2020 Renaissance Celebration
Written by Rogelio Gomez
Keeping up a high GPA takes a lot of hard work and dedication. To honor the students who have maintained a good GPA, an event called rennaissance is held at the school. The students will show up to their respective quad during seminar and will be given treats such as chips, candy, bagels, etc. Near the end of the event, a raffle is held where students can win things like a coupon for a free haircut or a giftcard.
Some quads would go beyond this basic formula and try to add something new. One of the quads had a bubble machine while another played music for everyone. Each year and each quad has something new and it’s always fun to see what that thing is. Overall it’s a very fun event and a really nice gesture from the administration to the students who worked hard all year.
STEM Smart: A Gathering of Food, Technology, and Competition
Written by Eva Lopez
Competition! Food Wars! Robot Battles! Art and Games! All of these different and unique topics could be found at the 2020 STEM Smart Student Summit! Schools including Pineview, Venice High, Sarasota High School and Suncoast Polytechnical Highschool gathered within Suncoast Technical College on January 31st . Within the college walls there were fierce competitions, drones, culinary demonstrations, scientific presentations, and various forms of Vex robotics. This summit was a coagulation of people who spent their time having fun and enjoying a day full of science, art, and greatest of all food. Most of the demonstrations occurred out in the cafeteria of the college as well as on the second-floor lobby. Any person involved was free to roam around and enjoy the experience of inventiveness and creativity. There were also competitions that were being held within separate rooms of the college. Some competitions included the Technology Web Design Competition, the Technology Logo Design Competition, the Mathematic Spreadsheet Application Competition, the Mathematics Multimedia Math Challenge Competition, and many more. Many of our students participated in these competitions, but two of the most notable competitions were the Technology Logo Design Competition and the Mathematics Multimedia Math Challenge Competition.
The Technology Logo Design Competition was all about creating a logo for a food truck. There was no specific type of food truck that was required as a theme, but the most commonly used idea was a taco truck. While the idea of a taco truck might be common, there are many creative ideas that can be incorporated with tacos to make it the incredible unique and interesting. However, Maelin and Kayla, two Suncoast Polytechnical Highschool students, choose to use a bold and daring idea. An idea that most people would never think of when it is related to a food truck. Despite this, these two girls went against the odds and created a logo centered around kabobs. In fact, in an interview with Maelin and Kayla the two girls held total confidence and stated, “I think we have a very good chance” in response to the question “do you think you will win?” The irony of the declaration was that their prediction came true. The two girls won 1st place in the Technology Logo Design Competition against several other schools with their now famous idea of a kabob logo design. Hopefully their idea of kabob food trucks will sneak its way into reality and enlighten us with kabobs that anyone can enjoy on the streets.
The Mathematics Multimedia Math Challenge Competition had a group of four people use algebra 1 and geometry skills in order to solve a real-life math problem. Once the group had discovered a solution, they had to create a creative presentation of the problem and their solution. The group of Suncoast Polytechnical Highschool students included Emily, Marcos, Nate, and Katherine. The question that this group received involved the tallest building in the world; known as Burj Khalifa. In this problem two phones were dropped from two different heights, one on the 94th floor and the other on the 55th floor. The question was “which phone would hit the ground first and how many seconds would it take”, as well as “if one phone hits the ground first what height is the other object at”. After closely examining the competition one might note that the truly amazing aspect of this competition was the fact that beside Emily and Marcos, the group did not know each other in any way. Despite this, the group was able to come together and work as a team in order to find a solution to a problem. In other words, every member of the group was alert and actively ready to participate. According to Emily, a member of the Suncoast Polytechnical Highschool team, this atmosphere of engagement was thick enough for their host to say, “the group as a whole was probably the most interactive, he has seen in a while”.
In just one day several competitions, demonstrations, and presentations of various topics occurred. Hundreds of students of varying ages came together to share, show off, and present their abilities and minds. It was an entire day dedicated to academics and creativity, but this would have never happened unless students came from all over the state to participate in a festival like environment. It was thanks to this that hundreds of students were able to come together to not only enjoy each other’s company, but to do so in a stimulating and fun way. Though the day could not continue on forever, it is nice to know that gatherings like the 2020 STEM Smart Student Summit are able to bring about this intellectual environment at least for one day.
STEM Fair Winners 2020
Written by Isabella Ocasio
On January 29th, middle and high school students attended the STEM Fair held at Robarts Arena to showcase their personal scientific research. Many Suncoast Polytech students were there. Below are some brief overviews of student experiments.
