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Paine Field development promises commercial expansion

Paine Field’s first commercial airport expansion is currently under development by Propeller Airports, an airport development company that focuses on catering to niche markets, providing an alternative to the crowded hallways of larger airports. The development is the result of pioneering efforts by Propeller, which seeks to expand into more regional markets.

“I think this will be the nicest terminal in the United States,” said Propeller CEO Brett Smith. “We’re going to operate 24 flights per day to 20 destinations, with room for roughly 1800 passengers.”

Smith has been interested in aviation since childhood. Opening privatized airports are a natural progression of his passion and the Pacific Northwest provides a great environment for him to do so.

“The people of this county and the people in this state know that the only way forward is to break new ground,” said Smith. “This was supposed to be the airport for Seattle, and here we are 80+ years later, as it was originally intended to be.”

Before being used for military development during WWII, and later by Boeing’s commercial aircraft business, Paine Field had been intended as a passenger airport, similar to Sea-Tac today. Although the size of the facility will be significantly smaller than Sea-Tac. Smith believes that it will be a more luxurious experience.

“Why are we using taxpayer money to fund [the development of airports which] could be done successfully, even better, by the private sector?” said Smith. “It is in my best interest to charge the airlines as least as possible to encourage passengers to use my airport. Ticket prices should be similar to Sea-Tac departures.”

Even though the ticket prices are estimated to be similar to that of Sea-Tac, the new terminal will have amenities that are impossible at larger airports. Designed to be similar to a hotel, it will feature a focus on customer service that is unmatched in other airports.

“There will be valet parking, manned podiums for guests to check in, and a large room with floor to ceiling windows, and fireplaces,” said Smith. “It is designed with the guest experience in mind.”

The planned deluxe terminal is the second of Propeller’s projects, the first in Georgia which is still under development. Opening in the fall, it will be the first of the company’s terminals to open. It will be serviced by Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, each of which have committed several flights per day to the Everett-based field.

“Paine field already sees about 12 large aircraft flights per day, from Boeing and military flights,” said RAHS junior Nathaniel Vigdor. “If the airlines decide to add more flights, or the terminal decides to expand, it could significantly increase the volume of traffic that the area sees.”

There has been some resistance to the development, but nothing more than should be expected for any industrious expansion near a populated area. Environmental impact studies have shown that the planned number of flights will not excessively affect the environment, but should the number of flights be significantly increased, a reassessment would likely be necessary.

“I think the development is very interesting because it is one of the first of its kind in our area,” said Vigdor. “I hope that the concept will expand more, as it will provide for a close, easily accessible airport for my neighborhood. It is cool that we now have an alternative.”

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RAHS students blown away to the Windy City

Wind team stands in front of wind tunnel at the collegiate competition in Chicago.
Photo Courtesy of: Mr. McComb

Wind Team has been a part of RAHS for almost 2 years now, gearing up for the bi-annual collegiate Wind Turbine Competition. They were unable to compete in the competition, however, because they were a high school team and not a collegiate team. That being said, the team still attended the competition in order to test their turbine and to learn more about wind energy.

RAHS junior and Wind Team member Oliver Low was still excited about attending the competition even if his team wasn’t able to compete.

“While we aren’t able to actually compete due to being a high school team,” said Low, “we are grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate our turbine in front of the collegiate competition, and show them how far our design has gone over the years.”

Over the past two years the group has done much in preparation for this competition, however this is not the first collegiate wind competition that the group has gone to. Low went to Denver, Colorado last year for a smaller competition along with many other members of the team.

“We actually went to Denver last year to demonstrate our turbine in a smaller-scale collegiate wind competition,” said Low.

The Chicago competition has been a goal of Wind Team for a long time. Junior Cooper LeComp enjoyed competing in the freshmen science KidWind project with science teacher Scott McComb, ending up going to the national KidWind competition. After this, he was inspired to go for the collegiate competition.

