Tag Archives: clubs

Math club has class

Students inspired by the mysteries of mathematics can now participate in co-curricular activities in Math Club, sponsored by math teacher Ann Meyer. Led by juniors Sierra Aceto and Jennifer Elliot, the club meets every other Friday.
“Our main objective right now is just to show people that math can be fun,” Aceto said. “Everyone’s welcome, and if students don’t understand a topic, we’ll teach you so that you will understand it.”
Meyer decided to create Math Club as a forum for exploring the more exciting aspects of the subject that cannot be covered in class.
“The way our math curriculum is structured, we rush through everything,” Meyer said. “We don’t get time to explore and savor the beautiful parts of math. I wanted kids who are really interested in that to explore it.”
Math Club plans to have activities outside of the school.
“At the moment, there’s a lot of planning going on,” Aceto said. “We have an idea set in motion about a possible field trip to New York for next year. But anything involving math that seems interesting, we’d do.”
The club hopes to join Mu Alpha Theta, a mathematics honors society, to take part in competitions and other national events. To become part of Mu Alpha theta, all members must sign a petition to start a chapter.
“To be in Mu Alpha Theta, you have to have completed Algebra I and II and have to be enrolled in a course beyond that,” Aceto said. “So not all freshman and sophomores are eligible to join yet.”
Math Club will also have representatives from colleges come speak about scholarship opportunities available by participating in the club.
“It’s nice because it’s getting together with other people who are interested in the same thing,” said Aceto. “Finding math fun is something most people find strange, so it’s cool to understand that it’s something that can be used around the world constantly.”
On April 19, Suzannah Simmons, a graduate of St. John’s University, spoke about learning math by reading ancient mathmeticians, emphasizing that math is more than just formulas.
“[Math] is a way of seeing things and thinking about things,” Meyer said. “The math universe isn’t just about memorizing formulas, but about the philosophy of math – the systems those formulas operate in.”
During meetings, members play games and learn about more obscure elements of mathematics.
“We don’t get to touch on many things in math class that can really be interesting,” Elliot said. “We’ve talked about math puzzles, paradox cases, but sometimes we just play math games or do logic puzzles. Sometime in the future, I know we’re discussing hexaflexagons.”

~Eryka Hackett, staff reporter

Advertisements

Students prepare robots for competition

Freshman Andrew Whittington goes through the obstacle course with his robot.
Freshman Andrew Whittington goes through the obstacle course with his robot.

On April 26, 35 students from Kettle Run and FHS competed in a robotics workshop, although the results were not known at press time.
Two groups from technology department head Harold Mullins’ Engineering and Design class were given three weeks to design and assemble an advanced unmanned ground vehicle. Supplied with a fictional contract from the Department of Defense, the teams became their own small engineering companies.
“Students can look at [robots] as a way to help ourselves, to help others, and to do things that may be hazardous to humans,” Mullins said. “[Robotics] is just one aspect of engineering, and being able to have communication, to work together as a team, and to engineer as a team, is important.”
Each of Kettle Run’s four teams and FHS’ two were led by a project manager, and supported by a financial manager and a systems engineer. Senior Brandon Keithley, one of the project managers, looks forward to seeing the fruits of his leadership and teamwork.
“It will be fun getting to see what the other teams have designed,” Keithley said. “It’s also fun getting to design something that you created yourself.”
Various elements of the robots were judged by representatives from the Defense Acquisition University, a training hub for the Department of Defense.
“The robots had to be able to detect hazardous materials, go over an incline of a minimum of 15 degrees, and complete a Lost Communication test,” Mullins said. “The LostCom test programs a robot so that it will turn itself around and go to a specific point if it loses communication technology while exploring a hazardous area.”
Senior Sam Eleazer valued the introduction the project gave him into what engineering would be like as a career. He also discovered that teamwork isn’t just a term.
“A project like this shows you that the work is really on you and your team,” Eleazer said. “You can’t try to do everything yourself. You and your team have to focus on working together and getting things done”
Senior Tom Piggott, who worked with Keithley as a co-program manager, appreciated the experience and what it brought out of his teammates.
“There’s a sense of competition between the students because we’ve put in weeks of hard work,” Piggott said. “A project like this brings out the team-work aspect in people, and it took a lot of work and time, but overall it was worth it.”

