by Sarah's friend Ashleigh

I did not know Sarah before Science Olympiad. I heard an announcement at school that there was a new club called Science Olympiad and that it was open to anyone interested in science. I knew that this was something that I would enjoy because I did like science. Like Sarah, I was known as a science dork. I went to the meeting although all my friends thought it was pretty geeky to do so. I showed up not really knowing anyone but immediately felt welcomed by Sarah. I knew that I was going to have a lot of fun working alongside all of these kids that got excited by science as I did.

I was entered in the Robot Ramble competition and was embarrassed because I didn't know had to build one. Sarah and I decided that our best option was to get a remote control car and decorate it to so that it would appear that we had built it. We tore off the frame and put a box on top of it, and then we put a few balloons and bows on it to jazz it up. When we finally got to the competition I could tell how excited Sarah was. To our surprise at the competition we took 1st place in the Robotics event. At the awards ceremony we found out that we (along with our parents) were the only people left from our team. Our team won a couple of ribbons which we both went up and claimed but when it got down to the Robot Ramble event and we realized that our team had placed 1st, we were overcome with excitement. We even got in the local paper with our medals. We shared many comical moments that day including participating in a chemistry event in which we hadn't studied for previous to the actual day. We worked well as a team where I, at this point having no chemistry knowledge, memorized the reactions and the name as I could remember it (such as "NACHO", & "NAHO"). At the event, while struggled with the only sink that squirted water everywhere, I would call off "NACHO" and then Sarah and her computer like brain processed the information and she scribbled down the chemical formula.

I really enjoyed Science Olympiad and getting to know Sarah. This past summer Sarah and I had gotten together to plan our strategy to recruit new members for the Science Olympiad Team. We came up with the slogan, "Science Olympiad: Where it's Cool to Be a Nerd." We looked at online periodic tables, and laughed at how the British woman pronounced aluminum "al-u-min-yum". We set up a table at Westerville North's schedule pick-up day to try and get students to sign up for the team. Sarah was so excited that she made a bunch of homemade experiments and set up our "robot" with an obstacle course. She was totally into it and kept calling kids over to the table to ask them if they were interested.

When I had heard that Sarah had died I was overcome with feelings. I did not know how this had happened; she was so young and healthy. I, at first, did not want to participate in Science Olympiad this year because I couldn't imagine doing it without Sarah. She lived and breathed science. She was the driving force that held our team together. However, she had worked so hard to get the team established in the first place that I knew she wouldn't want me to end it like that. I ultimately decided that I still wanted to be a part of Science Olympiad because Sarah wouldn't have had it any other way.