“Wind Team started in my freshman year when a group of us went to KidWind Nationals,” said LeComp. “We did really well, getting [1st] place, so we decided to step it up, and build a turbine to the specifications of the Collegiate Wind Competition.”

The team, with McComb as their advisor, has learned a lot; everything that the team has made has had to have been made by them. This has taught the team skills from everything from electrical engineering to aerodynamics.

“We have learned a lot,” said McComb. “I personally have learned about electrical systems, control systems, mechanical engineering, and project management. These are valuable skills to have.”

Although the team has learned a lot on their own, they couldn’t have gotten where they are without their mentors and McComb.

“The support of Mr. McComb and our mentors have led us to our success,” said LeComp. “Being able to communicate and learn from experienced individuals from industry has been very beneficial.”

McComb was the one who originally organized the team as a zero hour class for students at the school. In 2016, teams from RAHS and McComb went to the Kidwind national competition in New Orleans, Louisiana where they saw the collegiate challenge taking place at the same time.

“We saw the collegiate wind teams testing in the larger wind tunnels with their business plans,” said McComb,” and the comment then was ‘that doesn’t look so hard, we should totally do that,’ [and] so we did.”

Once the team had come back they decided to create a team for the collegiate Wind Challenge, which began in the 2016-17 school year as a part of the Pre-Engineering Technologies zero hour course.

“We came back and started a wind team,” said McComb. “We had 14 students last year, [and] we had 12 this year working to create a wind turbine to the specifications of the collegiate wind challenge.”

Because they were a group of highschoolers trying out for a collegiate challenge, McComb had to seek an invitation from the Collegiate organization to come to Chicago and take part in the event.

“We were not officially invited to Chicago until February,” said McComb. “After we won nationals, and we decided internally that we would try to compete in the collegiate wind challenge.

McComb has witnessed the team do real work to solve a real world problem and make real progress doing it.

“As a teacher, it’s always thrilling,” said McComb. “It was very very exciting, and to see the level of sophistication, and the level of thought that had gone into it. We had documentation that Oliver had prepared, and that we didn’t end up using, but knowing that we had it just, it felt like real work.”

Over the course of two years, Wind team decided to take an idea and transform it to a team of 12 people who worked hard in order to build a complex turbine and take it to a competition halfway across the country.

“The most exciting part for me was that I got watch a group of student take an idea and change it from nothing, into something sophisticated and real,” said McComb.” We can solve technological problems when we put our minds to it.”

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ASP gets its head out of the clouds

Next year, many more students will be taking off at the Museum of Flight’s free new ASP college program. Being free is just one of the reasons as to why ASP is more like… yAy-SP.
Photo By: Will Garren

Two years ago, the Museum of Flight’s education program started the Aeronautical Science Pathway (ASP), a free program allowing high school juniors and seniors with a passion to pursue a career in an aviation related field to earn up to 60 college credits. Several weeks ago, an Information Night was held following the low 2017-2018 school year enrollment numbers, and attracted over 90 people.

Sara Strasner, the Museum of Flight’s new Boeing Academy for STEM Learning Manager, was  thrilled with the success of Information Night.

“Information Night was such a huge success! We had outstanding presentations from our current students,” said Strasner, “and lots of interested prospective students and their parents as well.”

The turnout was well deserved. Over the past year, Strasner and the Museum of Flight have been busy with outreach efforts.

“This was certainly an all hands-on deck recruitment effort, but our hard work paid off,” said Strasner. “This was our largest Info Night to date.”

The program also received several commitments from prospective students, who filled out preliminary paperwork to be a part of the program.

“I’m still working with interested students to get their paperwork and district approval in place,” said Strasner, “but I would say Info Night has definitely gotten us closer to our goal of 50 students.”

ASP Lead Instructor Michael Graham also showed excitement about the amount of people who showed up, displaying even more optimism for the future of the program.

