Science, Math, Computer Science program initiates new senior-freshman tournament


Grace, Angelina, and Julia pose for a photo contest on the SMCS M&M Cup Twitter page. The threesome simulate a laboratory experiment scenario.

Science, Math, and Computer Science (SMCS) program Head of House Kevin Lee introduced a Mentor-Mentee Cup in order to welcome and guide new SMCS students through their first year in the magnet program. The tournament consisted of various cooperative activities designed to engage interaction between older and younger SMCS students.

The Mentor-Mentee Cup, or “M&M Cup,” was constructed by new SMCS Head of House Kevin Lee to remedy the superficial nature of mentor-mentee communication in the past. In previous years, attempts had been made to allow SMCS students that have nearly completed the program to communicate with incoming SMCS freshmen, but beyond the initial meeting these mentor-mentee groups were not given additional opportunities to converse.

The first portion of this tournament occurred on Dec. 7th, 2018, and involved SMCS freshmen, juniors, and seniors. During the required SMCS 8th period of that day, these SMCS students gathered between the main building and science building to complete three activities as part of the tournament.

Mentors and their respective mentees lined up to perform relay races, consisting of a sack-jumping race, three-legged race, and two question relays. Each activity was intended to encourage teamwork and conversation between mentor and mentee. SMCS juniors were assigned mentor-mentee groups to evaluate their dedication to cooperation throughout the activities. The scores of each group would be placed in a ranking of all mentor-mentee groups.

“[There’s] more focus on culture shift.” Lee said regarding his decision to begin changes to the SMCS program by creating the M&M Cup. “[We want] all grade levels feeling of value.”

SMCS seniors were given the option to become a mentor to up to two SMCS freshmen. Prior to participating in tournament activities, mentors and mentees conversed through email as well as in person, and were required to complete smaller tasks, such as taking a photo together. Mentors were instructed to answer any queries their mentees may have, as well as provide support for any obstacles or struggles their mentees may face. Future components of the M&M Cup have yet to be announced, but mentors and mentees continue to communicate in the meantime.

“There’s always been a competitive feel in SMCS, and I want people to feel like they can help each other,” Lee explained. “We’re just gonna get better because of that.”