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B-Boys breaking down barriers

Bopping their way to the top, B-Boy Club takes a spin on the meaning of having a dance club. New to the list of Thursday clubs, this crew of students is unlike the usual STEM clubs at RAHS and is working to get the student body more involved in the arts.

Fearless leaders, senior Felix Tran and junior Brandon Vallin, have taken inspiration from the multiple dance circles that occasionally occurred during lunch hours, and made an official time of the school day.

“My bro, Brandon Vallin, and I met last year, and we sessioned [danced] together and formed a pretty strong friendship through B-Boying,” said Tran. “This year I started B-Boy Club as a small group on Facebook, but Brandon was able to get permission from school and here we are with the official school club.”

Tran and Vallin were surprised at the early acceptance by the administration for the placement of a directly art-related club supervised by math teacher, Karen Wilson. With the increasing emphasis on STEM with the move to the new school, the idea of a new dance club seemed far-fetched at the time.

“I understand our strong goals and aspirations toward STEM education, but a little more emphasis on it [the arts] would be nice in my opinion,” said Tran. “A well-balanced curriculum, not only just focusing on STEM.”

As it turns out, they were welcomed with open arms. At the beginning of the year, during the sign-up for the Thursday clubs, the young club nearly reached the maximum number of students. To Vallin, this came as a surprise.

“There were a good number of people that wanted something like this,” said Vallin. “They loved the idea of combining breakdancing and school all in the same day and location.”

Day and location were most likely the deciding factors, but it was the message and theme that made this club stand out among all of the other clubs during that sign-up day.

“I think our club really brings something new,” said Tran. “You don’t see that many dancers at this school…We bring a new community and experience to our school’s atmosphere.”

Both leaders of this club believe that this could provide another artistic outlet that the school needs. Tran says that it is a combination of the business atmosphere and physical activity.

While that’s one major advantage, Vallin also thinks that its availability can prove to be an opportunity.

“My plan is to make [B-Boy Club] open to everyone,” said Vallin. “We just want to prove that anyone could learn.”

However, B-Boy Club isn’t stopping at Thursday club time slots. They’re figuring out a way to make the most of the club and really involve as many members that they can—not just the thirty two-student maximum.

“We’ll probably start up a jam as a fundraiser for the club,” said Tran. “Posters. Events. Get that all on Facebook too. Just get it all up in people’s faces. But we won’t force them. We’re just an open door of opportunity that people can definitely feel free to enter and join in on this amazing experience.”

As for first steps, Vallin says that they’re going to try to make an after school club that could meet up weekly and come up with more ideas about how to get students involved and make the club more prominent in the school community.

Vallin and Tran have started their dance club journey here at RAHS, but both of them started their interest in B-Boy dancing differently. Vallin first became interested in middle school and learned from there, spending time practicing with friends.

Tran also learned from friends, but his serious dancing experience started here. His dancing experience started with an early dance troupe made up of John Paul Pilapil, Phillip Liu, and himself.

“I didn’t start off a pro, I only knew about 2-3 moves and only had my carpet-floored room to practice in,” said Tran, “but after a few years of progress, I finally got back into it ‘officially.’”

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Live Blog: 2014 We Day Intro Assembly

Vincent Pierce February 12th, 8:29 am, and the starts of a very busy morning the ASB as they host an introduction to We Day, at Raisbeck Aviation High School. The assembly will consist of school spirit, guest speakers, and other surprises along the way. The Phoenix Flyer is here to bring the excitement to your computer screens as the morning unfolds.

We-What? RAHS, 8:39 am

ASB Vice President Jonah Graves gives a brief introductory statement intro what today’s assembly is about. In short, today’s assembly will be promoting We-Day, Youth Spark, and all the other people and organizations that play a role in setting up and creating the magnificent program that is Free The Children. Free The Children is a non profit charity dedicated to helping children around the world.

Tech-Turmoil RAHS, 8:53 am


Devin Kennedy pre-checks the audio and projection equipment before the assembly starts. On a high pressure day like this, it’s important that everything runs smoothly. Behind the scenes work is what will make or break the event. All of ASB and some regular students pitch in to make sure everything runs perfectly.




Ranging from setting up chairs to prepping ice cream to last minute technology, everyone is lending a hand or two for today’s success.

Even this guy.


After all, what’s an assembly about spirit without a little Phoenix love?

Khoa Nyguen and the Phoenix perform a celebratory dance for the completion of the mornings work.