“As of right now it appears that the seats will all be filled. It is still early and a lot happens over the summer, people move, change their minds or become overwhelmed with the upcoming school year,” said Graham. “So, we’ll see but it looks very promising and I am confident that we will have two full classes.”

This is a night and day difference from several months ago. At that time, the Museum experienced difficulties in attracting prospective students, leading to much uncertainty about the future success of the program. RAHS senior and year two ASP student Hunter Whitlock was overjoyed with the turnout of guests.

“I was very surprised that the effect outreach had had,” said Whitlock. “I was only expecting 20-30 people, including parents, not enough to fill the Skyline Room.”

After giving many prospective students and parents tours through the Museum, Whitlock also stayed later in the evening to answer questions. Whitlock was thoroughly impressed with how the event went, and what this means for ASP, while also noticing a change in student demographics.

“I think that it is on a good track, I am not sure how they will keep exclusivity,” said Whitlock. “Desperation for students will make that exclusivity difficult to keep, there was not a single student from RAHS, it will become more of an MoF program than one with RAHS students. I know for certain there was not a single RAHS student there.”

Whitlock’s observation is justified; not many RAHS students seem to be interested in the new program. RAHS sophomore Anusha Gani considered attending the ASP program earlier in the year.

“I decided not to [attend ASP] as the credits wouldn’t transfer over to my major,” said Gani. “I plan to complete my bachelors in computer programming and most of the credits would be irrelevant to [that] major and therefore [would] not transfer.”

Gani’s plan, like other students, did not align with the content and end goal of the program. If Gani had chosen a career path that was more closely related to an aviation field, the likelihood of her transferring credits would be much higher, like Whitlock.

“The program definitely met and exceeded expectations,” said Whitlock. “I am on track to earn all 60 of Green River College credits, and Embry-Riddle is looking to take most if not all of my credits, so it is definitely useful even if you do not continue to Green River.”

While there were no RAHS students at the ASP Information Night, current underclassmen may change that for future classes. RAHS freshman Max Welliver is an avid aviation enthusiast and has expressed a desire to join ASP when he becomes a junior in 2019.

“Right now, I’m making sure that the ASP credits will transfer to the colleges,” said Welliver. “I know I’m interested at this point.”

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Men look fly at Mr. Aviation

The men at Mr. Aviation preforming the dance.
Photo Courtesy of: Kenny Pham

On 27 Apr. 2018, Mr. Aviation, RAHS’ male beauty pageant, was held in the BPC. The contestants tried their hand at a dance, showcased their many skills in a talent show, and demonstrated how smooth of a talker they are when answering questions. The 2018 winner of Mr. Aviation, sophomore Chase Barton, will receive a cardboard cutout of himself, a free parking spot, and free tickets to every RAHS dance for the next school year.  

During this year’s Mr. Aviation Pageant, junior Kenny Pham, ASB President-elect and Mr. Aviation contestant, created the dance that all of the contestants perform at the beginning of the Pageant. Pham was the 2017 Mr. Aviation victor and is known for his dance moves.

“Mr. Aviation, to me, is an event in which family members and students can watch participants really strut their stuff, and showcase their unique personalities as they go through a fashion show, talent show, and finally a question and answer portion at the very end,” said Pham.  

For Pham, his favorite part of the pageant was the talent show.

“Over the years, participants have always thought up of incredible showcases of their personal talents, ranging from dancing, to singing, to spoken word, and it’s always entertaining to see the excited crowd cheer on each act.”said Pham.  “The energy levels are so high during this portion and it’s always amazing to see people cheer at the top of their lungs,” said Pham.

But Mr. Aviation isn’t just about competing for a prize. For a lot of the students, Mr. Aviation can be about releasing stress and watching fellow students

Since there is always such strong audience participation for the competition, Pham feels it is a crucial part of RAHS culture.

“Mr. Aviation brings people together for a night in which everyone can let loose and watch, and cheer on their friends while they compete for the Mr. Aviation crown,” said Pham.

