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Process for choosing new classes going well?

Aviation Theatre students are practicing their last choreo before the class is removed with new classes being introduced in the Fall of 2018.
Photo By: Zak Sleeth

RAHS will see new classes introduced in the Fall of 2018. These new classes are being added due to student interest data gathered by the district. Classes such as Photojournalism and UAS will be added which allows students to explore new pathways.
During the spring of 2018, students filled out a survey regarding classes that may intrigue them. With all the responses, Principal Therese Tipton and her team came together to discuss the results.
“Earlier this year there was a district wide survey about courses kids are interested in and then we always have teachers that are interested in pursuing passions that they have,” said Tipton. “So everything kind of all comes together and we have a strategic planning team on campus lead by Mr. Joshi who takes all that information and says ‘alright if we want to add something new, what do we not teach?’”
The strategic planning team looks at all aspects and considers the interest in each class to decide what will be added.
“There is a whole process that goes through how many sections we have,” said Tipton. “We know where student interest is, where teacher interest is, what fits in with the mission and vision of our school. We had a lot of students interested in photography, so we want to add that because starting from the class of 2021 students need two art credits.”
Teacher Nikhil Joshi and his planning team came up with many questions that would help guide them towards their final decisions.
“There were issues relating to some gaps in our program that we wanted to fill,” said Joshi. “Also figuring out what teachers actually wanted to teach. Do they still want to teach the same things? Do they want to teach something new? Whether we needed new classes? Who will be the best fit for that? We also needed to take into account staff who were possibly leaving the school and also take into account the possibility of some extra headcount.”
While trying to figure out what they should do, the team found a weakness in the engineering program at the school.
“Well we have always had a great science program and a full math program, but we surprisingly were deficient in some ways on the engineering side,” said Joshi. “Although we have engineering heavy classes and clubs like Robotics and Science Olympiad, Flight by Design and Aerospace Engineering were part engineering courses. When Gudor started teaching CAD and added in the manufacturing, there was an opportunity to fill in that gap.”
Besides just adding in new classes, the team also focuses on how to expand existing classes to cover a broader range of interests.
“We have a programming class but there was huge interest in taking ‘that’s great, I’m just programming. So how do I apply it?’,” said Tipton. “So for example, we use to just have a CAD class and last year around this time, Mr. Gudor was like ‘why do just CAD, why don’t we expand it so that students can not only create their own designs but then actually replicate that with the 3D printers.”
Teacher Marcie Wombold, another member of the planning team, values the ability of teachers to instruct in multiple fields, since there are many challenges associated. This has made the process of assigning teachers easier for the team.
“I enjoyed the process of reviewing registration numbers to make sure and schedule in the right number of periods for each class,” said Wombold. “It was a fun challenge to find ways to balance the teaching load in the teams, and provided a variety of classes for our students. I appreciated how qualified our faculty are that many of them are endorsed in multiple disciplines, allowing them to teach in other areas outside of the core.”
Wombold, like Joshi and Tipton, is thrilled and proud of the new classes being added into RAHS.
“I’m particularly excited to add the computer science course for our students,” said Wombold, “as well as creative options such as photojournalism.”

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School ends, internships commence

Senior Brynne Hunt poses in front of the Blue Origin logo while participating in a 2017 summer internship.
Photo Courtesy of: Brynne Hunt