Safety First RAHS, 9:27 am


The safety of the students is now at risk as a gap in the staircase presents a chance for an accident. “The bleachers have extended too far out, leaving a space for a foot to fit in. Though it’s minor, the ASB wants no injuries,” said Navath Nhan, junior class captain. “We’re working on a way to resolve this error.”

Game Time RAHS, 9:41


Students of RAHS start to roll into the Boeing Presentation Center. The time has come, everything is in place,and it’s about to be time to rock the house. With over 400 students in attendance, the atmosphere is loud, warm, and musty. But the excitement and spirit of these students is very profound.

A true entrepreneur RAHS, 9:49


Photo courtesy of Emilio Anselmo
Photo courtesy of Emilio Anselmo

Mark Kielburger co-founder of We-Day, presents his story on the creation of several projects he’s helped create. We-Day and Free the Children, both non-profit organizations that are geared toward teenagers to help other kids around the world. Mark and his brother helped create this his brother was 12 years old, and told to stop by adults. This rebellious act turned into a God-send for those that Mark and his brother help.

10:16 Guest speaker Akhtar Badshah, Microsoft Rep, sings Mark happy birthday.

Photo courtesy of Emilio Anselmo
Photo courtesy of Emilio Anselmo

Not all miracles are self propellent. Free the Children has the assistance of Microsoft, amongst other partners. Microsoft has given Free the Children the opprotunity to spread their purpose to the rest of the world. It has allowed for Free the Children to spread beyond the confines of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Short intermission for “High Tens.” Students get up, and give double high fives to their neighbors. It gives them a chance to strech from all the sitting they’ve been doing, as well as well as creating interacting with other students.

We scare hunger, 10:30

Photo courtesy of Emilio Anselmo
Photo courtesy of Emilio Anselmo

Delaunay Brown, a high schooler from Federal Way High School, informs the students of RAHS about her experiences with Free the Children. She also spoke about “We Scare Hunger,” an event on Halloween night where trick-o-treaters ask for cans of food instead of candy, raising thousands of pounds of food.

10:40 Special guest Gabby Rivera, Matt, Aileen

Photo courtesy of Emilio Anselmo
Photo courtesy of Emilio Anselmo
Photo courtesy of Emilio Anselmo
Photo courtesy of Emilio Anselmo


Special guest speakers Gabby R., Matt V., and Aileen N., RAHS students, spoke about their experiences with We-Day, and encouraging more students to participate in the We-Day events. There are many ways to participate, through volunteering at We-Day and through the Youth Spark program.

The end of all things good, 11:47

And as the final speaker walked of the stage, students were given the false impression of ice cream before they returned to classes. This belief was corrected quickly as they were told the ice cream was not for them. According to ASB, the assembly was a success, and hopefully the student population is more aware of the purposes of We Day.

Red Bull Sends Man to Space

On Sunday, October 14th, Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space, doing what no one had ever done before.

He broke three records in this one jump: highest altitude a balloon has been used to float a man, highest free fall, and fastest free fall. He was going for one other record, longest free fall, but did not obtain it because he pulled his shoot before the record time. He came within 17 seconds of the record.

He was wearing a more maneuverable version of the space suit used by astronauts on the moon. Because the environment from which he jumped is almost as harsh as the environment found on the surface of the moon, he had to wear a “spacesuit” and not his usual skydiving suit.

At 39,045 metres high, he was in the stratosphere, the second level of the earths atmosphere. In the stratosphere, temperatures average around -60 degrees Celsius, explaining why both the suit and the capsule are so heavily insulated.

Once he reached floating altitude, the altitude at which the atmosphere and the helium in the balloon are at the same density, mission control started to go through the final checklist. When the checklist was finished Baumgartner stepped out onto the skateboard sized platform and jumped.

Baumgartner fell for 4.19 minutes and reached a high speed of 834 mph or Mach 1.24, breaking the sound barrier.

Baumgartner had a fairly smooth ride up and jump down, with the exception of the faceplate not heating up. The faceplate not heating would cause it to freeze over and Baumgartner would not have been able to see.

“It was an incredible up and down today, just like it’s been with the whole project. First we got off with a beautiful launch and then we had a bit of drama with a power supply issue to my visor [which had to be heated for him to see],” said Baumgartner in a post-jump press conference.

Baumgardner was presented with two choices from mission control, he could either ride down in the pod with its parachute deployed, a rough but survivable landing, or he could jump and if the visor froze he could pull the shoot after 30 seconds which would have gotten him back to a breathable altitude with enough oxygen to keep him conscious.