One of the aspects of the competition that likely draws the large crowd of students is because it is totally coordinated by students.

“Mr. Aviation is all student run,” said Pham. “Whoever volunteers, creates the dance choreography for the opening number, and the event coordinators on ASB — who were [juniors] Erin Magarro and Caroline Tran this year — lead meetings with the participants to make sure the event runs smoothly.”

However, not everything about the event is decided by the organizers. The contestants can make major decisions as well.

“The participants are in charge of their fashion show attire, talent, and answers for the questions,” said Pham. “This entire event is run by the students, and the only involvement faculty has is that they rate and judge the participants.”  

One of the most anticipated parts of Mr. Aviation is how it can draw people together and have them focus on one common goal.

“It’s really amazing how so many people can come together to create this exciting and hype event,” said Pham. “It also brings out the hype in people, and it continues to build up this community we have, filled with diverse talents all around.”

For contestant senior William Schnaith, the competition is about showcasing his talents.

“Mr. Aviation is a way to express talents I wouldn’t be able to show off in a regular fashion,” said Schnaith.

Like Pham, Schnaith also said the talent show was his favorite part. However, a large part of what Mr. Aviation meant to Schnaith was being known to others in RAHS.

“Also, it’s a great way of getting yourself known in our school’s community,” said Schnaith.

Another thing Schnaith enjoys about Mr. Aviation is the impact one can make on the school.

“Whether it’s working with the ASB, other contestants, or showing off to the crowd, you can leave a positive impact on a lot of people very easily,” said Schnaith.

Overall, Mr. Aviation is a great outlet for the students of RAHS to express themselves and showcase their unique talents.

Group Project Snark Attack

I cannot count the amount of times I have been let down in a group project. In every group project, I have always been assigned with at least one IDIOT PARTNER who has absolutely NO understanding of a WORK ETHIC. I get it, when we leave high school and face the real world, we’re going to have to learn how to work with other people. But all of these group projects SERIOUSLY have me considering a career in a cave dwelling or in any other job that requires minimal human collaboration.

Any more of this and I’ll pack my bags and head to the ocean because it’s easier to collaborate with crustaceans than the kids in our school. Humans, supposedly the smartest species in the animal kingdom, can’t even perform basic tasks with their own species. Put together a group of teenagers and they can hardly decide whether they want to stop at Starbucks or McDonalds. I mean our school has kids who have time to spend 12 hours playing Fortnite during the day, but can’t contribute ten minutes to a group project. The level of competency in our school is quite peculiar, especially when our students can hack into the school’s security cameras, but can’t pay enough attention in a group project to do their infinitesimally small part.

I mean, come on. For a school with students so dedicated to a 4.0 GPA, we’re so self-absorbed that we can’t simply commit 10% of our work time to ACTUALLY WORKING ON OUR ONE ASSIGNED RESPONSIBILITY. And don’t get me started on the kids who promise they’ll “do it later.” Come on. You think I’m falling for that horse crap again? THIS IS THE THIRD TIME YOU’VE LET ME DOWN TODAY!! At least have the decency to let me know that you have absolutely NO INTENTION of actually working on the project. That way I can plan ahead for not sleeping the entire week. Admit it, you know I won’t let the work go undone, so you’re gonna let me do all of it.

You know what; I enjoy holding up your end of the bargain. I enjoy reducing the miniscule amount of free time I have to do something you were supposed to do a week ago. A shark only has about 20 to 30 years of life and I would much rather spend it feeding on fishes and other small creatures of the sea.


The Shark

FAKE Ground Control

Dear Ground Control,

Why are all of your questions fake?


An Underwhelmed Reader

Dear Underwhelmed Reader,

Wow, I’m hurt. Just kidding, I don’t dwell on small things, like your opinion and the questions submitted to the local newspaper advice column.

