On 6 Feb. 2018, RAHS students were able to view SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch by livestream, demonstrating students and faculty enthusiasm towards commercial rocketry and space exploration.
RAHS Principal Therese Tipton encouraged teachers to show the launch live during class. She believes that SpaceX has a great amount of innovation and potential for the future.
“Many years ago, it was a huge deal for space launches to be televised and for schools to show these launches to their students,” said Tipton. “It reinforced that this incredible experience of watching a man-made rocket take-off into space was seen as an inspiration – a testament to what the human mind and innovation can achieve.”
Tipton recognizes the unique aspects of the Falcon and what makes it stand out compared to previous efforts into space.
“The last heavy rocket, the Saturn V (designed to take humans to the moon), was retired in 1973,” said Tipton. “The Falcon Heavy is seen as the new wave of potential human travel into space.”
Tipton believes that these types of events, such as this launch, directly correlate with the aviation and aerospace theme of RAHS
“This launch was also a little exciting in that Elon Musk included his own payload – an ‘astronaut’ driving a Tesla!” said Tipton. “As the premier aviation and aerospace high school, we want to be able to expose students to all of the possibilities for their future, including rocket launches of this magnitude.”
Tipton is passionate about the topic of space exploration, and sees great purpose in SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket.
“Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket ever launched and it was created for the purpose of lifting ‘past the bonds of Earth’ and putting human beings and cargo onto other celestial bodies such as Mars,” said Tipton. “As the heaviest rocket ever launched, it presented a perfect opportunity to be shown via live streaming.”
Tipton is optimistic in future efforts, and is anticipating to show future SpaceX launches in class.
“We will definitely monitor future launches with the goal of having students be able to see the wonder of science and engineering at work,” said Tipton.
Sophomore student Nick Ankuta has a fascination with SpaceX and feels this launch is unique in comparison with governmental efforts in the field of space exploration. To Ankuta, these new launches have serious potential.
“This is commercial space flight, which is something that has not been the case in the past; it has always been governmental efforts,” said Ankuta, “and I feel like this is really representing the people taking charge of their interest in space flight and colonization.”
Previously, efforts such as the Apollo missions to explore space have been effectively put on hold, but now private companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin are competing to succeed in the area, and the motivation is beginning to increase again.
“Space exploration is not just like some scientific [dream],” said Ankuta. “It’s something that is really coming into the world as an avenue for not only a raw scientific feat, but also logistically something we can do to better our lives.”
Sophomore student Max Mellroth saw the launch during his history class and believes that it was beneficial for students to view the launch in class, and compares the event with previous historical examples of space exploration.
“I think it is very beneficial. For example, classes of the 1960s showed the Apollo missions,” said Mellroth, “classes [during the] 1990s and 2000s showed the space shuttle missions so why shouldn’t we?”
Mellroth recognizes the significance of this particular launch and believes it has true potential for scientific development.
“This was the first launch of the Falcon Heavy which is the rocket that is supposed to take us to Mars,” said Mellroth,” so this proved that we could make it to Mars with the rockets that we have.”
In Feb. 2018, voters approved the Highline Replacement Educational Programs & Operations Levy, with 58% voting in favor of it. This levy will continue to fund teachers, educational help for students with special needs, athletic programs, and school nurses, among other things.
Although the Highline School District (HSD) receives some funding from the the state, RAHS Principal Therese Tipton notes that levies are used to close the gap between what the state funds and what is needed.
“Levies, such as the one in Highline [School District], are super important because they make up that difference of what the state funds and what we really need for student success,” said Tipton.
According to Catherine Carbone Rogers, the Highline School District’s Chief Communications Officer, levies are critical to any school district’s budget.
“Levies were intended to fund ‘enrichment’ – extras above and beyond basic education,” said Rogers, “but since the state has not fully funded education, districts have had no choice but to rely on voter-approved levies for about 20% of their budgets.”
Levies play a vital role in the quality of education that the Highline School District can provide for their students.