Many RAHS students have applied and are preparing for internships during the 2018 summer. The internships provide a great learning opportunities to students exploring and learning about their future careers.
RAHS Junior Aivy Nguyen is interning for an orthodontics clinic and is hoping to learn more about her future career as an orthodontist.
“I am going to be working at Povolny Orthodontics in Southcenter. I’m interested in orthodontics so he offered me a position as a sterilization technician and basically that’s making sure that all the dental instruments are sterilized completely, cleaning up the stations, and welcoming in patients to the offices.”
Nguyen has begun her training sessions and has already learned much about the field of orthodontics.
“I’ve already learned a lot so far [from the training session], and so I hope to learn a lot more,” said Nguyen. “The orthodontist there has already taught me about teeth movement and patient care.”
Nguyen has found her internship incredibly helpful as it is providing a great learning experience for her career goals
“Because I want to be an orthodontist when I’m older and go into the orthodontics industry, it will be super helpful to be familiar with the office and all the instrument,” said Nguyen. “Also, having experience interacting with patients and welcoming people will be super helpful, and it looks good on resumes.”
Senior Brynne Hunt is excited to return to Blue Origin, where she previously had a successful experience as an intern.
“This summer, I will be interning for Blue Origin for the second time,” said Hunt. “I am going to be working on small engine testing and reliability upgrades until August when I leave for Purdue University.”
Hunt believes that Blue Origin offers a great experience for people looking to go into commercial space exploration to develop professional connections.
“I applied to Blue Origin at the end of Junior year because I have always been really interested in space and rockets and that’s [where] I eventually want to be working, in the commercial space industry,” said Hunt. “I thought that this would be a good stepping stone for making connections.”
Hunt loves the modern and friendly environment at Blue Origin, and feels that they offer a great attitude towards accomplishing tasks.
“I love the company, I love the culture and atmosphere, and so I’m always excited to go back,” said Hunt. “But I am nervous that I don’t have a lot of time before going to college.”
Hunt gained many new skills working at Blue Origin and hopes to have another great experience.
“This summer, I am hoping to get more technical skills since I will be working test stands, and so that’s what I think I’ll get this time,” said Hunt. “Last summer, I learned what the company is all about and what they hope to do in space.”
Career Choices teacher Renee Olsen is continuously looking for as many chances as possible to set students up with internships. She is hoping to find as many possible internships that could appeal to the interests of students at RAHS.
“There will be more [internships] coming too as we continue to work on them, Girls Who Code, Girls Rock Math,” said Olsen. “We keep searching for new opportunities.”
Olsen thinks that Hobart Machining is a great learning experience for students looking for a busy, yet beneficial internship.
“Another internship that I really like is Hobart Machining. It’s a smaller company but they do a huge business,” said Olsen. “I like how they bring someone into the company, they then set the student up with business cards, an office, and a desk. They really put their interns to work and they get to try a little of everything.”
“Another internship that I really like is Hobart Machining. It’s a smaller company but they do a huge business,” said Olsen. “I like how they bring someone into the company, they then set the student up with business cards, an office, and a desk. They really put their interns to work and they get to try a little of everything.”
If you are interested in finding an internship, be sure to visit the Career Center or talk to Ms. Carper for advice, opportunities, and information about them.

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Retired RAHS teacher returns to the classroom

Kumakura enjoying a meal in Japan.
Photo courtesy of Kumakura

Toshiki Kumakura, retired RAHS AP Japanese and Spanish teacher, left RAHS last year and has been making his mark in the Federal Way school system.

Before he began substituting, Kumakura took some time off to help his son with his newborn baby.

“I was in Spokane for more than four months [helping my son], and I came back and started subbing for high schools in Federal Way,” said Kumakura.

Not only does Kumakura sub for the Federal Way school system he also works at a school similar to RAHS.

“I actually started teaching Spanish at Technology Access Foundation School. It is like Aviation, it is a STEM school in Federal Way.”

Even though Kumakura has been spending more time with his family lately, he is still passionate about teaching and isn’t quite ready to retire.

“I didn’t feel like it was time for me to completely retire, so I might continue with part-time but I don’t want to do full-time anymore,” said Kumakura. “[Teaching] during the afternoon or part-time would be ideal, unfortunately there isn’t a lot of Japanese teaching opportunities.”

After working at other schools, Kumakura hopes that the current student body at RAHS take advantage of the opportunities they have and keep in mind how lucky they are to go to RAHS.

“I hope the kids realize it that other schools aren’t as good [as RAHS],” said Kumakura. “In the classes that I substituted for close to one third of the class was absent and it was the norm.”

Junior Eric Lottsfeldt, a former student of Kumakura’s Japanese class, misses his class in many ways. Lottsfeldt regrets not being able to interact with Kumakura himself anymore and is saddened by not being able to learn from his unique teaching techniques.

“The main thing I miss is his teaching style, I feel that he had a very good linguistic teaching style in that he kept a very Japanese [speaking] based class and that he didn’t use that much English,” said Lottsfeldt.

Lottsfeldt also appreciated how the different instructing style created an environment that pushed his learning and provoked his love for Japanese.

“The way that he just kept talking in Japanese even if you might not understand it made you feel like you were learning at a much higher level,” said Lottsfeldt. “Because in the environment you pick up all these words since you’re listening to the Japanese and in your brain it makes it a lot easier to study.”