~Maddie Lemelin, features/arts director

Students think outside the box

Destination Imagination is a program that runs from elementary through college levels, dedicated to promoting critical problem-solving skills and encouraging kids to step outside the box. Faced with an array of challenges, from technical tests of science to the visionary fine arts, students have to put their heads together to find solutions to complex problems. This year, the Destination Imagination (D.I.) team placed third in the district with their “Change In RealiTee” sketch.
“[D.I.] is basically just a lot of random challenges, improvisation, and a little bit of everything,” freshman Chris Perrios said. “[The meetings consist of] things like building and improvising sketches.”
Freshman Kayla Land, who has participated in D.I. before and is no beginner to the many challenges, enjoys the club.
“It has a lot to do with creativity and imagination,” Land said. “I’ve really enjoyed it in the past, so I chose to do it again. [Meetings] are usually a little bit wild because of all the improv we do, but it’s a lot of fun.”
At the beginning of each season, teams, usually consisting of seven people, choose a challenge from a national list to showcase their skills at local competition. D.I. practice sessions were held on Mondays and became more frequent as the competition date neared. This year, the competition was on March 9 at Winchester’s John Handley High School. Although the team did not make it to states, history and psychology teacher Lou Ann Spear, who serves as the co-team manager, is satisfied with the results.
“The kids did really well,” Spear said. “The audience really enjoyed their skit, and I thought it was one of the funniest ones there.”
Spear works alongside Librarian Becca Isaac to help prepare students for the competition.
“[Students] engage in the main challenge and then the instant challenges, which involve getting materials like mailing labels and string and participating in challenges using them,” Spear said. “They always have a building challenge, where you build something, and they usually have an improv one. Sometimes the challenges are more theatrical.”
Although the majority of the teams compete at the elementary and middle school levels, high school and college levels play a significant role. Senior Adam Warren says that besides being educational and fun, D.I. is also a convenient activity to add to a resume.
“It’s really fun because it’s something to do during the week, and it’s something I can find time to do in my busy schedule,” Warren said. “It’s really easy to get into; you don’t have to have any prior experience.”
Isaac says that besides the educational aspect, D.I. offers creative students an outlet and chance to get involved. Spear agrees that the benefits are well worth the time.
“It’s a great way to meet people; it’s always a lot of fun,” Spear said. “It’s a way to stretch your brain to new things and be more creative.”

~Michelle Daniek, staff reporter

FFA raises chickens

There’s nothing quite like a homemade, farm fresh meal. The comforting smells of Saturday morning eggs and toast can wake up the deepest sleepers and bring them running to the table. This weekend, why not try some fresh eggs from the FFA to get a taste of what fresh really means? FFA is currently keeping 13 hens on the agricultural field and collecting and selling eggs.
“All FFA members in Mr. [Dennis] Pearson’s agriculture class feed them and water them,” freshman Haley Clegg said. “When they lay the eggs, we place them in the cartons to sell.”
About half of the laying chickens were purchased from the Warrenton co-op as pullets (female chickens about 20 weeks old, which have not begun to lay eggs), but the other half came from closer to home.
“We also hatched some of our eggs last year, and raised them in the incubator in the horticulture room,” Pearson said. “But since we’re in the town of Warrenton, we don’t have a rooster [to prevent] noise complaints.”
The eggs, collected two to three times daily, are sold to teachers and students willing to buy. The hens currently lay 10-12 eggs per day, which are sold for $3 a dozen and $4 for an 18-pack. Flyers around the school advertise the sales. During the summer months, eggs are sold to the school board office.
“Whenever we bring in the eggs, they usually sell pretty quickly. They are usually gone by that day,” junior Elizabeth Barron said.
The chickens are fed a “balanced ration” of corn and soy beans also purchased at the Warrenton Co-op, according to Pearson. FFA has ensured that their birds remain cooped, but some feisty chickens rebel.
“We have electric poultry netting surrounding the coop that’s about three feet tall,” Pearson said. “Before they were clipped – you can actually clip a chicken’s wing to prevent them from flying– they were flying out. But we were able to catch them.”
While Pearson and FFA co-sponsor Susan Hilleary care for the chickens on weekends, Pearson’s agriculture class is currently preparing for the chickens’ summer vacation – freshman Kiersten Ball will care for the chickens over the summer. During vacation, eggs will be sold weekly to the School Board.
“You just need to make sure you manage them carefully, feed them, and water them properly,” Barron said. “It’s important because it teaches you how to raise animals and take responsibility.”