“The Levy helps keep class sizes small — 32 is the max for high school, which is fairly large; it helps keep that number small,” said Tipton. “It could go up to 38 or 40 if we did not get that additional support. The Levy supports students who need an IEP, an Individualized Education Plan, so that funds paraeducators to help. We have somebody who is part time here that helps students who need extra help in the classroom.”
Although RAHS will not benefit from some programs that the Levy funds, the Levy will still enrich education at RAHS.
“The Levy dollars pay for 15 nurses [for the entire Highline School District],” said Tipton, “and also teacher training days, because as state requirements change, teachers have to be trained in that, and athletic programs, which we don’t have, but which some of our students take advantage of. One interesting thing is school security officers. We don’t have a school security officer here, so that’s not a benefit we get, but we do get support staff, like Ms. Tranholt, and activities such as Camp Waskowitz with our 9th graders (we just went for the second year in a row, so we’re making that a tradition every year).”
Rogers is thankful that the Levy was able to be passed.
“Speaking on behalf of Highline leadership team, we are grateful to our voters for supporting our schools by approving the Levy,” said Rogers. “Passage tells us we are on the right track and that our community wants to support our schools.”
Rogers believes that the 58% passage rate is not as low as it may seem.
“In my experience, 58 percent is not particularly low for a school levy,” said Rogers. “In fact, Highline had one of the highest passage rates in the region. For example, Kent School district barely passed at just a few votes over 50%; Issaquah got 51% and Lake Washington [got] 54% on their levies.”
The Washington State Supreme Court, however, concluded in their McCleary Decision that the Washington legislature has not fully funded education.
“We are hopeful that the state legislature will comply with the [Washington] State Supreme Court ruling (McCleary v. Washington State) and appropriate the funds to fully fund the cost of public education,” said Rogers. “Lawmakers did pass a funding plan last session, but they have not yet appropriated enough money to fulfil the plan.”
Nevertheless, if Washington lawmakers do pass education funding, Rogers believes that Highline School District funding could still decrease. When the legislature raises property taxes to fund education, they ask districts to cut the amount of money they request through levies, which is a form of property taxes.
“Unfortunately, the amount Highline will get from the state will not make up the amount we will lose in local levy funding,” said Rogers. “So ironically, once the state plan is fully implemented, Highline will actually see revenues decrease, not increase. We anticipate this to occur in the 2019-20 school year, unless the legislature changes the funding formula in a future session.”
Tipton, however, is optimistic about the future of Highline School District funding after almost 60% of voters voted for the Levy.
“6 in 10 people support public education in Highline and I think that speaks a lot — there is a lot of good,” said Tipton.
On 22 and 23 Nov. 2018, the annual Women Fly event hosted by the Museum of Flight is looking to inspire youth once again by presenting various STEM-focused activities and hosting Colonel Rebecca J. Sonkiss, the keynote speaker.
The Museum’s Director of Digital Learning, Melissa Edwards, has overseen the event for the past few years and believes it gives young women in the Tukwila and surrounding community an opportunity to expand their horizons in the aerospace industry.
“This event allows young women to understand that there are a wide variety of careers in STEM fields, to meet women who are working in these fields, and to be comfortable asking questions that are gender-specific,” said Edwards.
Generally, the schedule of the event is 1. Keynote speaker, 2. Workshop A, 3. Lunch or College Fair, 4. Lunch or College Fair, and 5. Workshop B. Previously, they have hosted a large 360° dome that shows the night sky inside, a problem-solving game in which the girls must act like flight attendants and fill the food carts to account for weight, and an intensive College Fair with representatives from Washington State University, the University of Washington, and the Air Force Academy.
“The topics this year include computer coding at Alaska [Airlines], career planning and fighting imposter syndrome, and Solar System explorations!” said Edwards. “We also have a great selection of companies/colleges participating in our resource fair (including Boeing and Alaska Airlines) and I think that this will be a great opportunity for the girls to ask questions about what it is like to work for these organizations!”
Last year, RAHS sophomore Mollie Brombaugh took the opportunity to go to Women Fly, and appreciated learning from a variety of different industry personnel.
“I really liked having the opportunity to choose what you want to learn about,” said Brombaugh. “Each class, led by a professional, is very interesting yet succinct. The diversity of classes is also great, you can look into anything that interests you.”