Lottsfeldt not only misses Kumakura’s teaching style, he also liked his personality and had fun hanging around in his class.

“I miss Kumakura himself, if you weren’t in his class then you probably don’t know his personality but he may look very stern on the outside but he was very nice and open on the inside,” said Lottsfeldt. “He took time to tutor individual students to where they can learn both writing and reading Japanese and that is basically what I miss the most.”

Although Kumakura has moved on from RAHS, the profound impact he has had upon his students education and lives is still present today.

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A short discussion on the new dress code

Matthew Morin enjoying the new freedom of wearing shorts in school
Photo by Ava Yniguez

As summer rapidly approaches, and the days become hotter, RAHS students are finally allowed to wear shorts to school beginning 1 May 2018.

Junior Matthew Morin is also excited to be able to change things up with summer around the corner, and arrived to school on the first day of May wearing shorts.

“It’s just way more comfortable,” say Morin, “We’ve already had a bunch of hot days throughout April and it’s way better than wearing Khakis out in the sun.”

Senior Kier Hichens also took the first opportunity to wear shorts and arrived to school wearing a pair of blue bermuda shorts, despite a chilly 55 degree morning.

“I know I will be significantly happier until the end of school,” said Hichens, “especially during June once it gets up to 80 [degrees] and higher.”

On top of being much more relaxed than chinos or slacks, shorts have provided a more diverse set of clothing options for males.

“I have literally five pairs of school pants I cycle through wearing,” said Morin. “It basically allows me to double the amount of things I can wear to school.

While both Hichens and Morin are grateful for the changes, they do think the rules could be expanded a little further for wearing shorts in the earlier days of the school year.

“It might be nice to have like the first few weeks of September or the month as a whole,” said Morin. “It makes a good transition from being able to wear shorts and T-Shirts every day to khakis, but if they didn’t want to it would make sense.”

Morin also agrees that during hotter days in September, shorts would be useful and both believe some of the regulations surrounding the types of shorts allowed could be loosened.

“Being allowed to wear cargo shorts even just on Fridays like jeans would work,” said Morin, “but I do understand wanting golf or bermuda shorts just to keep them from getting too short.”

What almost everyone can agree on is that shorts should be allowed for both males and females instead of being male only.

“I think that females should be allowed to wear shorts as well,” said Hichens, “but it is nice to see some equity between females having skirts and now males having shorts.”

Morin believes the dress code should be expanded even further than just females being allowed to wear shorts along with males.

“Especially at our school we have a lot of people that don’t necessarily identify as strictly male or female,” said Morin. “Everyone should be allowed to wear what they feel allows them to express themselves within the dress code, and I think a unisex dress code may be something the school is working on.”

Senior Stella Sisson also believes the regulations on shorts could be refined for the next dress code.
“It seems pointless that we can wear fingertip length skirts but not shorts,” said Sisson, “they’re essentially the same and shorts aren’t any more revealing.”
Sisson also is in agreement with the common idea that both males and females should have the ability to wear shorts, and that a potentially uni-sex dress code for 2019 may be the right solution.
“It makes sense to balance the female skirts with male shorts,” said Sisson, “but at the same time it just doesn’t make sense to restrict it [shorts] to male only.”
Regardless of if changes such as these will be implemented in the future, students seem to be happy wearing shorts for the rest of this year.

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New bill implements more graduation requirements onto RAHS students

On 21 Mar. 2018, a new bill supporting civic education was signed into law in Washington State. The bill will require this year’s freshmen to take a standalone civics class as a requirement for graduation in hopes to increase young people’s knowledge of government.

Because RAHS is a smaller school than some others in the district, it can be difficult to add new classes. Counselor Katie Carper will play a large part in incorporating the new mandatory Civics class into the master schedule. Even if some classes have to be sacrificed to meet the requirement, RAHS will be able to continue to provide most of the specialized classes that make the school unique.

“We don’t know yet [how it will affect the schedule] except that any time we have to add a new class, we have to look really hard at the other social studies classes we teach and see which ones are required and which are not,” said Carper. “The social studies requirements in Washington State have always been pretty confusing, so we’ll need to take a look at that. I don’t know specifically how, but it will definitely affect the master schedule.”