~Erycka Hackett, staff reporter

New club encourages elevated discourse

The annual regional TSA competition was held March 9 at Mount Vernon High School. Eight FHS participants placed within the top 10 positions, and three placed within the top three. All participants within the top three positions will be moving on to the state competition on May 3 at the Richmond Convention Center.
“We’d been preparing for the competition since September,” technology department head Harold Mullins said. “We would meet every week on Thursday. [Jamell Newman and I] would give them opportunities to come in and prepare for the contest. They had to go through all the rubrics for all the different levels of competition. The students learn a lot on their own, and we just point them in the direction they need to take.”
Students participated in five different categories of the competition. Senior Tony Frank placed first in the category of promotional graphics; he used Photoshop to create a poster advertising one of the other competitive categories.
“I didn’t totally expect to win at first, but my friends saw all the other entries, and they told me I was a shoe-in,” Frank said. “I’ve been participating in TSA for two years now, and this is my second time placing within the top three positions in a regional competition.”
Also receiving top placements were sophomores Dana Lahman (first in CAD 2D Architecture), Zoe Waide (second in CAD 2D Architecture), and Elle DelGallo (second in promotional graphics).

~Kerian McDonald, staff reporter

TSA champs win regional medals

The annual regional TSA competition was held March 9 at Mount Vernon High School. Eight FHS participants placed within the top 10 positions, and three placed within the top three. All participants within the top three positions will be moving on to the state competition on May 3 at the Richmond Convention Center.
“We’d been preparing for the competition since September,” technology department head Harold Mullins said. “We would meet every week on Thursday. [Jamell Newman and I] would give them opportunities to come in and prepare for the contest. They had to go through all the rubrics for all the different levels of competition. The students learn a lot on their own, and we just point them in the direction they need to take.”
Students participated in five different categories of the competition. Senior Tony Frank placed first in the category of promotional graphics; he used Photoshop to create a poster advertising one of the other competitive categories.
“I didn’t totally expect to win at first, but my friends saw all the other entries, and they told me I was a shoe-in,” Frank said. “I’ve been participating in TSA for two years now, and this is my second time placing within the top three positions in a regional competition.”
Also receiving top placements were sophomores Dana Lahman (first in CAD 2D Architecture), Zoe Waide (second in CAD 2D Architecture), and Elle DelGallo (second in promotional graphics).

~Patrick Duggan, news director

FFA raises chickens

There’s nothing quite like a homemade, farm fresh meal. The comforting smells of Saturday morning eggs and toast can wake up the deepest sleepers and bring them running to the table. This weekend, why not try some fresh eggs from the FFA to get a taste of what fresh really means? FFA is currently keeping 13 hens on the agricultural field and collecting and selling eggs.
“All FFA members in Mr. [Dennis] Pearson’s agriculture class feed them and water them,” freshman Haley Clegg said. “When they lay the eggs, we place them in the cartons to sell.”
About half of the laying chickens were purchased from the Warrenton co-op as pullets (female chickens about 20 weeks old, which have not begun to lay eggs), but the other half came from closer to home.
“We also hatched some of our eggs last year, and raised them in the incubator in the horticulture room,” Pearson said. “But since we’re in the town of Warrenton, we don’t have a rooster [to prevent] noise complaints.”
The eggs, collected two to three times daily, are sold to teachers and students willing to buy. The hens currently lay 10-12 eggs per day, which are sold for $3 a dozen and $4 for an 18-pack. Flyers around the school advertise the sales. During the summer months, eggs are sold to the school board office.
“Whenever we bring in the eggs, they usually sell pretty quickly. They are usually gone by that day,” junior Elizabeth Barron said.
The chickens are fed a “balanced ration” of corn and soy beans also purchased at the Warrenton Co-op, according to Pearson. FFA has ensured that their birds remain cooped, but some feisty chickens rebel.
“We have electric poultry netting surrounding the coop that’s about three feet tall,” Pearson said. “Before they were clipped – you can actually clip a chicken’s wing to prevent them from flying– they were flying out. But we were able to catch them.”
While Pearson and FFA co-sponsor Susan Hilleary care for the chickens on weekends, Pearson’s agriculture class is currently preparing for the chickens’ summer vacation – freshman Kiersten Ball will care for the chickens over the summer. During vacation, eggs will be sold weekly to the School Board.
“You just need to make sure you manage them carefully, feed them, and water them properly,” Barron said. “It’s important because it teaches you how to raise animals and take responsibil- ity.”

~Eryka Hackett, staff reporter