Similar to projects at RAHS, the activities presented at the event are engaging and unique, featuring Boeing employees and focused on STEM careers.
“I really find that the hands-on workshops, which give you an opportunity to do something, are the best,” said Brombaugh. “Hands-on activities relevant to space are what I try to aim for every year.”
This year’s orator is Colonel Rebecca J. Sonkiss, a commander who graduated from the Air Force. As such, she will undoubtedly provide much inspiration for participating girls interested in aerospace.
“I think that she will bring a very unique perspective as female military commander and be able to speak not only about her career pathway, but what inspired her as a young woman to pursue it,” said Edwards. “As with all of our Women Fly speakers and workshop leaders, I know that she is excited to have the opportunity to share her knowledge and insights with the next generation.”
Because the event is focused on women, it makes sense to have a female speaker to represent the girls attending.
“We usually brainstorm a list of possible candidates with backgrounds that we feel will be inspirational and then reach out to see if they are available,” said Edwards. “Colonel Sonkiss was actually proposed by a woman who has been a previous adult participant in Women Fly and she made it possible for us to put the request in to Col. Sonkiss.”
While the numerous activities and features might sway some into the STEM fields, Brombaugh was already resolute in what she wants for her future.
“Personally, nothing at Women Fly influenced my career decisions, as I already plan on working in the space field when I enter the workforce,” said Brombaugh. “However, Women Fly does give ideas as to specific areas of aviation fields that may be interesting.”
Looking forward to attending this year’s event and seeing who is this year’s speaker, Brombaugh appreciates the level to which companies and the Museum will rise to inspire the attendees into the aviation and aerospace fields.
“Women Fly is really fun,” said Brombaugh, “and I’m glad that there are fun resources like this to promote women in STEM and aviation.”
On 3 Mar. 2018, RAHS Science Olympiad (Sci Oly) traveled to Seattle Central Community College to compete in the Regionals competition, competing against several other high schools. This year, the team brought a few new things to the competition, including a method to 3D print build parts and a brand new coach.
At the beginning of this year, a new method of building was introduced, using 3D printed parts, that students designed themselves for particular and niche usages. Senior James Mitchell who is currently in his first year on the team both designed many of the parts that Sci Oly has used, and has supplied the team with a 3D printer.
“Early in the season, my team used 3D printed prototypes to visualize what we were designing, allowing me to fine tune my main build event [Mission Possible, where students must build a Rube Goldberg machine] and reduce its size [a main scoring element] massively,” said Mitchell. “While 3D printing technology has also allowed us to make jigs and guides for other less build-centric events to maintain accuracy and consistent scoring. It is hard to exaggerate the array of applications that printing can be applied to.”
Although Mitchell believes that the usage of 3D printers may give Sci Oly an advantage, he also notes how the technology can be accessible to everyone.
“Overall, 3D printing is an important skill for young engineers to use. Period,” said Mitchell. “So it is a technology that schools should strive to provide for their students and it is important to note that providing 3D printing is fairly cheap for a school. Our main workhorse machine cost less than a school microscope, at around $170, and has printed almost every part our Sci Oly team will be bringing to regionals.”
Because a lot of the parts are custom made, they have to be designed by students at the school so that the parts can fill niche roles in order to do their job perfectly.
“The design process for the complicated parts we use for Mission Possible is time consuming and hard,” said Mitchell, “especially when weighing the work with a full academic load and college apps. But the slow methodical wines of the printer slowly churning out a recently completed design is one of the most fulfilling feelings possible.”
This year a new build philosophy came into play in which teams are selected on individual events rather than a group that contains certain events. Senior, and Build Vice President Erik Harang helped organize a team to pioneer this new philosophy.
“This year, we decided to experiment with a concept of mine called Unified Build Group (UBG),” said Harang. “The essence of the idea is that you have groups of seven people who do all of the 11 build events, and can better distribute people to events based on their unique talents and interests.
Currently in Sci Oly people must compete in teams which consist of a group of set events that the members must compete in, making Sci Oly in some ways very limited, and restrictive. On how the UBG allows for members to have flexibility, and more choice in what they want to do.