Anyways, to answer your question, I am going to ask you a few:

  1. If I were just going to make up questions, why would I go to the trouble of creating a tinyurl and a physical box to which students in the school can submit their questions?
  2. Why would I try to give myself more work by creating “fake questions” when I could just take it easy and respond to already submitted questions? Who do you think I am? lol
  3. Why would I be responding to your question right now? Oh no, are you going to accuse your own question of being fake too?
  4. Do you have anything better to do? Anything at all?

As you think about these questions, my best advice to you is to find some hobbies–some way to use your obvious excess of free time–and stop caring so much about Ground Control questions.

Have a fake day,

Ground Control


Dear Ground Control,

In your previous issue, why was the same article printed on pages two AND three?


Just Plain Confused?

Dear Plane Confused?

April Fools! Haha. Ha. Haha. Heh. Yup, that’s the only reason behind printing the same article twice, just to prank all you unsuspecting punks. It totally wasn’t a mistake or anything ahaha. We TOTALLY didn’t just mix up which article was supposed to be on which page and then forget to repaste the article even though we replaced the headline, cutline, and author. And it totally wasn’t Charlie’s fault lol.

It was all just an April Fools joke to see who actually reads the newspaper, which is none of you by the way. As far as I know, nobody realized except the one person who submitted this question–unless this is a fake question!?

Disclaimer: If you do read the newspaper, we here at The Phoenix Flyer greatly appreciate you. You make all the time we spend in class worth it! <3

Totally not salty at all,

Ground Control

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Has the dissections unit been helpful?

Rat dissection provides insight on the function of an organism.
Photo by: Chloe Cho

The thought of cutting open a dead animal is disgusting, but the learning behind this unit is critical for students. Though many students find the dissection unit helpful, some say otherwise.

Sophomore Joseph Pacini thought that the dissections unit was a beneficial experience.

“I think the dissection[s were] worth all the time we spend working up to it and during it,” said Pacini. “It comes to show how we can apply our knowledge to a real world situation and do it well.”

Although the dissections were time consuming, he believes that it has helped everyone.

“Knowing what goes into a dissection takes a lot of time and work,” said Pacini, “and I think that although it was challenging, we needed the challenge to prepare us for possible future endeavors.”

Pacini thinks that the dissections unit is essential to those looking for an engineering career.

“Knowing how somethings works and understanding what happens in a machine is crucial to [being] an engineer,” said Pacini.

Pacini would like to pursue a job in the engineering field and because of this he has grown to appreciate this experience.

“I think this unit has shown me how decisive dissections are,” said Pacini, “not just in the field of natural sciences, but in engineering sciences as well.”

Although the dissections unit is important, Pacini also feels pressured during the process.

“Remembering to take a picture of everything, documenting it, and making the correct incision is very important to our success in the lab report,” said Pacini, “and sometimes it is very difficult to do this with just another partner.”

Carson Klein, a sophomore, personally, doesn’t find the dissections practical because it has no major connection to his want career.

“I would say that the dissection unit hasn’t really done much for me,” said Klein. “Primarily because it is irrelevant to my planned career path as a software developer.”

Besides it just being irrelevant to his field, it has actually turned him away from any fields with dissections.

“If anything, it has made me less interested in the field as a potential career path,” said Klein.

Although dissections won’t help him with his career in the future, Klein still finds the dissections a valuable lesson.

“This unit has provided me with my first ever chance to do a dissection. Because of this, the first dissection was, understandably, somewhat intimidating,” said Klein. “However, the initial exposure has given me a better perspective of the subject, and that by itself makes the experience worth it.”

Caroline Tran, a junior, was not able to do dissections during her sophomore year but thinks that it would be a great opportunity to help students widen their view of possible careers.

“As a high schooler, this would probably be the only time they would be able to experience this type of exposure to the workforce before actually choosing a specific major or career path later after high school,” said Tran. “I think it would be a fun way to not only teach the students about anatomy but to also help them figure out what types of work they enjoy doing.”

Tran believes that dissections would allow students to find out what they are comfortable doing and what they are passionate about.