Devin McAbee: Could ABS Polymers be Used to Create Habitable Structures on Mars to Withstand the Pressure Differential?
Devin McAbee tested ABS polymers (a 3D printing material) to see if they would be a useful material on Mars for when humans one day colonize it. He 3D printed some structures and simulated the conditions of Mars (temperature, wind, pressure, and other harsh conditions) to test the reliability of ABS polymers. Devin’s experiment shows that ABS polymers are a strong material that can withstand harsh conditions quite well.
Jacqueline Anders: Is Your Food a 10? Because Basic is Better
Jacqueline Anders did an experiment on how cooking methods alter the pH of food. This was to help determine which cooking method is healthiest. Jacqueline included pressure cooking, boiling, and freezing in her testing. In the end, it was shown that pressure cookers made food the most acidic.
Brayden Rice and Aiden Jenkins: Is Gaming Really Slowing You Down?
Brayden and Aiden showcased how science experiments don’t have to be extraordinarily scholarly and high-level. They ran an experiment on how video games influence reaction times. The two found that more video gaming typically equates to better reaction speeds.
Daniel, in today’s crippling environmental crisis, wanted to find an adequate replacement for paper straws that would benefit the ocean and the economy. He ran an experiment with straw-shaped pastas to see which one maintained its sturdy structure the longest in different types of drinks. Daniel’s experiment shows that larger pasta straws maintain denseness the best, and pasta straws are a promising alternative for paper.
The fair was organized by category – there was a behavioral science table with psychological research projects, a marine science table with experiments on aquatic life, a mathematics and engineering table, and so on. There was a winner for each category, in addition to some “Special” awards. Two SPHS students placed! Isabella Ocasio (that’s the author of this article!) won second place at the behavioral sciences table, and Devin McAbee was awarded a special engineering award. Interestingly, these two students are students from AP Capstone Research.
An award ceremony will be held later in February to award these winning students, and others.
Congrats to the winning students of STEM Fair, and bravo to all students that made a brave effort!
SPHS Chess Club Tournament
Written by Dylan Labrador, 10th grade
During the school year at Suncoast Polytechnical High School there has been a chess club held every Friday from 2:15-3:25; but on Friday, December 6, 2019, instead of doing a chess club they decided to do a chess tournament. The chess tournament is a chess match where you go against multiple different people and at the end, get a prize based on your rank.
The tournament started after school and lasted for several hours. The people that played in the tournament and won got prizes. The person in first place got to take the school trophy or choose another prize and the second place winner could get a prize that was offered to them or choose another prize, and the same happened for several other people in the tournament.
The person that got in first place is Daniel Rosa, who was tied with Gabriel Lopez, who ended up being in second. The third place was Finnian McCormick.
If you showed up to the chess tournament but didn’t want to play in the tournament, they had extra chess boards that you could use to play with your friends. During the chess match, they had popcorn for people to eat.
The next time you hear about a chess tournament go ahead and check it out! It will happen inside at the entrance. If you don’t want to play, they have extra chess boards for you to use. If you do want to play, make sure to let them know beforehand, and who knows, maybe you will be the winner of the tournament!
SPHS Beach Clean-Up
Written by Rogelio Gomez
On December 7th, 2019, there was a cleanup at Lido Beach for all students to attend, hosted by the one and only Ricardo Bellón. Teams of 3 or 4 students were scattered around different sections of the beach and were assigned to pick up as much as trash as possible. Many were surprised by some of the strange items that were found, such as an entire bottle of anti-depressants, a plank of wood in perfect shape, a pipe full of ants, and much more. When the cleanup was finished, all of the trash buckets that the groups filled up were weighed. In the end we collected over 49kg (kilograms) of trash. As a side assignment for everyone to do while picking up trash, Bellón tasked the groups to count how many cigarette butts they found. After we all re-grouped and put together our individual totals, a final total of 606 cigarette butts were found throughout the beach. When all of it was done, we had a nice cookout, and everyone went home. All in all, whether you came for the cause, the community service hours, or the food, it was a good time.
Barnes & Noble Night
Written by Brianna Barron
On December 4, Barnes and Noble held an annual event to benefit SPHS and where many of the students helped out. From game development to painting, there were many cool things and activities to see. National Honor Society was a club that participated in the event, and there was food to eat and even gift wrapping for shoppers. I did get to interview some of the students who were part of AGS, and asked questions about their current work. One of their projects is a cool and unique idea — a roleplaying game!