“For example, it would allow someone with flight expertise to work on both LEAF and helicopters,” said Harang, “or someone good at working with balsa to do both helicopters and towers. It also should provide more consistency, instead of the current situation where some groups are more competitive than others on a year to year basis.”
There are many issues with the current team system that Sci Oly uses, and most of these issues can be resolved by the new UBG system, which would otherwise be problematic, and detrimental to some teams.
“Another pro is that you can avoid most of the issues we’ve had this year where some top pairs are forced to compete below their rank due to the limit on seniors, by simply putting a cap on the numbers of seniors in a UBG.”
New to the team this year is a brand new coach Mr. Mannion, who is new to the school this year, replacing Nikhil Joshi as the full time Study Coach. This competition was the first regional competition Mannion will be in.
“I think it’s going to be really exciting,” said Mannion, “I’m exciting to see how this competition is different from other competitions.”
As he prepares for regionals he reflects on how this year has been for him so far, and how Science Olympiad has shown him some unique things about our school, especially the drive that students have in order to succeed.
“I have enjoyed watching students grow over the year,” said Mannion, “They have made some amazing and wonderful things, especially on the build side. Awesome things and devices that I would never think that regular high schoolers would. And I’ve been very excited to see that.”
In the past, Satellite Club (Sat Club) has struggled to accomplish their goals pertaining to satellites on their original timelines. However, this is starting to change as the club is starting to find success on a scale larger than just the classroom.
Originally, the goal was to build a cubesat and launch it by the end of 2016. A cubesat is a 10cm by 10cm by 10cm cube that functions just like a regular satellite, but on a smaller scale. A simple satellite consists of some proof of concept (eg. a 3-D printed satellite), along with a communication system to talk to the earth. Building a working cubesat on the first try, with a group of people who have no experience building satellites proved more difficult than they previously thought. As a result, a subgroup attempted a simpler goal by deciding to make a high altitude balloon, with senior Cole Evans as team lead and Miles Durnwirth as co-lead.
“When you think of a cubesat, it is a very complex thing,” said Evans. “There’s a lot of subsystems on there, and there’s a difference between doing something for real and on a test bed. The balloon is an effort for Sat Club to build something that actually flies [that is] built to the quality of a space-ready cubesat, including software.”
The balloon is a solid first step towards launching a cubesat, as the subsystems and software are almost identical. The balloon has to have computer chips, or microcontrollers, that handle data and run the entire system, and a satellite (SAT) phone communication system in order for the team to communicate with the payload after launch.
“We have a few microcontrollers, a SAT phone com[munication] system, GPS systems, and other subsystems,” said Evans. “It will be very similar to how they would be on an actual cubesat.”
As with every project, there are a multitude of challenges that the team has to overcome. Launching a balloon seems like it wouldn’t be too complicated, but even after getting it to work, the FAA can still shut the project down.
“[The launch date] depends on our FAA certification,” said Durnwirth. “We do not have a flight termination system on the balloon, so we need to get an exemption from the FAA rules.”
The goal of this launch is to build something that can operate as a learning platform for the future members of the team.
“Hopefully this balloon can be reusable,” said Durnwirth, “and hopefully we can fly it multiple times to gain knowledge for people who have no knowledge or experience with cubesats.”
One of the main struggles for getting a good test balloon is getting the communication system to work well. The communication system is used to track, monitor, and talk to the balloon throughout its flight.
“Some balloons uses HAM radio to communicate with the ground,” said Evans, “but that requires line of sight. So we use a SAT phone running off of an Iridium network, which works anywhere around the earth if it has a clear view of the sky. The com[munication] system can send 300 bytes per packet of information.”
Not only will this balloon be a test of concept for the cubesat launch, but the project has the potential to provide some really interesting pictures and videos of the payload as it goes up, reaches its maximum altitude, then goes back down to earth.
“We are trying to get a lot of cool video from the flight,” said Evans, “so we have 4k cameras with fisheye lenses, and we should get some really cool videos of the flight.”