This was not Baumgartner’s first jump with Red Bull. He has done several B.A.S.E. (buildings, antennas spans or earth) jumps from different monuments in several different countries, one of which is the Cristo Redentor. The other is the largest skyscraper in Sweden, the Turning Torso. He also made a jump across the English Channel with the aid of a carbon fiber wing, similar to the rocket wing used by Yves Rossy to fly across the alps and other landmarks.

The records set before him were set by Joe Kittinger in 1960 with the U.S. Air Force. This jump was much less sophisticated than Baumgartner’s jump in several ways. First of all the capsule that carried him up was an open basket, the suit was not as insulated, and wasn’t as strong or maneuverable. During that jump, Kittinger’s suit had a tear in the glove which was not reported to ground control because he feared they would pull the plug on his mission. His hand swelled to twice its usual size.

Baumgartner’s jump is paving the way for new technologies that could one day be used by used by high altitude pilots and astronauts to abort a mission. This includes the more maneuverable pressure suit, electronics, gauges and more that were developed by the Red Bull stratos team and it associates. It also helped develop helium balloon technology with the balloon that had a skin one fifth the thickness of a sandwich bag.

“What I would hope is that, perhaps, this is just the first step of many, many advancements to come [in emergency bailouts],” said Dustin Gohmert, who heads NASA’s crew survival engineering office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The Phoenix 5 Ways to Volunteer this Summer

Have you always wanted to attend some of the coolest summer events in Seattle, but can’t because the ticket is way out of your price range?  Now is your chance to attend for free—just volunteer. Not only do you get to experience the event, but you can also earn community service hours for being there.


Seafair: June 20-August

Every year Seafair is one of Seattle’s biggest summer events, lasting three months.  As a volunteer you can help out the community, meet many new people, get a cool t-shirt, and get community service hours for it. It’s an easy and fun way to get all the community service hours you need.  For more information and to sign up to volunteer visit:

Fourth of July at Lake Union

The fourth of July has become a big event in Seattle, and you can help it happen this year by volunteering at the fourth of July event at Lake Union for the day.  You can volunteer to help behind the scenes and see what goes into making the event happen every day. A volunteer gets a t-shirt and the hours are considered community service hours by school—an exciting and fun way to make a dent in those 40 required hours.

To sign up go to:

Capitol Hill Block Party: July 20-22

The block party taking place on Capitol Hill is a huge event with music, food and other cool things to do. But it costs money to get in, unless you take the time to volunteer at the event.  Not only will volunteering get you community service hours but there is also a small chance that you could win free tickets to the event. To volunteer you must email and tell the staff about yourself and why you want to volunteer. For more infomration about the event go to

The Next Fifty: April 21-October 21

This Seattle event is for all the history buffs out there. Seattle is taking six months to celebrate the event that really put Seattle on the map, and created the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center and other parts of Seattle Center for the 1962 World’s Fair. The celebration is a event that spans six months and you can help make this possible by volunteering. To volunteer and take part in this historic celebration visit


Bumbershoot: September 1-3

Bumbershoot is Seattle’s biggest summer end concert but is expensive to pay for. As a volunteer, you can earn tickets to see the show and you do get a t-shirt. You also get a behind the scenes view of Bumbershoot and get community service hours for all your help.   The awesome thing is that there are many different volunteer opportunities to take part in during the event.  For more information visit


Free Art (and More) on the House

If you’re stuck wondering what to do on a summer Thursday, try visiting some amazing museums—for free! On every first Thursday of the month, new and old museums open the doors to anyone who wants to check out their art collections. Don’t limit yourself to just one museum each Thursday—try to visit as many as you can with our nifty list of twelve museums, all conveniently locatable by Google Maps. All of the museums are located around the Seattle area, in relatively easy driving distance of one another.

The museums that are participating in Free Thursdays are: the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Center for Wooden Boats, the Center on Contemporary Art, the Frye Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery, the Imagine Children Museum, the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, the Museum of Flight, SAM’s Olympic Sculpture park, the Museum of History and Industry, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), the Seattle Asian Museum, the Volunteer Park Museum and the Wing Luke Asian museum.

If you’re an art buff, the best place to start is at the SAM, which hosts both a permanent collection and rotating exhibits. The experience is enhanced by the free audio guides, which offer more information on specific pieces.