When interviewing them I had asked questions like: “what they do, both, in AGS and their project?” or “how do you guys make the music for your project?” and “how long it takes for them to make a full game?”
They replied how in AGS they are focusing on making games and how they’re working on a roleplaying game, and handed us a book with pictures of the environment and their ideas, what the visuals and animation would look like, and their own characters. They mentioned how they had recorded dialogues for the game and have recorded music for it. They talked about how they have a recording room with a few instruments.
This current project that they’ve been working on has taken a couple of months to just get the whole idea and concept towards the characters and design. They are currently still working on the project to finalize it for the competition in Skills USA.
Senior Yankee Candle Fundraiser
By Isabella Ocasio
Being in the middle of fall, everyone’s favorite holidays are coming up – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and more! However, this is Florida. There are no color-changing trees to get us pumped for fall, nor a winter wonder land of Christmas spirit.
Fortunately, the senior class at Polytech can help everyone get into the holiday spirit with holiday-themed candles and gifts!
Every year at Polytech, the senior class has a Yankee Candle fundraiser. Not only will it help us Floridians get into the holiday spirit, but it will also save hundreds of dollars for seniors. 12th grade isn’t cheap – the mandatory senior fee is $50, ordering a cap and gown is $39, Grad Bash is $150, and prom is $75! This all adds up to a monstrous $319. As if saving money wasn’t amazing enough, seniors also get 2 community service hours for every $10! Getting 100 community service hours required for graduation (and for the highest level of Bright Futures, an amazing scholarship opportunity) can be difficult, but selling $100 worth of Yankee Candles will get you 50 hours – halfway there!
Some customers may want to use a check or a debit/credit card. Checks must be written payable to Suncoast Polytechnical High School. If a customer wants to use a card, they can still order their candle or other product online! First, you will have to make an account with www.yankeecandlefundraising.com (all you have to do is give an email and a name). Then, if someone wishes to use a card, tell them to go to www.yankeecandlefundraising.com to shop for their perfect candle and to put your first and last name when the option comes up at the checkout. If the customer does not put your name, the funds will not be put under your name.
Don’t forget – there are more than just candles to sell. A quick look in the catalogue shows car fresheners, gift wrap, scented room spray, wax warmers and wax melts, bakeware, school supplies and more.
To turn in your funds, give your collected money to Ms. Effron in the front office. Ms. Effron will then give you a receipt. Give this receipt to Ms. McNellis on the far right of the Senior Quad. Report to Ms. McNellis for any other questions.
Seniors, you have until November 1st to collect funds. As for all other grades – be sure to help out your favorite senior. They’ll need it!
Blackout Robotics Rules the World
Written by Aby Mendez
We decided to have a follow up interview with the Blackout Robotics team and got to learn some pretty interesting stuff about what it takes to have such a successful and victorious team. I asked Rafael what his initial reaction was to the wins and he said,“We were expecting to get something, and we got three trophies so we were like ‘woah’ we’re pretty good this year.”
So far this team has collected a stunning 28 trophies. “We’ve won all the important competitions, the ones we care about.” In order to have a triumphant team like this one you’ll need patience , time, dedication, and more dedication. The amount of work this team puts into their robot is “ A LOT OF HOURS.” Just as they thought the robot was ready for its next competition a few “crucial” changes and touches had to be made, with each touch up Rigor (aka Riga, Rigger, the robot’s name) seemed great, but this group strives for perfection.
With so much pressure, I wondered if they ever bumped heads or got mad at each other, and to my surprise they didn’t… This team has wonderful team dynamics and communication skills. And of course lots of healthy competition and rivalry goes on amongst all of the teams. When they’re not building, programming, driving, or note taking , they spend time mentoring Vex teams at Brookside Middle. “Brookside is our child” and they sure have big shoes to fill.
Before coming into this I really thought they had some Battlebot thing going, but Rafael says that realistically a lot of the pieces that you see go flying in the movies are very important and the robot simply would not function without them. No one would want to put all that time into a project just to watch it get obliterated by another team… “We don’t kill robots.” The boys have also made it very clear that they don’t just sit around and do “nerd stuff” all day.
Don’t worry we consider you the football team of Polytech. And just like any other sports team, we students should make an effort to show up to their competitions. “We would really to have people supporting us !” He said. They also need to get some merchandise out because you can’t have fans if they’re not “reppin” your team.
With such bright and talented students on this team I wouldn’t be surprised if they sent Rigor to space some day.
I’m addition to to this win they also received three other trophies last weekend.