In Dec. 2017, Dianne Meboe, mother of sophomore Issa Meboe, applied and was hired for the role as Raisbeck Aviation High School’s new Learning Efficiency Expert teacher.
“It has been about one month since I started working at RAHS,” said Meboe. “I feel very lucky to be here.”
In her role, Meboe helps students improve their learning abilities and learning techniques, as well as fostering in students a love for school and the satisfaction of a job well done.
“My job is to help students improve their learning ability, develop new tools to study, and enjoy the process,” said Meboe.
Meboe also works on making sure Individualized Educational Plans (IEP) for students are managed well and that advisors work within that aspect.
One of her favorite aspects of working at RAHS is the working with people she feels are almost like family, all in the atmosphere of STEM.
“I love this school and I love aviation!” said Meboe. “The team of students, teachers, and administration are unsurpassed in excellence, kindness and zeal. It feels like I am helping my family.”
Meboe has been a teacher for both a school and for her children.
“I have been a teacher for quite a while,” said Meboe. “For about 10 years I worked at an alternative program in Bellevue teaching math, reading, and French. I also homeschooled my 4 kids for the past 16 years.”
Meboe loves helping people find alternative methods of learning.
“This is my dream job,” said Meboe. “I love all kinds of aviation, and I love helping people find a pathway to learning.”
Meboe’s love for her role at RAHS mirrors what her father once said to her.
“When I was a kid, my dad told me,‘You better like your job because you spend 70% of your life there,’” said Meboe. “I look forward to coming to work every day.”
RAHS’ very own Youth and Government is busy at work with their bills and debating in preparation for a North Seattle College event.
Senior Henry Crockett is a veteran member of Youth and Government (Y&G). He is also currently on the leadership committee of the club.
“Our mission is to get young students more involved into politics,” said Crockett. “If you see politicians today, most of them are fairly old, and so we want to get more of an understanding of how the actual process works of getting bills passed.”
In tandem with getting students involved into politics, Y&G has another goal of fostering citizenship. RAHS alumni Rachel Demaree is a former member and the founder of the RAHS branch (or delegation as they are called) of Washington State Y&G.
“Y&G is where students learn to write and debate a bill,” said Demaree. “The goal is essentially to become better, informed citizens.”
These bills could be in relation to any number of issues that students deem necessary to fix or change. Y&G students are always working to hone and refine their bills.
“We practice debating bills in our clubs and our meetings every Wednesday, and it leads us to an event in Olympia in May in which we go to the State Capitol and debate in the House and Senate Chambers to try and get a bill that we created passed,” said Crockett.
The club’s current goal is to not only refine their bills, but to gain valuable feedback on them. RAHS sophomore Mackenzie Firestone is also a Youth and Government team member. She agrees that the repeated practice is vital.
“The goal is to practice for Olympia, to get more experience with parliament, to get a feel of some of the other delegates, and to get more practice on your bill and to get more constructive feedback to get your bill more solid,” said Firestone.
Y&G is always at work practicing for their big day at Olympia.
“We do a ton of debate,” said Demaree. “We play different debate games. My favorite activity is called Trash Night, where everyone proposes their bill and everyone else tries to tear it apart. It can be kind of intimidating at first, but it’s really useful and makes everyone’s bill stronger.”
The event at North Seattle Community College is a large stepping stone to readiness for the Olympia event.
“At the meeting, our main goal is to get people actually enthusiastic and involved in politics at a young age,” said Crockett. “I mean our goal of course is to get our bill passed, but more importantly than that is to have some good debate and understand what things worked for our argument and what things did not so we can compete for next year.”
Getting a bill passed is much more than simple debating in Youth in Government.
“In mock legislature, we split up into groups and we debate based on what our bill is about,” said Crockett. Mock lege [legislature] is different than Olympia because you are in small groups and you don’t actually do whole debates with the entire chamber. In Olympia you may have 50 to 100 people in one room, at mock lege you may have only between 10 and 20.”
As far as the Olympia legislatures go, they are important in connecting people all across the state. There is an array of various topics that are debated, as students can develop a bill for whatever they are interested in changing.
“It’s awesome because you see what everyone’s passionate about and you learn to research quickly on the fly to support your arguments,” said Demaree.