“I feel like dissections unit would help them dip their toes into an occupation that might surprisingly interest them,” said Tran. “These dissections might help students figure out if they are comfortable cutting into humans as surgeons or they would rather do something that doesn’t make them feel queasy.”

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Flight by Design projects are coming in for landing

Connor and Hunter finishing up their remote control model airplane.
Photo by: Will Garren

In the start of September, Flight by Design (FbD) let loose by giving their students more freedom by the students breaking off into teams to tackle their year-long projects of interest. There are six different projects; each team ranges from three to eight people in each team.

Nikhil Joshi is the teacher of the second period class, FbD. Joshi takes a unique approach to the course; instead of telling students what to do, Joshi lets students figure out their projects by themselves.

“Students have been working on them since September,” said Joshi. “Students design their own project, I have no idea what they have in mind in the start of the year. They design a project, break themselves into teams, and assign assignments on the project for a whole year.”

Senior Brynne Hunt is working on the Rainier 2 project, which has six team members. They are working on payload that tests the magnetic field.

“It is an experimental 2U payload that will launch on a sub-orbital flight,” said Hunt. “It is to test the critical magnetic field needed to deform ferrofluid in microgravity.”

Working on this project helped Hunt understand how real-world projects work and the difference between short-term, semester projects and year-long projects. Learning these skills now will help her with her future career.

“Working in year-long projects is similar to the real world and allows for projects to go more in depth and be more complex,” said Hunt. “The amount that you can accomplish with a team in a year drastically outweighs what you can do in a week or two.”

Hunt is interested in this class because it gives her a chance to learn and improve skills that she does not explore in her other classes.

“I am really interested in space and [I] wanted to gain more hands on technical skills. I also wanted to focus on my project management skills,” said Hunt. “This project allowed me to gain more technical skills and leadership skills.”

Senior Grace Zoppi and her project team are called the  International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) which is named after the annual competition taking place in the end April. The project is worked on in FbD class and in a separate club.

“I’m on the ISSDC Team, we are designing a 6000 resident orbiting space station around the moon,” said Zoppi. “There [are] 8 people in the class that work on ISSDC, but we also have a club [that has] 20 people in total.”

Both the club and in class ISSDC team will submit their project at the end of April for the competition taking. If they succeed, they will be competing in Florida this summer.

“At the end of April we submit it to the competition head,” said Zoppi. “Then they decide the essential regional winners and then if our team wins we will go to Kennedy Space Center at the end of July for the finals. Each year the Competition organizers develop a new design scenario with its own special requirements and we have to build off the scenario.”

Zoppi has learned a lot because of the project, she learned skills that will help her academically. She also learned technical skills working on the project for the whole year.

“I learned a lot through this project,” said Zoppi. “I improved my academics skills like my CAD skills and learned about engineering documentation because it is needed particularly for my project, but a major thing I learned [are] my leadership skills. Working on the same project for the whole year taught me a lot of leadership.”

Joshi wants students to understand that the project should be started early, and it is unrealistic to procrastinate because other students other students depend on each other to do their work.

“You have to plan for it, you have to deal with setbacks. You have to be able to work together productively for a very long time,” said Joshi. “You have divide and conquer when people are working on different parts of the project that are codependent on each other. These are real world workplace skills.”

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Wind Team hopes to blow away the competition

The RAHS Wind Team’s turbine awaits its upcoming trials at the Collegiate Wind Competition in Chicago.
Photo by: Zak Sleeth

Wind team is upping the ante by taking their turbine to Chicago to prepare for collegiate-level competitions. While they won’t technically be competing, the team will travel to the Collegiate Wind Competition on 7 May through the 10th in order to test their turbine for a consistent power output under the same conditions as the college teams, and to present their progress to the Department of Energy.

Although the higher level competition will be much more challenging, Junior Tom Connolly feels the team will benefit from the surplus of high-quality materials to test their turbines.