Washington State Board of Education representative Linda Drake expressed that although the new requirements may be difficult for some schools, civics often gets lost or minimized in a US history class and it is essential for youth to learn about these topics.

“I understand that the state often asks schools to do very difficult things,” said Drake, “but I doubt if anyone would really argue whether civics is an important content area for students to learn.”

Even though updates were made in the 2018 version of the bill, a prior version from 2009 demonstrates the state’s perspective on the issue.

“Preparation for citizenship is as important as preparation for college and a career, and should take its place as a requirement for receiving a high school diploma,” according to HB 2132, Chapter 223, State of Washington Laws of 2009.

Drake ensures that specialized schools like RAHS will be able to continue supporting their missions not only in spite of, but because of new requirements like these.

“I know that there are some schools like [RAHS] that are doing some really exciting and innovative things and the intent of these things is not to interfere with that,” said Drake. “I know that it is a challenge but I would encourage schools to look at flexibilities within the system to be able to work with the curriculum that [they] stand behind.”

Looking at flexibility is exactly what RAHS has to do when it comes the other unfunded mandates such as the new increased art requirement; the class of 2021 will need a second art credit in order to graduate.

“We are adding at least 60 more seats of art [for students] per year so between that and the fact that our students can do some outside school options, I am hopeful that that will be sufficient,” said Carper. “Students are going to need to choose art classes over other classes if they need two credits of art.”

Even though students might have to make difficult choices, the school is lucky to have the resources that they do to provide opportunities that they do.

“We always have students who can’t get a class they want or need. We can’t just say ‘hey there’s this need, lets hire a teacher.’ We have to think about our budget and ask for money,” said Carper. “But I count my blessings that we’re here and that so many of us have been here a long enough time that we’re able to be creative.”

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Reading with a different pair of eyes

Storer introducing the sophomore 1984 project to his 4th period class, including Braeden Gibson (left) and Diana Vu (right). Fitzpatrick’s and Storer’s classes will both work on the project about the George Orwell novel.
Photo by Semay Alazar

Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, Wayne Storer joined Sarah Fitzpatrick Erdmann as the co-sophomore English teacher. The two teachers have had to work together to teach sophomore students the reading and writing skills necessary to be successful in their junior year.

Though they are using the same curriculum, the two teachers implement their own style of teaching into their classes, offering different perspectives on the same material. Storer reads entire novels to his class over the course of the semester.

“I’m a big novel guy,” said Storer. “I love having a novel that we all share together that is our common text. When you have a novel that you all work on together, you all do close reading practice on it, you all discuss it together, [and] it also gives us a target for an AP Lit style question three.”

However, Fitzpatrick reads a diverse range of texts in conjunction with scaffolding; breaking up a task into the smaller skills necessary to complete it.

“I am a big believer in providing scaffolding and approaching texts from a variety of entry points, focusing on close reading strategies and complex texts,” said Fitzpatrick. “I think my students are doing well and are enjoying class; we have a lot of fun and I have seen some major growth in their writing specifically.”

Preparing students for AP English classes, specifically AP Lit, is a big focus for Storer who teaches the class; reading novels on the AP list furthers that focus. Sophomore English student Miles Gendreau believes reading an entire novel in Storer’s class is helpful.

“I think it’s good that we’re progressively going through a book over the course of the semester,”  said Gendreau. “I think it helps, especially when it’s connected to the other things we’re learning; you can kind of put your learning in context.”

Sophomore Brigitta Nguyen is in Fitzpatrick’ class and believes that working with smaller texts lets students try new things without diving in head first.

“I personally really liked working with smaller texts throughout the year,” said Nguyen. “I believe that working with smaller texts is a great teaching style, because it allows students to ‘test the waters’ when learning new writing elements, or styles of writing.”

Because she had Storer freshman year and Fitzpatrick her sophomore year, Nguyen can compare and contrast the different styles of each teacher.

“Mr. Storer, of course, teaches that ‘meaning is all that matters,’ and I think that Mr. Storer’s teaching style really helped me develop great themes and analyses on an emotional-level [ethos],” said Nguyen. “However, Ms. Fitzpatrick teaches in-depth about many elements of style that go into analyses, and her teaching style helped me improve my writing on a technical level.”

One strategy Storer has borrowed from Fitzpatrick is the use of scaffolding. Although Storer has seen how beneficial scaffolding can be to different learning styles, he had some hesitations at first.