Students of Y&G agree that the networking that you can experience at Olympia is diverse.
“You really get connected with your peers,” said Firestone. “Last year at Olympia I made a lot of friends that I didn’t know before.There are many people from different places. You get a lot of good perspective.”
As far as good perspective, that diversity is a key factor.
“It’s really nice having different political opinions from outside our centralized area is really interesting to hear because it allows us to see flaws in our own argument,” said Crockett. “If we’re all in the same room and we’re all like ‘yeah this is really solid, let’s all go for this’, you don’t really see the opposite view that could be debated. It’s nice to have that contrast.”
The club has been both instructional and inspirational.
“Y&G inspired me to pursue a career in policy,” said Demaree. “I’m specifically interested in foreign policy, which is a little different from what we do in Y&G. But Y&G taught me that I have a voice and that I should use it.”
RAHS students are attempting to create a new Key Club, in order to give people opportunities to volunteer and give back to those who are in need. There is still work to be done as far as forming it, but Key Club is definitely on its way to becoming an opportunity for RAHS to give back to the community.
Sophomore student Wren Bergin is a Key Club member and involved in the process of creating the new club. She is excited about working with Kiwanis International, a coeducational service club, to create a positive experience for club members.
“We’re not technically a club yet, we actually have our meeting with Kiwanis, who is our sponsor, on Tuesday the 5th of February,” said Bergin. “We have our paperwork and we’re going to be fundraising, so we’ll be starting it soon.”
Key Club is quite similar to Interact Club, as they both are volunteer based clubs, but Bergin notices some key differences between them, including the ability for Key Club to work with other schools.
“Interact Club is sponsored by a local Rotary [Club], but with Key Club, we’d be able to actually volunteer with other schools and get more involved with surrounding students that are not just from our schools,” said Bergin.
Bergin believes that this club specifically could be beneficial for many students at RAHS, as it would broaden the overall community.
“There’s always more opportunities to volunteer, and this will help us as Aviation expand and get more involved with our community rather than being a more isolated school,” said Bergin.
There are several benefits to joining this new club, and Bergin heavily encourages students to join and help make the world a better place. While students may participate in other school clubs, they can still participate in Key Club and its volunteer opportunities.
“Members will get to meet a lot of new people, not just from our school but others as well, and you can do Key Club and NHS (National Honor Society) for example,” said Bergin, “because we’re going to be volunteering at different events, so there’s never enough volunteering that you can do, and it’s just another opportunity.”
Freshman student and leader of Key Club, Sam Lee, believes that Key Club will be very valuable. He chose to work with the Key Club International because he felt it was what RAHS needed.
“I felt that our school needed a way to express ourselves with other places,” said Lee, “not just our community but interacting with other schools.”
Lee feels that RAHS is somewhat isolated at times, and because of this, gets a reputation that is not always reasonable. Lee wants to make a difference and change this perception.
“We’re kind of like a secluded school, so I thought Key Club would be perfect,” said Lee, “because these other schools have monthly meetings that all schools go to.”
Lee wants to change how others view RAHS, and believes he can accomplish this by giving back to the community. He feels that the more opportunities offered to help out people will benefit the overall atmosphere of the school.
“We could show them that Aviation is not just the perceived ‘nerd’ school,” said Lee, “and that it does community service too.”
Science Olympiad and Ultimate Frisbee hold fundraising events like the Rose Sale and the PTSA Auction to generate funds for their respective activities.
RAHS senior Miles Bush has been engaged in the Ultimate Frisbee team since freshman year and has experience with various fundraising events.
“We need fundraising [because] it’s expensive to get jerseys and things like that,” said Bush. “We have to ask people to pitch in their own money for things like jerseys as well as pitch in their own money for playing on the team to pay for tournament fees, [which] gets expensive. [Also] we need new frisbees [because] frisbees wear out every year.”
As a result, from all the many things Ultimate Frisbee has to fund, there are various fundraising avenues and methods.
“It’s a little over $100 to play for each season, so we get funds through the PTSA,” said Bush. We also get funds through starting fundraisers like selling duffel bags.”