“I am really interested to see how the turbine will perform in a real wind tunnel because we haven’t really had the opportunity to test it,” said Connolly. “It would be nice to compare ourselves to the college teams to see how much we have achieved.”

Junior Cooper LeComp, a founding member of the team, is enthusiastic to see how their turbine will compare to the college level teams. They have been working diligently to prepare for the competition.

“We are constantly working on making upgrades to the turbine to improve power output and optimize controlling systems,” said LeComp. “The tolerances are very high for the turbine, so getting everything to function properly is hard work.”

To help handle all that hard work, their team is divided into collaborative groups, each to handle different components of the project. Even though they are separated, they are all working hard together to learn about the different technical skills required to work on the turbine.

“Typically these collegiate teams are done by groups of students at colleges in degree fields applicable to the turbine (Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, etc.),” said LeComp.  “Since we are not in those programs yet, we have had to build up understanding on the properties applicable to the turbine including electrical circuits, mechanical design, manufacturing techniques, etc.”

Connolly feels he has benefited greatly from the work the team has done. Their bold attempt to catch up to the college teams’ knowledge on the task pushes them to work more efficiently.

“I‘ve learned a lot about how to use different pieces of software,” said Connolly. “I‘ve learned how to design complex mechanical systems and I‘ve also been able to interact with mentors a lot more than I would otherwise.”

Because they have these supportive mentors, students are able to tackle topics they have little to no prior experience with; sophomore Jon Wick was up for the challenge.

“I have learned so much about electronics,” added Wick, “I had never done anything like that before, but they needed someone to do it so I said I‘d do it.”

The team was formed after student success in the Kid Wind Competition. Connolly agreed that this was the natural next move.

“I really enjoyed the Kid Wind competition, and a lot of our teams were successful at the competition,” said Connolly. “We decided that we wanted to move beyond Kid Wind and this seemed like the next step.”

Exposure to new fields of study is very valuable to a student’s academic career. Sophomore Jeremy Boyle thinks that this team has shown him a new angle to approach a field he was already interested in.

“I‘m interested in aerospace engineering and a lot of the stuff that I’m doing with the blades; involving the fluid technetics and the forces are similar,” said Boyle, “which makes it a good fit.”

Due to the timing of the trip and its close proximity to AP testing, on the 7th, the team will not be gone for long. However, their time there should be very revealing about the status of the team, and the payoff of all their hard work.

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AP testing? More like AP stressing

Henry Crockett encourages studying for AP tests months before.
Photo By: Zak Sleeth

As the 2018 school year comes to an end, the AP testing due date slowly approaches, building stress for juniors and seniors. As for students who plan on taking the AP test next year, learning from those with experience is essential.

Junior Kenny Pham believes that there is a lot there is to do to prepare, like reviewing all of the years work.

“There’s definitely a lot of time that needs to be put in in order to prepare for an AP test,” said Pham. “For my AP U.S. History test, I’ve been re-reading every individual section of one of our major study guides.”

Reviewing isn’t the only strategy available to prepare for testing. Pham also did practice tests.

“I’ve also been going through practice tests at home in order to test my knowledge while also getting a feel for the time limit that comes with these tests,” said Pham.

With 3 AP classes and 3 AP tests under his belt, Senior Henry Crockett understands why cramming is the biggest mistake students make.

“The biggest thing is avoiding cramming,” said Crockett. “if you are forcing yourself [to] stay up and pulling all nighters studying for the test, when it comes test day you will not do well because you will be tired and exhausted.”

Although some students believe they’re able to cram it all last minute, Crockett understands that the entire year’s worth of material cannot be covered in a few days.

“If you say ‘it’s in the next 3 days and I’m going to start studying’, you will not be able to cover the entire years material on time,” said Crockett.

Although Crockett experienced problems near the end of the school year, he believes that they could have been prevented.

“Overall I think that if I had stayed more on top of my class work in that specific class and did a lot of self studying, I would have improved my score,” said Crockett.

