By Zachary Rhine
Science Fairs are a well known event in recent times, and Red Lion finally decided to take part in the cultural phenomenon.
On Jan. 24 Red Lion had its very first in-house science fair. Judging took place the previous day, Jan. 23 after school. The roster of judges included teachers, administrators, parents, and community members. The open house took place from two to three in the afternoon and awards were handed out by four.
In the senior division, Alec Gayrama was the grand champion. Allen Silks and Aston Shoup were the reserved grand champions of the senior division. In the Junior division, Vanessa Ficks was the grand champion. There was a tie between Jacob Lorenzen and Andrew Bacon for reserved grand champion of the junior division.
Mrs. Valerie Stone and Mrs. Amy Kilgore of Red Lion’s science department were the ones in charge. Most of their help was received from the Science Fair Club that was new to Red Lion this year.
Alec Gayrama is the president of the student run club, and also had a hand in its creation. The club takes place on both A and B weeks, and they understand if a member can’t come to every meeting.
“We hope to expand the club in the future. Hopefully to include junior high students, and possibly even elementary students,” said Mrs. Stone. She emphasized how much she believes in the club, and wants to make the in-house science fair a yearly event.
Viktoria Fry, a student member of the club, also encourages anyone interested in joining the club next year by saying, “We honestly became a tight-knit group. The club helps you make new friends.”
The club may also be helpful to put on resumes and help honors students plan for their own science fair project, said Mrs. Stone.
Mrs. Kilgore and Mrs. Stone are very pleased with their pool of judges they assembled even though it was a challenge. They include science board members and even college professors.
Honors students must participate in a science fair, but all high school students are also encouraged to come up with their own projects. Considering how well received this first fair went Mrs. Stone and Mrs. Kilgore are hoping to get enough participation to make the fair a regular event for many generations to come.
By Ian Adler
The rainbow spinning wheel has been showing up on computers in classrooms throughout the high school this school year. With technology issues in the classrooms, district officials have been responding to each case, hoping to make technology use efficient and useful.
The future looks bright for technology here at Red Lion, although there are guaranteed to be speed bumps along the way. “Our goal is to bring teachers and students the best customer service possible,” Supervisor of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Mr. Eric Wilson said.
The district experiences login bugs, network errors and even an occasional internet outage.
“There were a lot of wireless devices added to the district over the past year and moved to different parts of the buildings where wireless coverage was not increased,” District Network Manager Dustin Boyd said in an email interview. This overload of traffic on wireless hotspots appears to be the culprit of the slow internet speeds.
It’s no secret that the school is going to need to increase its arsenal of wireless hotspots. “We are constantly monitoring the wireless coverage and adding devices where they are needed. Currently, we are looking at doing a complete wireless assessment over the summer to make sure these issues are resolved for the following school year,” Boyd said.
The technology department also received multiple requests for individuals not being able to log into the macbook carts. This seems to be a mix of wireless coverage and the version of OSX the macbooks are running.
“We are returning some of the carts back to the older version of OSX that have less issues with network connectivity,” Boyd said. “This is a fairly time consuming process so we cannot do all the carts at one time, but we are working on resolving the issue.”
As far as the internet outages go, “There are multiple points from the source to the school where the internet can fail. It all depends on the different situations,” Wilson said.
Some classrooms have trouble connecting to the server, having better luck on some days than others. The wireless internet rarely has totally shut down all across the high school, rendering online work impossible.
“We don’t have control over most of the things that could go wrong.” Wilson said.
Turnover in the Tech. Staff. Mr. Jared Mader, who left the district in 2013, was the director of technology and he oversaw the network and also educational technology, according to Wilson. Currently, the district technology staff consists of several different people.
“Currently, Dustin Boyd, Network Manager, focuses on hardware, and I focus on educational technology, so we work together to fill the position,” Wilson said.
Between the departure of Mr. Mader and the appointment of Mr. Wilson, Global Data Consultants provided network services, according to Wilson.
At the end of January, several students weighed in about their experiences with technology in the high school. “I know a lot of kids experience trouble with it, but I really don’t,” junior Jen Owrutsky said. “I think it’s been a really big help with everything in class.”
“I think it’s better in some classrooms than others,” Owrutsky said.
“We use the computers in physics for a variety of activities,” junior Grant Fickes said. However, “There are pop-ups everyday and sometimes the applications run quite slow. The internet usage is somewhat spotty at times.”
“The internet goes down at least once a week,” Senior Ben Logan said. “It’s just hard to do stuff on technology at school.”
With the growing dependence on technology in this day and age, Red Lion has, and plans to continue to, expand its use of technology.
“At this point in time we’ve had a lot of professional development opportunities for teachers to learn how to use technology services and incorporate it into their classrooms,” Wilson said. “Since early November, we have been working to make sure that we have a face for our tech staff for the different buildings.”
He wants to have the best support for the students and staff by having two dedicated technology support staff members making the system run smoothly, including Mr. George Leitheiser and Mrs. Amanda Stikeleather.
“Mrs. Stikeleather and Mr. Leithiser will be the only staff working here (the high school) so people can develop a relationship with them. Our tech staff is awesome, they’re very knowledgeable and they work very hard,” Wilson said.
It seems impossible to fight the growth and dependence on technology not only in the classroom, but also everyday life. With the right understanding, Red Lion as a whole can really look forward to their experiences with technology in the future.
As for addressing long-term concerns, the district plans to make careful plans for the future. “We prefer to take the time to make the right decision instead of a quick decision,” Wilson said.
By Helen Zeidman
The noise of dozens of students from the high school, junior high, and elementary schools filled the auditorium as dozens of monkeys filled the stage with the sound of enthusiastic howls. Rehearsal for Tarzan, this year’s musical, had started.
The months of February and March are crunch time for the musical. There are practices almost everyday until the first show in March. This year’s musical schedule is rigorous for the actors, with seven performances in total on March 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, and 14.
To many of the actors, the musical is more than just a show.
“I get the chance to experience having a lead role and get out of the shell I didn’t know that I had,” Allison Thomas said, the junior who plays Jane.
Thomas is also dedicated to making relationships with the rest of the cast.
“I try to have at least one bonding moment with everyone on the cast,” Thomas said. “I like to think of the musical cast as a mini family.”
Grace Nale, a senior, has been a part of this family for four years. For this production, she is a member of the ensemble. She has been proud to be part of the cast every year.
“It has become a staple of my life,” Nale said. “The musical is going to be pretty amazing. It will be something that the school and the whole county can enjoy.”
The cast has also found that the musical is a great way to create lasting friendships.
“I make so many new friends during the musical,” Nale said.
The bonding in the musical goes beyond age and grade.
“My favorite part of the musical is working with the kids,” Jackie Golden, a sophomore who plays an ape in the musical, said. “When I was in third grade, I was in the musical. The high school students were good to me, so I want to do the same for the kids now.”
Owen Smith, a fourth grader who works with Golden as a monkey, is excited that he gets to be in Tarzan.
“They don’t usually have kids in the musical,” Smith said. “This is a great opportunity.”
Smith’s favorite part of being in the musical, beside his relationships with the high school students, is his role as a little monkey.
“I like making monkey noises and acting like one too,” Smith said.
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