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3, 2, 1 DECA Launch 2015

DECA+officers+pose+in+the+Innovation+Center+during+DECA+launch+on+Aug.+15.+New+DECA+members+were+in+the+patio+working+on+the+Idea+Challenge.
DECA officers pose in the Innovation Center during DECA launch on Aug. 15. New DECA members were in the patio working on the Idea Challenge.

DECA officers pose in the Innovation Center during DECA launch on Aug. 15. New DECA members were in the patio working on the Idea Challenge.

Sahana Srinivasan

Sahana Srinivasan

DECA officers pose in the Innovation Center during DECA launch on Aug. 15. New DECA members were in the patio working on the Idea Challenge.

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Conversation blurs together into a low hum, and whenever the door opens, the vague smell of paint and thumping sounds seep in from the construction area in Manzanita. Officers in purple shirts wander in from the Innovation Center to check on the students working on their products. Popsicle sticks, glue, pipe cleaners and Chipotle bags litter the patio tables.

DECA officers hosted a three-day launch event from Aug. 12 to 14 at the upper school campus for incoming DECA participants.

Officers organized activities and lectures designed to introduce new members to all parts of the program. The launch event included opening and closing ceremonies, lectures on writen events,  roleplay games, and a scavenger hunt. The proceedings started on the evening of Aug. 12 and lasted throughout the days of Aug. 13 and 14.

Senior Shannon Hong, the Executive Vice President, described it as a chance to welcome the first-year members as well as teach them about the competition.


The launch event included opening and closing ceremonies, lectures on written events,  roleplay games, and a scavenger hunt. The proceedings started on the evening of Aug. 12 and lasted throughout the days of Aug. 13 and 14.

One of the main activities was the Idea Challenge, where groups of students had a set amount of money available to make a product out of basic materials, such as popsicle sticks. Groups then had to pitch it using a three-slide powerpoint presentation, and their final products were evaluated based on creativity, practicality, cost-effectiveness and the pitch itself.

Alex Mo (11), the Director of Written Events, listed the essential components of a pitch as the product’s importance, assembly instructions, description and cost.

Another featured activity was was a roleplay competition, in which pairs of students prepared for 15 minutes and then presented on a specific topic, such as solving a problem relating to marketing.

Freshman Shreya Dasari cited her favorite part of the event as the scavenger hunt. She also shared the most important lesson she gleaned from the officers through the activities and lectures.

“Be confident, even if you’re totally bluffing. Be confident and roll with it,” Shreya said.

Officers started preparing for the launch before the end of last school year and worked on their respective assignments throughout the summer, such as designing lectures and ordering materials.

“This is the second year that we’ve started planning,” Shannon said. “The first year, a lot of it was done the week before, so this year, we [thought] we have foresight.”

Students can learn more about DECA during the club fair on Wednesday, Sept. 10, or during its events fair, on Wednesday, Oct. 1, both of which will take place in the gym during long lunch.

Freshmen work on the Idea Challenge in the patio during DECA Launch. Materials students could use for their product included popsicle sticks, glue and pipe cleaners.

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3, 2, 1 DECA Launch 2015