Be sure to check out their Instagram page for more: blackout6105c
Students Solving Problems
Written by Marianni Johnson
On November 8th of 2019, I had the opportunity of attending the Superintendent Forum, where high-achieving representatives of each school in the Sarasota county district came together. Each student helped solve issues that are in the school system.
There were 10 tables with 10 people at each table, and each person rotated through the tables talking about current issues in the school system. After going around discussing the issues, we talked about our topic, solving issues that we thought needed to be solved, and how to do it by creating a short 5-minute presentation on what we discussed with our groups.
It was insightful seeing what people thought and came up with on each topic. Even though a few of the topics I didn’t really agree with, what they were saying gave me a new perspective on things. Finally the discussion turned towards us students asking questions to the Superintendent. I have to admit it was pretty intense, but it was very informative and fun.
I would say that the Q & A with Superintendent was the best part of the Superintendent Forum, along with the great food we had for lunch. After, the 45 minutes of questions were over, we thanked everyone for coming and each student went back to their bus and left.
Hurricane Dorian Fundraiser
Written by Anthony Cuffaro
Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas on September 1st, 2019. Dorian was the strongest hurricane on record to hit the island. It was regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. Once it made landfall, it hovered over the island sometimes moving at just 1 mph. Water tipped 23 feet above sea level. As of September 27th, the death toll of Dorian is 56, Around 600 missing, and over 4,000 escaped to Florida.
Sarasota Polytechnical High School donated supplies to the Bahamas. Students were advised to put their donations in the Junior Quad. Mrs. Davis oversaw the donations.
I talked to Mrs. Davis about the Dorian Relief efforts. When asked about how the idea came about, Davis stated, “A parent came to me, and asked if we can start a hurricane drive. We started at the Polytech open house and we did it until the end of the first quarter.”
Students were reminded to bring items at the open house, posters were hung up around the campus, and with the application Remind, students were reminded what to bring for donations.
Mrs. Davis added, “Because Boar’s Head was flying things over, I was trying to not do a lot of heavy things. For example, canned foods instead of boxed foods, empty water jugs instead of water bottles, clothing, toiletries, and first aid supplies.”
Boar’s Head was responsible of acquiring the supplies and bringing them to the island. The relief supplies were picked up by truck. After that they were carefully transported on a cargo plane and sent to the island as soon as possible.
The outcome was outstanding. With over 4 large truck loads donated, it was nice to see everybody unify and come together.
Romeo and Juliet
Written by Aby Mendez
On October 11th after school, the Asolo Repertory Theatre presented an FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to the students of SPHS. The play was adapted and directed by Tyler Dobrowsky. There was a very large turn-out of over 100 students, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the play. Special thanks to Mr. Disz for coordinating this great event. We are very lucky to experience these cultural events, where we can bring to life many of the texts that we read in class!
Here is what some students thought:
- Marianni Johnson
I liked how they interpreted it to a 90s generation and kept the dialect, but still made it fun and fresh. Mercutio was my favorite because he was the one that made jokes and stuck by his best friends’s side. I liked both the book and the performance.
2. Josh Bowen:
My favorite part was when the friar married Romeo and Juliet. Friaf was my favorite character; he was chill and looked like Jesus with his sandals and hair. I liked reading it too.
3. Alexis Butrum:
I liked how they performed and how some actors combined characters. I like the play because it was more interesting sitting and watching then just sitting and reading.
Follow the Asolo Rep Theater on Instagram @asolorep
Freshman Perspective: Open House
Written by Cassie Thomas
Just a couple of week ago we had open house on September 12th. This was a fun time for students and parents to get to know many things about what will happen in some of their classes as well as what other CTE’s do. It’s the most dreadful day for students with poor grades to start the year; but also, it’s the best day for parents who like to torture their children by finding a favorite teacher and finding out top secret information. Just kidding.
One student, Josette Compagniony, had an amazing experience and had this to say about it. “It was more organized then it was last year, and the teachers seemed to actively participate, and it was generally a great way to get to know your teachers.”
Words from Ms. Richardson, a Speech, English and Applied Communications teacher, “I thought that open house was splendid, and it was fun to see students showing around their parents and it was nice to see students I taught in 9th grade that I now teach in 10th grade. It was sad, though, that I wasn’t able to personally see the activities in the STC atrium. But, I was able to picture it nicely by some students who told me about the experiences they had there.”
Another student Reagan West-Dimitry said “I thought it was interesting to see how many clubs that we have here at SPHS. I didn’t know we had so many.”