“Ms. [Fitzpatrick] is far more skilled at scaffolding than I am,” said Storer. “Some of [scaffolding] to me seems too low level, but I’ve learned this year that it’s not, and then I watched [students] work through some of these activities; some of the chunking, some of the charts, and I saw how valuable it was.”

Fitzpatrick has also incorporated elements from Storer into her own class.

“He has shared some interesting ideas that I have used and altered a bit in AP Lang specifically, such as group timed writes,” said Fitzpatrick. “I have also used some of his close reading strategies and the Book Talk project, of course.”

Though the two teachers may have a different focus, both have assisted Nguyen in developing her writing skills.

“Overall, I think that both teachers are excellent in what they do,” said Nguyen, “and having experienced both teaching styles from both teachers helped me become a better writer.”


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Vape nation, or vape cessation?

Johnson Longhorne ripping a fat vape in the RAHS parking lot
Photo by Zachary Sleeth

Teenage vaping has become a hotly debated topic in society at large, as well as in the RAHS school community. In light of the 27 Jan. 2018 Winter Ball ending early due to students being caught vaping and the onset of prom season, more caution is being taken in hopes to prevent another incident.

RAHS Junior Juarez Rosborough believes that vaping as a whole is the decision of the student, but should be taken seriously in school and school-sanctioned events.

“In our school setting I see [vaping] as uncalled for; I don’t see why you would need to vape at school,” said Rosborough. “If you want to do it outside of school then go ahead, it’s your life you can do what you want. Just don’t do it in school.”

While the issue is clear, it may be potentially difficult to prevent school vaping from occurring.

“I’d have to say that bringing it to school dances is a choice someone makes that shouldn’t have been made. It’s kinda hard to stop it in general though — if someone chooses to bring that in they’re going to bring it in anyways,” said Rosborough. “You won’t be able to search everyone as they walk in.”

While students are able to do what they deem fit outside of school without penalty from admins like Vice Principal Mr. Holloway, inside of school there are rules that still apply, whether you’re 18 or not.

“Inside these walls, the expectation is there’s no drugs, there’s no smoking, there’s no alcohol or things of that nature,” said Holloway. “[Vaping] falls in the same line [as drugs and smoking] in my opinion, and that’s how we’ve been able to stay out of the grey area; keep it black and white, like ‘this is what’s not permitted.’”

While the law of the land is clear, not every violator can be caught.

“I only have two eyes and there’s four-hundred of you. I can’t always see if a kid might be in the bathroom or something like that,” said Holloway. “It’s almost like when you’re on the highway and you’re speeding: there’s one police officer, he can’t catch all the cars that are up there, but the one he does catch is the one that’s gonna get the penalty and the punishment, because he physically saw that person speeding. So if I definitely physically see it, I have to say something and do something about it.”

While there are efforts to crack down on vaping in school, not much can be done by administration outside of school, which is heard about more.

“Before coming to Raisbeck [I] was at a middle school, and there were several incidences, this was in Arizona, of even 8th graders vaping in the neighborhoods,” said Theresa Tipton, RAHS principal. “We’d never had an incident on campus of vaping, but heard of kids in the neighborhood and several of the local high schools.”

Senior James Mitchell has heard of the dangers of second-hand smoking, and ultimately does not advocate for smoking on school grounds. He does, however, respect students’ choice to smoke and believes schools should as well.  

“I think that it’s not a good thing in the educational setting, even like in the halls. But I’m perfectly fine with it being on campus if it’s like away in designated zones,” said Mitchell. “My main objection is health risks and it never being forced on students. I’m totally okay with them making the choice though.”

Mitchell understands the caution surrounding vape but thinks the punishment for violators should not be as severe, especially given the legality of it.

“I err on the side of saying that it shouldn’t be banned, but that it should be on a warning basis, that there shouldn’t be any of kind suspension,” said Mitchell. “I don’t think it should accelerate [as fast as it does], especially when it’s something fairly mild that’s legal anyway at 18. I think it’s a little unfair to instantly suspend someone for doing it at a school dance, although I don’t think they should be doing it inside.”

Sophomore Molly Brombaugh, on the other hand, thinks there should be much stricter rules surrounding vaping in school.

