Thursday, April 26, 2012

MSA robotics team takes third in regional competition; team's robot voted best-looking overall

MSA Iron Wolves (left) pictured with members of the Pwnge and Hard Hat Robotics teams.

By Justice Peoples

Members of the Iron Wolves, MSA’s competitive robotics team, last month took third place out of six teams in a regional robotics competition held at the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. The third-place finish is the best-ever for MSA’s robotics team, which includes 20 scholars drawn from across all four high school grade levels. 

Robotics club member Jordan Peoples said, “It was an exciting time, we had much fun and much experience gained. Next year, we will get the gold.”

Robotics club advisor and MSA Physics Teacher Joseph Michaelis said, “It was a pretty incredible payoff for four years of hard work. It meant a lot for the seniors to get a big award.”

The competition featured student-built robots built to pick up basketballs and shoot them accurately at hoops. All robots were also supposed to maintain good balance in another competition. The MSA robot, 2709, won six of eight games of three-on-three matches. In each match, a total of six robots--three on each side--competed for the most baskets. Each match lasted three minutes, and the winning robot team advanced in the tournament. 

Justice Peoples and the most handsome robot in Minneapolis.
 Sixteen of the club’s 20 members traveled 10 hours by Megabus each way to and from the competition, held the last weekend of March inside the University of Minnesota’s hockey arena. While the team did not medal at the event--only the top two teams in the competition receive medals--MSA’s Iron Wolves won the trophy for best industrial design. That means MSA had the best-looking robot in the competition.

Senioritis saps 12th graders; Mysterious malady affects work ethic, and everything else

By Davion Lindsey and Joshua Joseph

Do you fall asleep while doing homework? Is lunch the only “class” you look forward to everyday? Is homework a foreign language to you?

If you have any of these symptoms or combination thereof, it’s more than likely that you have Senioritis. Senioritis is a disease that attacks students during their final year of high school, making them extremely lazy and reluctant to do anything related to school.

The two of us have Senioritis. It started with Davion at the beginning of the school year, during the football season. Josh came down with the disease last summer, before he even became a senior. The reason we have Senioritis is because college is ahead and we CAN’T WAIT TO LEAVE! We know this can hurt our GPAs but the desire to leave has taken over in this last year.

No one knows where exactly Senioritis came from but it is believed by many to have always been here since the dawn of school.

One of the main problems with Senioritis is that it can attack a student out of nowhere at all.

“I’ve had Senioritis since August 26,” MSA Senior Craig Carter said, remembering the first day of school for seniors. “It can be very annoying to deal with, but then again school is pretty much the same way.”

Like Craig, other seniors are finding they suffer from this disease and are struggling to deal with it. Most have never felt this way before.

Justice Peoples, a senior who used to find it easy to motivate himself into getting good grades, this year finds it hard to even get out of bed in the morning.

“I just don’t feel like doing any of it,” he said.

But some people like Justice have parents, the worst enemies of Senioritis.

“Moms wouldn’t let me slack off,” Justice said.

Deriknesha Brockman

Senior Deriknesha Brockman claims that she has Senioritis, too, and is ready to leave high school.

“It shows that students might quit at any time and in college you can’t afford to do that.” Brockman later said in the interview. “People change when they want to. There is no cure for it.”

Senior Joshua Marcus said he has stayed around people who succeed in school and excel on many levels to keep him motivated .

"Senioritis is a habit and habits are hard to break," Joshua said jokingly.

Senior Aryies Bridges said her after-school job at Checkers is taking up a lot of her time and attention.

“Work has demotivated me, and I have been working harder in all my classes to stay motivated,” she said.

Aryies said students lose focus on high school because they think they’re ready for college--right now.

“Students catch Senioritis because of their ego and eagerness to leave,” she said.

Aryies Bridges

Teachers don’t like Senioritis but they do acknowledge that it’s simply a part of being a senior.

“I think Senioritis is a very unfortunate and almost unavoidable part of graduating high school,” MSA chemistry teacher Cheryl Heitzman said.

Like the flu, maybe.

Sima Faik, MSA environmental science teacher, said Senioritis is a regular, and terrible, part of spring semester.

“I hate it,” he said. “Senioritis makes seniors lazy and makes them want to slack.”

“It makes my job harder,” Faik said, speaking on behalf of all 12th grade teachers.
Many other students and teachers and even parents were interviewed for this story. Their comments were supposed to be included in this story, which was supposed to be much better than it is. 

But we’re graduating soon and off to college sooooo ….

Junior Year Is What You Make It

By Andre Veasley

For 10th graders at Perspectives MSA, junior year is right around corner. This grade level is very important because it is the last chance for colleges to see what you can do. With internships, ACT prep, college tours, and piles of school work, being a Junior at MSA is not average.

Grades from freshmen and sophomore year are combined with junior year grades and sent off to colleges of choice. Junior is truly the year to make it count and show colleges that you are a hard worker. “What future juniors could do is start study groups, try to get with the top students in the school to branch off their ideas to see how they got to the place they are now,” said MSA junior Ryon Riddle, a junior.

“They could keep in mind that if they don’t keep their grades up, they will never graduate, and won’t be able to get out of this school,” says Kennedy Myers.

Another challenge during junior year is preparing for the ACT. The ACT is a standardized test that 11th graders across America take to get into colleges. This year, juniors are struggling with the ACT preparation according to the practice tests which are below average. Throughout the year, teacher lessons revolve around the ACT and the phrase is heard more and more as the test day gets closer.

“To prepare for the ACT, make up your strategies early, and practice them,” said MSA junior Jovan Goolsby.

On the bright side, there are college tours to different colleges around the city. The juniors are not being given a college tour this year for “budget” reasons.

“I feel that it is not very fair that we do not get a college tour this year because the seniors had one last year. It seems like they had more than we did. If the money isn’t right, there won’t be one next year,” Chris Yates said.

There are also internships, which is a five-week opportunity where juniors go out into a job placement in their career choice and they get a hands-on experience of what goes on in that setting. Career choices have included culinary arts, business, computer technology, and architecture.

“Juniors should go on internships to prepare for the work environment and gain experience,” said junior Kysha Thames.

“The best part about internships was we got hands-on experience with cameras, but it was boring,” said Cydne Curd.

The class of 2014 should really get their minds ready for junior year, considered one of the most important years of high school. It will be tough but it will all pay off when you are walking across the stage.