“There is going to be the nature and life exhibit during on the Thursday for anyone to enjoy,” said Stephanie Jones, a local receptionist at the SAM. “Anyone is allowed to come and spend the whole day enjoying all the exhibits.”

If Thursday happens to be a nice day, you could also stroll around the SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park, relax with a view of the waterfront, and maybe catch a bite to eat at a local eatery.

While the SAM has a lot of different culturally diverse programs and venues, the Frye Art Museum showcases the world of modeling and sculpture. It also offers visitors chances to learn more with special lectures. The current showcase includes a course that provides “in-depth explorations of historic, modern, and contemporary art through illustrated lectures and discussions. Art historian Kolya Rice offers a fresh and insightful look at American art from the nineteenth century to the present in Masters of American Art.”

If your interests lean more towards history, you should visit the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). Its mission is to “enrich lives by preserving, sharing and teaching the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound region and the nation,” and it does this by showcasing artifacts and exhibits that bring history to life.

One current exhibit is And Now for Something Completely Different, which “honors some of the most quirky … and the most scary” artifacts housed in the MOHAI archives. It includes everything from a woman’s hat with turkey legs on top to scarificator used in bloodletting.

Serious foodies should head over to the Burke Museum for one of their newest exhibits: Salish Bounty—Traditional Native American Foods of Puget Sound. The exhibit “connects archaeological and historical research about thousands of years of food traditions in the Puget Sound area to current efforts to revitalize these food traditions in the region.” It includes historic photos, real food ingredients, audio and video of Coast Salish people talking about food, and artifacts from the Burke collection that have never before been exhibited in public.

If you’re in the mood to go out and do something instead of wandering around a gallery all day, go to the Center for Wooden Boats down at Lake Union. You can rent a boat to take out for the day, or if you feel like you’re not quite up to that, you can take a class instead.

Greenix Five



The sun is shining, the air is fresh and crisp, and you’re inside staring at a newspaper. True, going to school during the week keeps you indoors, and living in the Pacific Northwest means that the weather is often a tad damper than you would hope, but it’s time to get out there anyways! And don’t just go outside; go outside and help make the environment a better place.

Forest Restoration

Because of habitat loss, litter, and the spread of invasive species, state and city parks need volunteers to help improve their wooded areas. Volunteers mulch, clean up litter, learn about forest ecology, remove invasive plants and plant native species. The Seattle-based Nature Consortium leads teams in restoring urban forests and currently focuses on the West Duwamish Greenbelt in West Seattle. They hold work parties from 10am-2pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Go to to learn more and to RSVP.

Clean Up a Beach

The same miles of shoreline that you love to go to in the summer get literally trashed during the winter. You can either organize a work party yourself (most parks will provide cleaning supplies) and pick up litter, or find an existing event to attend. Discovery Park in the Magnolia area is seeking volunteers for their Celebrate the Animals Beach Cleanup on May 19th from 1 to 4pm. To register for the Discovery Park clean up, email You can find more beach cleanup events in Seattle by searching the event calendar at

Join EarthCorps As a Volunteer

EarthCorps is a global nonprofit that trains young adults in leadership and conservation techniques while providing volunteer opportunities and restoring local habitats. You have to be 18 to join the corps, but you can still volunteer with local restoration projects. They provide all the tools and education necessary to get the job done, so don’t be shy if you don’t have much experience doing this kind of work. They have opportunities all over the greater Puget Sound area, so go to to sign up.

Walk or Ride a Bike Instead of Driving

When you drive everywhere, not only are you contributing to pollution, you’re wasting an opportunity to get some fresh air. Many local cities are taking huge strides in making streets safer for cyclists by creating bike lanes and encouraging drivers to be aware of cyclist. Exercising by riding your bike or walking is a small thing you can do to help make a big difference for the environment. If you’re not willing to or unable to ride a bike to get around, at the very least make it possible for others to do so by giving cyclists three feet of space when driving around or near them. Bike to Work Week is May 14-18; participate by biking when possible (and when safe). Additionally, Seattle Parks and recreation hosts “Bicycle Sunday” each week along Lake Washington Blvd May through September. Learn more at

Restore Your Backyard

Change starts with you, so instead of (or in addition to) volunteering to help improve a park or beach, clean up your yard. Plant a tree. Buy a seedling at a local plant sale or farmers market, and learn about how to plant and take care of it. If you don’t have much yard space, or aren’t ready to take on the task alone, consider starting a group project. Community pea patches bring together communities to take care of a garden together.

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