events Center.
Junior Beta students competed Wednesday in the robotics competition.