“[Vaping is] generally unhealthy and personally not recommended, and I feel it does show a lower level of society and maybe that person [who is vaping],” said Brombaugh. “It’s generally bad practice for youths and it should be enforced a bit more than it is.”

On the other hand, junior Ariana McDowell believes that, while not a vaper herself, vaping can be a stress reliever.

“For some people I’m sure it’s to try to calm down if they’re stressed,” said McDowell, “but I think that it’s definitely not a school thing.”

While it may have some merits, Brombaugh maintains that vaping comes with health concerns, and that these concerns should be approached with enforced regulation.

“I feel that [vaping in school] should be more enforced and the legal regulation should change to prevent youths from using vaping devices just because of the health concerns,” said Brombaugh. “Additionally, if youths are not actively purchasing their own vaping devices, then that’s bad practice for adults to do as well, and it should be treated in a manner similar to alcohol.”

To Arianna, the final decisions on vaping is that of the parents.

“A lot of kids from my old highschool and my grade do it,” said McDowell, “and I feel like if their parents are okay with it it’s fine.”

Mitchell shares a partially similar opinion, believing that current laws preventing youth from drug-usage are a good idea, but in the future can be improved with legalization.

“I think that the choice should be made individually, but I think, as a rule, legislation blocking stuff until you’re 18 is a good idea,” said Mitchell. “I think that the end game for drugs is that basically everything that’s illegal now should be legalized, de-stigmatized, taxed so that there can be de-stigmatized aid available to people and it’s a more realistic choice.”

In general, Brombaugh sees vaping as a recreation that should not be brought into schools or school dances.

“Honestly if they’re gonna try and do it, that was kind of stupid of them to get caught like that, but I can understand maybe people would want to do that stuff as a recreational activity or to liven up a party, but don’t do it in public if you’re gonna try and get away with it,” said Brombaugh. “I feel that vaping in school distracts from the learning environment and reduces student’s capabilities and potential, and it kind of goes against the message of the school of health and safety and making good choices.”

Not only is it a distraction, Holloway sees vaping as a negative social trend that threatens the school environment.

“I think [drugs and vape] are relatively the same. I think kids are always going to attempt to push the envelope with it, because it is different, it’s something new. Social media, society, doesn’t do anything to help that, right, because it’s a new thing, it’s a trend now. Potentially students may be trying that outside of here, and unfortunately I can’t do anything about what goes on outside of here,” said Holloway, “but my job, my duty, is to protect the lives and the school climate and environment that’s here.”

As vaping gains more steam, the RAHS faculty recognize that it’s an issue that can be potentially solved through communication.

“One thing that we could probably do better is ensuring students are aware of consequences, why or why not something is okay or not. Also the potential harmful effects,” said Tipton. “I think every generation went through their own version of this, whatever it happened to be at the time, and as adults, as a school team, we need to educate ourselves more of what [that] is.”

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Sophomores scramble to meet tight ECP deadlines

Sophomores (from left to right) Max Mellroth, Nick Ankuta, and Malia Houghton rehearse before their ECP presentation
Photo by Ava Yniguez

The annual Environmental Challenge Project (ECP) kicked off 17 April. However, this year’s timeline is different as there is one less week for students to prepare before presenting to the Port of Seattle airport director and their committee.

Sophomore Nick Ankuta feels that having more time to complete the project would have been helpful.

“[The timeline] didn’t affect us much the first week. We didn’t completely know what we were getting into,” said Ankuta. “But two weeks in, we can feel the presentation approaching and we’re both rushed and stressed.”

Groups have had to cope with not having access to the information they need in order to get started on their projects.

It’s been difficult getting all of the information we feel we need. On top of that, figuring out what exactly we need and what is actually important,” said Ankuta. “We’ve had a lot of little ideas that, after a second thought, were actually completely irrelevant.”

Students aren’t the only ones affected by the ECP. The strict timeline has taken a toll on students and teachers alike. Sophomore literature teacher Wayne Storer struggles with balancing his scheduling and the ECP schedule.

“It’s been difficult for me; I’m a planner and I’m really organized; Everything about this feels last minute and massive amounts of changes have had to happen on the fly,” said Storer. “Add that to the fact that I’m teaching a brand new curriculum… because when I finally think I’ve got something down and we have a nice plan, then something in this project changes. I don’t know if anyone could have anticipated [these changes].”