A few words from 9th grader, Brianna Allen: “It was a good experience for my parents to meet all my teachers and I had fun in the STC atrium where I was cooking my own Smores, indoors.”
Like the saying goes at my previuos middle school, Booker Middle: “Scholars make dollars.” So Renegades, work to do your best this year, and every year, so you can really enjoy Open House the way it should be enjoyed.
Senior Perspective: Open House
Written by Phoenix Phan
Suncoast Technical College and Polytechnical High School commenced their Open House night on the Thursday September 12, for families to visit and see what the school has to offer.
The Open House in definition is a place holding an event in which all visitors are welcome. Visitors, registrants and guests can attend to participate in this exciting experience. Visitors can meet teachers to understand the curriculum and look for potential concerns. They can also seek opportunities and be committed to help out the school spirit.
The Open House event is full of opportunities for students and their parents to visit the school and become acclimated for this school year of 2019-20. Students of SPHS volunteered during Open House to help with the many booths, to display their hardworking effort, and to assist visitors. In the SPHS atrium, many tables were set up for activities, marketing, contests, and donations. The Hurricane Dorian Donation Drive station was filled with supplies, food, and clothing to help the Bahamas and the people of the East Coast of the US who have been affected by the hurricane. Chess Club was very active, filled with competitive players involved in chess matches. Lastly, the AGS program (Art/Game/Simulation) displayed games and artworks to share for visitors who are interested in creative projects.
The Suncoast Technical College provides quality technical education to meet workforce development and community needs. The STC faculty was very busy and filled with visitors. Career programs were crowded as well, with a groups of people wanting to watch skillful students show their work and talents. The Emergency Medical Technology program put out a live demonstration of their students showing their skills. There were children enjoying activities at the Early Childhood Education station. Culinary station served S’mores and pastries to feature their best work. Many people were very intrigued about the Krispy Kreme sales and the Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser breakfast to support SkillsUSA for money to travel to the state competitions.
The purpose of the Open House night is for visitors and/or parents to be connected to the school’s association and learn more about the student goals and their futures with career technologies. Open house is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about what students have been doing in school, and what this amazing school has to offer every student.
To learn more information and be updated on the school’s next event, check out the websites below:
Suncoast Polytechical High School: https://sarasotacountyschools.net/schools/suncoastpolytechnical/
Suncoast Technical College: https://www.suncoast.edu/
An Amazing Day at the Beach…Cleanup
Written by Brianna Barron
Recently, on Saturday the 21st of September, there was a coastal beach clean up that took place at Lido Key. By the end of the cleanup there were fifteen trash bags and twelve recycling bags. While cleaning up there were many bizarre items that were picked up from pants, shoes, to even a pillow. We also found a doorstop lying on the beach, as well as lots of foam, plastic, cans, and even paper. Not only were Polytech NHS students there helping out, but also other NHS students from Sarasota High School participated and even employees from Cat Depot.
I interviewed Mr. Bellon for this event, since he is the advisor for NHS and the Math Club, which are the two clubs that sponsored the coastal clean-ups:
1. “How much trash was picked up?”
“We collected 12 bags of recycling goods and 15 bags of trash.”
2. “Are you going to open it up to school or keep it an NHS event?”
“It was already opened up, the event was advertised, and everyone was invited to join. It was sponsored by National Honor Society and the Math club, but everyone was invited. So yes, whenever we do this we always invite the entire school.”
3. “Was Polytech partnering with Sarasota High school’s NHS?”
“We had students from other schools including Pine View and Sarasota High. They joined us because their group didn’t show up or they couldn’t find their group, so they joined us.”
4. “What was the company we worked for?”
“The company that sponsored the coastal cleanup was the Sarasota County Ecology Department and ‘Keep Sarasota Beautiful’ organization.”
5. “How does the process work with that? (For example, is someone going to come and pick up the trash later on and how is the location picked?)
“Ok, so we left the trash there and then someone from Sarasota County, comes and they then take it to their facilities where they would distribute the recycling and the trash with the other trash that was collected, since this event was going all over.”
There will be two more beach cleanups happening soon; the date hasn’t been decided yet though. If you like you can always stop by Mr. Bellon’s room in the Junior quad and/or send him an email at: Ricardo.Bellon@sarasotacountyschools.net
The Freshmen 25
Written by Eva Lopez
The topic today will be the Freshmen 25! This is all about the incoming freshman, who made their 25 community service hours. These freshmen who took up Mr. Turgeon’s challenge, completed various activities during the summer in order to achieve their end goal of attaining 25 hours of volunteer work. With their aim accomplished these students will be able to focus on their studies and ease their way into the start of the new school year. As a result of these successful individuals acquiring their 25 hours, they will not have to worry about their hours being completed until the next summer. This ensures that their community service does not become part of the routine agenda, but is rather concluded and out of the way.
