The Issaquah High School Robotics Society recently travelled to St. Louis, MO, where they competed in the 2015 For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Championship competition on April 22-25. The team had previously earned their spot in the competition by finishing as the #6 ranked team in the Pacific Northwest District. Their previous win made the Issaquah Robotics Society one of the top 608 Robotics teams in the world competing in eight subdivisions of the championship.
The Robotics Society team finished their qualification matches in the Curie subdivision ranked 38 out of 76 with a qualification average of 125.1. Despite a lower ranking than had been typical for the team throughout the season, their performance was enough to catch the attention of several higher-ranked teams, and they were selected as the first pick of the #8 seeded alliance, captained by The Red Crusade from Barker College, Sidney, Australia, and filled out by MARS/WARS from Metamora HS, Metamora, IL, and SciBorgs from the Palouse Area, WA. The #8 seeded alliance exceeded expectations and finished the Curie quarterfinals with the highest average in the subdivision and outscored several higher-ranked alliances before narrowly being eliminated in the subdivision semi-finals.
Brett Wortzman, Issaquah High School Computer Science Teacher and FIRST Robotics Advisor shared, “The recent team performance capped a very successful 2015 season for the Issaquah Robotic Society in which the team was one of only 17 teams worldwide to win three events and earned three judged awards along the way. In addition, one of the team’s members, Junior and Captain Sarah Powazek, was selected as one of six Pacific Northwest finalists for the Dean’s List Award, recognizing “outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary.” These accomplishments, coupled with two event wins and three awards from the 2014 season, round out the most decorated two-year run in the team’s 12-year history."
Third graders at Apollo Elementary recently experienced Pioneer Living, a simulation that teaches and engages students about the everyday life of pioneer families. The simulation described how pioneers met their basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and education. Some of the engaging activities included; panning for gold, baking biscuits, playing pioneer games, and doing everyday chores, like laundry.
Graphic novels are a popular trend with readers across the country. On Wednesday, May 6th, parents and students from Clark Elementary gathered together to learn how to author a graphic novel of their own. Clark Librarian, Annie Fagundes, and Literacy Coach, Cim Dew, led the evening. Mrs. Fagundes introduced the benefit of reading graphic novels and shared several popular titles available in the school library. After the introduction, Mrs. Dew taught a writing lesson similar to the ones students received each day in writing, emphasizing the writing process. After the lesson, parents and students had the opportunity to draft their own graphic novels. Parents and students left the writing night with a better understanding of both graphic novels and writing instruction in Issaquah School District.
The Issaquah High School Sports Medicine Program impressed many with their third straight title competition win at the Washington Career and Technical Sports Medicine Association (WCTSMA) State Competition in late April.
Washington State is home to the first high school sports medicine program and first sports medicine competition in the nation. The Washington State competition is known as the most difficult and diverse. Issaquah students competed against more than 700 students from 44 different schools during this year’s WCTSMA conference. This year’s competition included a variety of disciplines: General Sports Medicine Tests, Practical Skill Specialists, Medical Term Specialists, Anatomy and Physiology Specialists, Emergency Responder Specialists, Medical School Interviews, and Quiz Bowls.
Along with winning the overall competition, Issaquah High School had four students place in the top 20 overall and all 19 team members placed in the top 10% of all competitors. Team members took 1st and 2nd in the Medical Terminology category, placed 1st and 3rd in Anatomy and Physiology Specialist category, placed 2nd and 8th in the Emergency Responder Specialist category, and won the State Championship in the Quiz Bowl Competition.
Todd Parsons, IHS Health and Sports Medicine Teacher shared, “Overall, it was an amazing weekend and I could not be more proud of this group. They worked incredibly hard all year and dedicated hundreds of hours individually towards giving their own personal best to this competition. Winning this competition qualifies us to once again compete in the Sports Medicine National Championships. It takes a village to prepare these students to do their best and I want to thank the IHS Staff, CTE, IHS Admin, and Seattle Children’s Athletic Training Group for all the support, endless hours of commitment to the students, and all the unique opportunities these students have received.”
Individual student awards include: Gillian Brandt—Individual State Champion 1st Place Overall, Sam Reardon—2nd Place overall and Top Senior Award winner, Mary Halabi—5th place overall, Bryce Magee—6th place overall, Delaney Jamison—25th place overall, Larissa Kolasinski—33rd place overall, Bob Weng—Med Terms Specialist State Champion, 1st place, Molly Askew—Med Terms Specialist 2nd place, Emanuela Mateas—Anatomy and Physiology Specialist State Champion, 1st Place, Kendra Brown—Anatomy and Physiology Specialist 2nd Place, Sarah Rothwell—Emergency responder Specialist 2nd Place, Emily Winterstein—Emergency responder Specialist 8th Place, Meg Corscadden—Member of State Champions Quiz Bowl team and Co-Strict Award Winner, Eric Dang—Member of State Champions Quiz Bowl team and Co-Strict Award Winner, Eiki Nellams—Member of State Champions Quiz Bowl team, Liam Sullivan—Member of State Champions Quiz Bowl team, Elliot Tan—Member of State Champions Quiz Bowl team, Chandler Crowe—Med School Interview Specialist, and Arman Naderi—Med School Interview Specialist.
Stunned students stood in silence as they watched firefighters, paramedics, and police officers converge on the scene of a mock car crash between cars full of drunk driving students and joy riders out for a bite to eat. They saw how first responders work adeptly to save lives, how police officers will arrest and charge a suspect with a DUI, and how chaotic and gruesome a car crash can be. Throughout the drama, Captain Mendehall of the Renton Police Department narrated the scene. He calmly voiced jarring drunk driving statistics, the realities first responders face at a crime scene, the possibilities of financial and legal problems, the possibilities of prison, and the heartbreak faced by families and survivors of a crash.
Every two years, Liberty High School hosts a DUI simulation for junior and senior students. While their goal isn’t to scare students, school administrators and law enforcement hope that the simulation will make students more aware of the choices they are making. During the simulation, Captain Mendenhall shared with students, “We’re not trying to preach to you. We just want you to be safe. Go out and have a good time and be responsible; the 3 D’s, drinking, drugging, and distracted driving, can kill you or someone else.”
After the DUI simulation, students and law enforcement had an opportunity to talk about what they had witnessed during the simulation. Jacob Winter, LHS junior and drunk driving actor, shared, “Being arrested and hauled off to jail was scary. I knew this was all just a simulation, but sitting in the back of a cop car is something I never want to do or see happen to any of my peers ever again.”
The DUI simulation was made possible that to the Renton Police Department, the Renton Fire Department, the KingCo Sherriff’s Department, and KingCo Fire District 25.
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