The time constraint have been both restrictive in some ways and helpful in others. Ankuta and his group have explored both aspects of this project.

“The students of our class like doing a good job (my group at least). We hate not being able to explore everything we know we could if we had a little bit more time,” said Ankuta. “The time constraint keeps us from doing the work we want to do. Although on the bright side, that means we’re forced to identify the things most important to us.”

On the other hand, Lena Seidel, a junior at RAHS has a different perspective on the ECP.

“The prompt this year is quite different from last year’s. We had to create a plan to develop three different plots of lands, rather than a renovation,” said Seidel. “While the three week time period is quite a lot shorter, I think that it’s reasonable for this prompt, at least from what I know.”

The timeframe has been shortened on behalf of the Port of Seattle for unclear reasons.

“[The ECP] is much shorter. I think it is, in fact, a week shorter than previous,” said Storer. “The other thing that I’ve heard is that the question this year is the most realistic and the feedback seems to be the most positive compared to previous years.”

Although the timeframe has been altered, there are techniques that Storer says can help students cope better with the time demands.

“I have seen my students work more diligently on this project than anything else. My advice is to ask for help,” said Storer. “Most of these skills other than presentation skills are not things that are in my [expertise].”

In comparison to last year’s problem to solve, Seidel uses her past experiences to understand how this year’s students and time compare.

“I don’t remember exactly how much time we had, but I believe it was between a month and a month and a half from start to finish,” said Seidel. “I felt that my group had enough time to prepare for the final presentation. As long as you were careful to turn in everything on time and stay on top of all the different aspects of the project, there was ample time to finish.”

Even with the shortened time period, students will be able to push through to complete the task at hand.

“This is going to get quite stressful for the sophomores, but it’s doable and it’ll end up being a great experience, said Seidel. “It’s a real-world application of what they’ve been learning, and will certainly be a memorable project.”

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RAHS space projects are out of this world

Senior Andrew Struthers(left) and Sophomore Carson Klein (right) are working on two Raspberry Pi’s that simulate the RAHS board and the UW system to test CAN communication and picture sending.
Photo By: Sam Hart

This year two RAHS projects will be sent into orbit. One of the projects is from the after school club Satellite Club (SAT Club). SAT Club has been working with the University of Washington to launch a satellite into space. The satellite needs to be finalized before 1 Aug. 2018 for NASA review and the launch will then take place near the end of 2018.

Senior Andrew Struthers joined SAT Club when it was formed. This year he has been working with his team on creating a satellite to photograph different parts of the Earth. Struthers hopes the student-made satellite will be able to complete its given tasks.

“The board is going to take pictures of the earth from low Earth orbit and send them back to Earth,” said Struthers. “The board is non-professionally made, the software is all written by students, and every part of the project is under student control. Hopefully, if everything works right, we will be able to take our own pictures of Earth.”

Struthers joined the SAT Club because he realized it benefits his STEM skills and he can use those to his advantage later in the future.

“I decided to join this club because it provides me the perfect opportunity to advance my passion in the STEM field. I have gotten the opportunity to code and work on an actual project, which has taught me many things about software,” said Struthers. “These skills that I have gained in SAT Club will help me in college and my future careers.”

Personally, Struthers feels like joining SAT Club enhances his technical and project skills.

“I gained many different skills from this project, including being able to stay focused on a single project for a long amount of time. I have also learned many valuable things including data handling and software communication,” said Struthers. “I have also learned about working on a project where deadlines and other parts of the project are being held up by something besides myself, and I’ve learned how to deal with the frustrations that [it] brings.”

An additional project that is being launched into space is from the Aerospace Engineering class taught by Scott McComb. McComb decided to launch high-altitude weather balloons with his class over the Memorial Day weekend. The launch for the first balloon will take place near Vantage, Washington. McComb was inspired to do this project after working at the rocket company Blue Origin.

“Last summer, I worked at Blue Origin to help educators break down barriers to launching materials to space,” said McComb. “Since Flight by Design is already working with Blue Origin at our school, I decided it would be fun to use high-altitude weather balloons to excite students about engineering and aerospace.”

Freshman Etnna Elizalde-Castaneda is in Aerospace Engineering and her part on the team is to deal with sound and how it works with fire.  

“My team and I are doing a sound fire suppression system,” said Elizalde-Castaneda. “It amazes me how sounds or bases [chemicals that put out fires] that we may not be able to feel or hear very well can put out flames very easily.”