The Vice President of Science Olympiad, senior Grace Zoppi, recognizes the many events that Science Olympiad needs to fund.
“We travel down to Camas, so we have to rent a bus and rent hotel rooms,” said Zoppi. “Most of the fundraising money goes to that, and then there is a lot of cost on the builder’s side to buy supplies for wood to build towers or parts to build airplane hovercrafts. Money goes to all those different devices.”
With all the various events requiring funding, Science Olympiad holds fundraising to gather necessary funds.
“The majority of our funds come from the PTSA auction, said Zoppi, “and then we raise additional funds through our team dues and the ornament sell and the rose sales.”
The RAHS Science Olympiad treasurer, Connor Whitlock, is in charge of the planning and allocation of the funds for events as well as bookkeeping and tracking of the funds.
“Any of the executive members come to the meetings to plan team events like when we hoisted the invitational or different things like transportation food building scheduling for the events that we go to,” said Whitlock. “All the executives are responsible for that. I am responsible for keeping the log of any time we do any fundraising requests, anytime we make any expenditures for food, hotel. I am also responsible for communicating with Mrs. Keithly the registrar to handle any documentation that we make of our finances.”
Furthermore, there are multiple places for the funds since Science Olympiad participates in competitions.
“I was elected at the end of last year for this year’s season,” said Whitlock. “Most of the money raised through the movie night and rose sale go to paying for materials for our projects that we compete with. Most of our money goes to transportation to and from Camas or regionals and if we make that far to state, and then lodging at Camas and state because they are far enough away for us to stay the night.”
As the second semester at RAHS began, sophomores prepared themselves for the beginning of the notorious Environmental Challenge Project (ECP). From upperclassmen and the few teachers involved, 10th graders have deduced that the project entails solving a broad environmental problem at an airport.
For the past three years, CGI and History of Aircraft Design teacher Troy Hoehne has prepared the students on the business side of the projects.
“The actual ECP has not gotten either harder or easier, with each year taking on a different issue at the airport,” said Hoehne. “Running the ECP has had increasing issues with logistics, which has required more planning.”
Despite the massive preparation behind the ECP, the outcome of what the students learn about the real world makes it all the more beneficial.
“It [the ECP] requires patience from everyone concerned, but also lends to the realism of the project,” said Hoehne. “In the ‘real’ world, everything else keeps happening while a new issue is dealt with. Boeing does not stop making the aircraft currently in production to explore new designs.”
The project itself takes massive preparation compared to other projects assigned throughout the year. In addition to Hoehne, teachers Nathan Gwin (Biology and Health), Sarah Fitzpatrick (Language Arts), and Wayne Storer (AP and Sophomore Literature) have been working on this year’s ECP since last year.
“Much of the planning for the project is invisible to the students,” said Hoehne. “Beginning in January, the teachers involved meet with officials from the Port of Seattle to discuss that year’s topic. They go over schedules, arrange for seminars, and schedule a major field trip. Class space needs to be reserved, busses reserved, and considerable communication is made with teachers not involved with the project so they can help kids with any assignments they might miss. Once the project is running, it is much like any other project, but on a larger scale.”
Nathan Gwinn, is taking on the science teacher role in the ECP project. He previously worked with teachers on singular projects at his old school, and is looking forward to applying his skills at Raisbeck.
“It’s exciting to collaborate with a few teachers and get to have one project with them where we have one goal [and] we’re working on the same thing,” said Gwinn. “I like that; that’s what I’ve been doing for a few years so it’s exciting to go back to that.”
In addition to working with teachers, the prospect of leading the sophomores is also intriguing to Gwinn, as he is an avid supporter of good and unique education.
“I’m excited because I think there [are] some possibilities to do some things that should be really fun and really interesting for [sophomores],” said Gwinn. “[They]’’ll get to actually spend some time at the airport instead of just working in wetlands or something like that.”
Gwinn’s sophomore biology students are accustomed to his swift and efficient teaching style, so the ECP should be somewhat familiar in that respect.
“I’ve always pushed through my content pretty quickly so that we have time to apply it as a class,” said Gwinn.