AP chemistry teacher, Brandyn Mannion, believes that being clear about the expectations of the test from the start will allow them to be the most prepared.

“Sugar coating things isn’t helpful for the AP Test,” said Mannion. “The test is what it is. I find it much more helpful to be upfront with students about what they’ll need to know instead of surprising them right before the test.”

Even if Mr. Mannion does try his best to prepare his students, students should always be practicing and getting better.

“Practice, practice, practice,” said Mannion, “do a bunch of multiple choice practice problems, and as many free response questions as you can get your hands on!”

As someone who understands how it feels to go through AP testing, Crockett realized that the feelings of stress were short-lived.

“Honestly it wasn’t that stressful once I got in it,” said Crockett. “Leading up to it, it was definitely stressful. I was worried about it; it was a brand new thing. It wasn’t any harder than the SAT, it was a little easier in my opinion. So once you get into the test, you don’t worry about it that much.”

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Driving hard to finish senior final projects

Teo Bagnoli’s go-kart sits completed in his garage, waiting to be displayed in the senior showcase.
Photo Courtesy of: Teo Bagnoli

As RAHS seniors rapidly approach the end of the year and graduation, the select few who have chosen to participate in the Senior Showcase are wrapping up their projects before their presentations. But with too few putting forth projects for the Showcase, they may not get the chance.

Teo Bagnoli has been designing and building a Go-Kart for his submission to this year’s Senior Showcase.

“I set up the frame design myself, and it’s constructed from square tube aluminium in the interest of weight reduction,” said Bagnoli. “The whole kart is going to weigh under 150 lbs in the end and it should be a lot of fun to drive.”

Initially, Bagnoli planned on building the Go-Kart as a way to improve his automotive knowledge and create his own vehicle.

“I chose to submit the Go-Kart because I was already planning to build it,” said Bagnoli, “and I realized I could also submit it as my senior project.”

While enrolled in the CAD course now taught by Mr. Gudor, Bagnoli designed models of the kart he wanted to build before assembling it at home. Despite some help and a CAD design, there were still some issues along the way.

“There have been a lot of small issues along the way, such as linking the throttle and mounting the steering,” says Bagnoli, “but they’ve all been caused by improper planning on my part.”

Although the requirement for senior projects has not existed for several years, Bagnoli believes removing the requirement has increased the quality of the projects submitted.

“If they’re mandatory, the quality of submissions would definitely be worse,” said Bagnoli. “Voluntary leaves the opportunity out there for those who want to do it but doesn’t force them.”

Humanities teacher Ms. Wombold also believes that making the senior project optional has created both benefits and drawbacks.

“Participation has gone dramatically down,” says Wombold, “but the projects have been ones that are authentic to the student.”

Although having quality and interesting projects has been beneficial, low participation from students has become an ever increasing issue.

“We have too few students right now to do a showcase,” said Wombold, “unless I have more seniors sign up, the showcase will not happen.”

With the current number of students at 8 and a minimum of 10 needed, the showcase–and the scholarship opportunities it presents–may vanish.

“The method in which the scholarship is selected requires a presentation,” says Wombold. “Without a method of presentation like the showcase, there won’t be a scholarship award.”

Although the potential for total discontinuation seems a very real problem, Wombold doesn’t know what else could be changed.

“There’s no paperwork, you don’t have to get projects approved,” said Wombold, “they [PTSA] want to support what you’re doing, they’ll even give you up to $50 to get your project started.”

Wombold strongly encourages students to sign up for senior projects this year and hopefully the next year as well, before the opportunity completely disappears.

“There’s no requirement for subject matter,” said Wombold, “there’s nothing to do except a project you’re already going to do and that you’re passionate about.”

Seniors like Teo Bagnoli will continue to work on their projects as the Senior Showcase still hangs in the balance, hoping that last year’s will not be the final iteration of Senior Projects.

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