Elizalde-Castaneda decided this was a good elective that will help her in the future.

“I chose to take this class because I am interested in engineering and it’s a career I would like to pursue and I believe that it’s a potential field I could work in,” said Elizalde-Castaneda. “I came in wanting to learn CAD and more about electrical [fields].”

The balloon project McComb has created for his class has a lot of benefits for the students

“Engineers make dreams turn into reality,” said McComb. “It’s exciting to create something from nothing and fly it to space!”

Email Etiquette Snark Attack

Dear RAHS Students,

Actually, no. Apparently we don’t need to have a heading for emails anymore because your email etiquette is trash. Which is great because when you cc everyone for your random email with a pointlessly vague subject line we all know exactly who you’re referring to. Especially when the email is sent at 11:59 pm the day before the event you’re trying to inform me of. Because I can almost guarantee that whether I  check my email later that night or early the next morning I will without a doubt be tired, irritable, and very unlikely to see your email labeled “meeting ToMORROW!” and care to read on. Even if I somehow muster the energy to click on your bothersome email, I will probably go about my day with no more information than I started with because your ambiguously-inclined self probably didn’t even tell me what room to meet in at “about halfway through lunch..ish.”

As a result of your pathetic incompetency to explain yourself, a chorus of reply-alls irritating enough to make ears bleed will undoubtedly come flying into my inbox. For every idiot who finds themselves so incredibly fascinating that they think all of the other 40 people in the thread need to hear their opinion, please close your laptop, get off your phone, and join a self-help group, because maybe someone there will at least pretend to care.  

Even more infuriating are the degenerates who wait four and a half days to respond to you, only to say “got it” or “sounds good.” I get it; I‘m a shark, typing is hard. But if you knew you were only going to give me 3 seconds of your time, WHY DID IT TAKE SO DAMN LONG? Or, you’ll ask some stupid question that was clearly detailed in my message, only further demonstrating that you are a substandard human being with little to no processing capabilities. And we both know that your vexing conjecture will only prompt me to explain myself with something along the lines of “per my last email” which is clearly the only remotely polite way of asking “seriously can you even read???”

Once again, I understand. Communicating with humans is a difficult and draining endeavor. Maybe if composing a coherent email is too hard for you, you should resort to a more simple-minded mode of communication. Perhaps interpretive dance might suit you, or I don’t know, maybe talk to me in person.



The Snark

✧✧ Just keep swimming ✧✧ – Dory



Seriously why are people like this ^^

Grand Cantral

Dear Ground Control,

Why the hell are underclassman wearing their middle school sports gear?



Shook Senior


Dear Shooketh,

There’s a simple answer for this: an inferiority complex.

Back in middle school, these underclassmen were on top of the world. In eighth grade, they were the dominating class and had complete power over the puny, younger classes. They could cut in the lunch line without fear of repercussion; they could make fun of the tiny sixth graders all they want; they were at the prime of their lives. As they were upheaved into high school, they went from having total control to having none. Suddenly, they were at the bottom of the food chain, “fresh meat,” if you will.

Therefore, in order to relive their days of glory, they throw themselves into middle school attire. They attempt to assert their dominance by yelling “Hey! I went to middle school! I was in eighth grade! I had power once!” We all know it doesn’t work, but they try. Don’t worry, they’ll grow out of it as they regain upperclassmen power. Admit it, you did this too.


Learn to live with it,

Ground Control


Dear Ground Control,

Now that the dress code allows shorts after May 1st, should I start wearing shorts?



Sweaty Student


Dear Sweaty,

Well if you’re that sweaty, my answer is definitely. Nobody wants to sit next to the person who is sweating through their pants. So if it’s hot, wear shorts! If it’s cool, wear pants! Do what you want, whatever makes you the most comfortable. Nobody is going to look at you and say, “wow, I can’t believe they decided to wear shorts, what a horrible decision, what a catastrophe.” And if they do, they need to take a long hard look at themselves and wonder why they are judging others for their clothes.

Keep in mind, however, that it’s the beginning of summer and you still have winter legs. Your pasty skin might blind everyone in the building without your luxurious summer tan. So be careful, the number one rule of the dress code is to not distract others, and obviously I am in full support of the dress code.


Stay sweaty,

Ground Control

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