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Competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge

By Kate Sotir, VI Form

Competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge

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Working in the basement level of the STEM building, using lots of power tools, and occasionally throwing out words like “kickoff,” “drivetrain,” or “STEAMworks,” we are FIRST team 3566, also known as Gone Fishin’.

Gone Fishin’ competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” The robotics competition, open to any high school student, was created in order to promote the STEM fields and offer a competitive yet collaborative atmosphere for robotics. In the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), teams are given a challenge, in the form of a game, and then have six weeks to build a 120 pound, $10,000 robot to meet this challenge. After those six weeks are up, teams compete in various regional events. The ultimate goal is to go to the world championship, held in St. Louis, where around 800 teams gather to play the game. (more…)

Working Together to Launch the Model UN Club

By Isabelle Kim, Jovin Ho, & Rachel Wang, IV Form and Matt Walsh, Stephanie Moon, & Alan Gao, III Form

Working Together to Launch the Model UN Club

To understand what the “Model United Nations Club” is, it is essential to know the concept of the “Model United Nations” or “MUN”. Model United Nations acts as a simulation of United Nations conferences, in which participants act as delegates. Delegates represent various countries and their ideals, and engage in formal debates over global issues as well as international affairs, through which a resolution is achieved that is, ideally, satisfactory for all parties involved. A couple of weeks prior to the conference, the delegates are assigned respective countries, councils, and issues that will be debated upon, thus allowing delegates ample time to research the topic at hand and formulate their arguments. A big part of MUN is the delegates recognizing that they are not representing themselves, but are a part of a larger picture, having to uphold their country’s beliefs.  (more…)

Northern Pacific Seastar Asterias amurensis & My Zone as an Artist

By Mei-Mei Arms, III Form

Northern Pacific Seastar Asterias amurensis & My Zone as an Artist

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This seastar originated in Japan, Korea, China and Russia, about 20-40 metres deep off the coasts of these countries. It was introduced by the ballast waters of cargo ships as they returned from these countries and used ocean water to replace the weight of cargo. They can reproduce without the aid of another sea star and can multiply in the thousands. Due their rough exterior, the Northern Pacific Seastar does not have many natural enemies. Their larvae are so small that we cannot find a way to capture them and nothing appears to eat them at that stage in their life cycle. The Sea stars eat crustaceans and due to their numerous population, when they enter a new area, their numbers can wipe out the whole population of crustaceans. They can break off limbs and these limbs can grow in to new Sea Stars, but this process does take years. (more…)

Memoirs of a Self-Professed Drama Geek

By Charlotte Wood, V Form

Memoirs of a Self-Professed Drama Geek

CharlotteLEO2I am a fantastic liar. I lie every day for hours at a time, occasionally to hundreds of people at once. I practice lying in my free time. I never feel bad, I always get caught, and I think it actually makes me a better person. People love my lies, and so do I.

No, I’m not some sort of psychopath, I’m an actor. When you think about it, that’s all acting is, really. Lying. Don’t get me wrong, I hate lying in the conventional sense. Honesty is the best policy, as they say. However, I firmly believe in the value of lying with the consent of the party being lied to, or, in other words, acting. (more…)

To Go Through Hell and Resurface

By Isabella Cruz-Nascimento, V Form

To Go Through Hell and Resurface

Crazy, insane, bipolar, OCD–all terms that have worked their way into colloquial language. Most people use them to describe themselves; “Oh my God, I am so OCD, I can’t handle messy rooms” is a sentence that could be heard regularly among teenagers. However, swap in a teen that genuinely displays compulsive behavior and the declarations turn into murmurs of, “What’s wrong with her?” “She needs to calm down,” “They need to medicate her already”.  Mental illness is inconsequential and intriguing, until one sees its effects in person. In a community like St. Mark’s, being diagnosed with a mental illness can be onerous, not only because of the rigorous environment, but also because of the burden of the connotations that come with having a diagnosis. In an environment that demands perfection, I sometimes feel branded as incapable of success because of my diagnosis. For the majority of the past two years I have kept my dishonorable secret closely guarded. I refuse to do that now. (more…)

Getting Back Up on the Horse…Literally

Getting Back Up on the Horse…Literally

By Paige Crotty, VI Form

For years I have been traveling the same roads, going to the same place. I have the IMG_3078twists and turns of the route memorized in my muscles. However, I never tire of the feeling when I hop out of my car–the combination of hay and horses filling my nose as I look out to the barn. I walk through the aisle of the barn and make my way to the back door where I can see my horses. They nicker at me affectionately, reminding me why I love my horses and riding; I put so much commitment into the sport, even if it means sacrificing time with my friends. Horseback riding is comprised of both accomplishments and disappointments, but over the last eight years, I have learned those failures serve as the best life teachers. (more…)