Archive for the ‘ Clubs ’ Category

Pie, Pie and More Pi

By Amanda Bertsch

On Thursday, March 6th, Tri-City Prep celebrated Pi Day. Games, activities, and pie sales were all hosted by Mu Alpha Theta, the math honor society.

Pi day is traditionally celebrated on March 14th (3/14), but Mu Alpha Theta held the celebrations early because the 14th fell over Spring Break. Pi Day is not only the date spells out pi, but it also Einstein’s birthday. This year’s day was dubbed “Super Pi Day” because the year lined up to add two more digits of the irrational number (3/14/15).

For Pi Day, Mu Alpha Theta held numerous contests. Among them were circle drawing, hula hooping, the ever popular bubble gum blowing, and a unit circle drawing. There was also a pi recitation; Thea Cline won with over 200 memorized digits of pi.

Pie sales were popular, as always. Mu Alpha Theta members brought in a variety of pies, from cherry to chocolate, and they were all enjoyed by the students and staff. The Mu Alpha Theta students were pleased with the amount of money the fundraiser brought in.

“The pie was good and the activities sounded like fun,” one sophomore remarked.

Others noted the beneficial nature of Pi Day.

“I think [Pi Day] brings a good light on the math department. There’s a lot of opportunities for other clubs, but Pi Day is something unique to math curricula,” said Devon Bonelli, a sophomore.

Pi Day will return next year, once again hosted by the campus’s math program, with both old favorites and new activities. Until then, happy math-ing!


Stacking Towers of Competition

By Amanda Bertsch

In the predawn hours of Saturday, February 28th, nine students piled into a van on their way to the robotics state competition. The competition took place at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, and 52 of the state’s 150+ robotics teams were invited to attend.

The top six robots from the finals and four others who won special awards were given the opportunity to advance to the world competition, which will be held in Kentucky this year. In addition, teams that won regional competitions of a certain size were invited to the national competition for another chance at world. Tri-City did not meet either of these qualifications, but they did extremely well.

The state competition began with 78 qualifier matches. These matches featured two randomly chosen alliances of two robots, who worked together to move cubes and stack towers. The robots were ranked based on how many points were scored in each match and by how many matches they had won. Each robot went to exactly six matches.

After the first matches, Tri-City’s robot was in first. It dropped to fifth by lunchtime, but after lunch disaster struck: an issue with one of the motors and the linked axle was rendering the bot inoperable. The team made a quick fix, but they didn’t have enough time to replace the motor and with the bot semi-disabled, the team lost their last two matches. The robot dropped from fifth to nineteenth. Continue reading

Celebrating Science: Science National Honor Society Inductions

By Taylor Whittemore

On February 11th, 2015, Science National Honor Society (SNHS) held inductions for new members from 6:00pm-7:30pm in the auditorium. Six full members were added to the six current members; fourteen affiliate members were also accepted.

The full member inductees include Allegra Bodine, Danielle Freeman, Gus Longacre, Tori O’Leary, Ashley Santillan, and Cody Tegtman. These students are all graduating this year, along with the current members: Emily Andreasky, Leah McGuire, Hunter Middleton, Jackson Modrak, Emily Smith, and Taylor Whittemore.

Affiliate members will have the opportunity to become full members next year, and they are Grant Batzli, Amanda Bertsch, Devon Bonelli, Brianna D’Angelo, Adrian Kania, Natalie Kania, Hannah Leber, Olin Marman, Keldy Mason, Grace Padilla, Tieran Rashid, Sean Riley, Colter Richardson, and Phoebe Payne.

The induction ceremony began with an introduction by Mrs. Muchna, one of the club advisors, before the microphone was passed along to guest speaker Dr. Sampson, the other advisor. Taylor Whittemore, the treasurer, then gave a speech on the history of SNHS and was followed by Allegra Bodine, the secretary, as she gave a speech on community outreach. The vice president Emily Smith then took over from there, speaking on academic achievements. The concluding speech on extracurricular activities was given by Ashley Santillan, the president of SNHS. New members were then inducted, graduating seniors were recognized, and closing remarks were given.

An array of food, including donuts, cookies, brownies, and crackers, was available alongside sweet tea and soda. This table was open to those attending and was placed in the back of the room. Chairs were set up as they often are for school assemblies – in rows facing the stage. Dress attire was semi-formal, so returning members and new inductees were dressed for the occasion.

The ceremony was both set up and taken down by members of the society. They had signed up for their respective positions during Science Honors, the morning class that accompanies the National Honor Society and ensures that members get all their hours. Students also receive credit for this Monday morning class.

“I’m really happy to have new members join in the society, and I hope to accomplish a lot with these new members,” said Santillan.

Robotics Pushes to State

By Amanda Bertsch

Saturday, January 31st was the regional robotics competition. The competition took place at Granite Mountain Middle School, and fourteen teams competed. For the two teams from Tri-City, the Borg Collective and the Trade Federation, it was an unexpected success.

The Vex robotics competition this year is called Skyrise. The qualifying events consist of randomly chosen alliances of two robots. Each match begins with a fifteen-second autonomous period, where the robot moves without the assistance of any human. There is then a 1 minute, 45 second driver controlled period where robots build towers and use colored cubes to score points.

During their first three qualifiers, the Trade Federation scored highly, becoming first on the scoreboard. This was a huge surprise because the robot, nicknamed Marvin, cannot stack any of the tower pieces, which are worth more points; it can only push around the cubes, and it even lacks an arm.

Then disaster struck: the robot was failing to communicate with the controllers. The next three matches were a frantic time of retesting. During one match, the robot did not move at all. The team dropped to second, then third, then fifth. During this time, the Borg Collective hovered consistently around fourth, despite having an incomplete robot. Continue reading

√(225)-1 Members Inducted Into Mu Alpha Theta

By Amanda Bertsch

On November 6th, the annual Mu Alpha Theta induction took place. Mu Alpha Theta is a national math honor society. Tri-City Prep’s chapter is responsible for running math competitions, Pi Day, math tutoring, and the math problem of the week. They also sell muffins in Mrs. Winter’s room. This year, fourteen new members were inducted.

The induction ceremony had a formal atmosphere, with fancy table arrangements and a dessert array. It began with a talk from this year’s guest speaker, Dr. Molly Beauchman. Dr. Beauchman is the dean of mathematics at Yavapai College and is also responsible for the math dual enrollment program for high schools. She gave an excellent and inspiring speech about the opportunities available with a math education and her experiences while teaching mathematics.

Then the officers of Mu Alpha Theta gave their own speeches. All four traded off to inform the audience about what Mu Alpha Theta does, the history of Mu Alpha Theta, and the requirements for admission. They then handed the podium over to Mrs. Winters, who inducted the new members.

To be inducted in to Mu Alpha Theta, students must complete two years of high school math, maintain a 3.5 GPA in math classes and a 3.0 GPA in other classes, be enrolled in (or have previously taken) Math Honors, and write a personal statement. The members of Mu Alpha Theta then review these submissions and decide on which applicants they would like to accept.

The new members took the Mu Alpha Theta oath, then were called up to receive a certificate and a t-shirt. Members inducted this year include Bryanna Allen, Amanda Bertsch, Devon Bonelli, Ellie Bowen, Alexandre DuBroy, Natalie Kania, Elizabeth Longacre, Kaleb Lyonnais, Cassandra McGrane, Grace Padilla, Megan Welborn, Taylor Whittemore, Zachary Wilhelm, and Rebekah Winters. Continue reading