The 30 freshmen who completed the 25 hours of community service, were rewarded with a special treat during their seminar period. They gathered in the freshman quad to be greeted with movie star treatment. There was a plentiful number of tables set up with table clothes, and other decorations to drive home a sense of fame. There were foods such as pizza, chips, cookies, and of course drinks. There were also prizes such as sweatshirts and shirts imbued with the school’s mascot, the Renegade. These freshmen came together to celebrate their success and to simply enjoy each other’s company. All while in the comfort of the freshman quad.
Although the topic that will interest most students regarding the Freshmen 25 is simply the prizes, there is also another important aspect. This aspect is the straightforward fact that students who are mostly strangers get to converse with new people. The Freshmen 25 is, and will continue to be, a way for new freshmen to acquaint themselves with the school and its environment. For example, according to Mrs. Carcifero, “they got to each lunch all together and just talk about where they did their community service hours, how many hours they did, what encouraged them to go to that organization, and what they did at that organization.” Among these freshmen some were nervous, and some were excited, however the fact remains that through the Freshmen 25 they got to talk and interact with new people that they might not have previously spoken to.
In the future the possibility for the Freshmen 25 to become grander is a distinct possibility. In addition, as time goes on the experience of working hard for a reward will become much more satisfying. This is because as time passes Suncoast Polytechnical High School can hopefully gain new business partners that provide the school with free items in donations. These donations could be used to impart new rewards such as coupons, gift cards, shirts, or lanyards for future freshmen who have finished their 25 hours. The end goal for these new additional prizes is the solution to the conundrum presented by Mr. Turgeon. This problem established by Mr. Turgeon is as follows: “How do we give more to those students who showed the initiative?” As a result of those who work hard for Suncoast Polytechnical High School, the motivation of new, incoming freshmen students will begin to grow. This is because the hard work that a student achieves during the summer will bring about a satisfying reward, granted by the Freshmen 25.
Other than the prizes given away during the Freshmen 25, the students will also gain the start they need in order to complete the 100 hours that is required to achieve the Bright Futures scholarship. Whether the incoming freshmen realize it or not, the Freshmen 25 is a way to push students to achieve what they need in order to gain a scholarship. It is encouragement, that many students need in order to start working towards the ultimate prize of a scholarship. However, the Freshmen 25 also had many other side effects that were all brilliant. These such effects included the socialization of the new freshmen as well as a satisfying and rewarding feeling that can be only be gained through hard work.
Mr. Turgeon: Assistant Director of Suncoast Polytechnical Highschool
Mrs. Carcifero: Registrator of Suncoast Polytechnical Highschool
Go Ahead SPHS, Paint Your Space!
Written by Isabella Ocasio
Even if artistic ability isn’t everyone’s best skill, traditional art, whether it be classwork doodles, whiteboard drawings, concept sketches, or fully colored pieces, is a way for anyone to express themselves. Permitting this kind of self-expression in education is a great way for students to leave their school with happy memories. One way Polytech does this is through Paint Your Space, an event held in the first quarter of the school year in which students pay $10 to pick a parking spot in the SPHS parking lot… and paint it!
The yearly event was held last Saturday, September 21st from 9am-12pm. Mrs. McNellis, the psychology and US history teacher, along with some volunteers and members of student council were there to supply painting materials, including large paint rollers, brooms to brush leaves off a parking space, large brushes, and, of course, the paint. Snacks and drinks were also supplied – after all, it’s important to stay hydrated in the Florida sun. Some students brought their own materials too, such as duct tape (to paint perfectly straight lines or shapes) and spray paint.
Various designs can be painted on one’s parking space. Spot UU is an artistic reference to the Beatles song Here Comes the Sun, spot JJJ is a comedic drawing of a bird, KK is a vibrant but simple landscape, MM contains Jackson Pollock-like splatter-paint art, and there are many other diverse paintings that students put a lot of effort into.
By Aby Mendez
Suncoast Polytechnical High School Spring Dance March 8, 2019
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.” ― Martha Graham
|This is Polytech’s last all- school dance of the year, and the turnout was great! A big thanks to our SPHS student council members, DJ Dan, and the Boosters for making this such a great night. The music selection this evening was mainly from student requests. The Classics: Cotton- eye Joe, Cha-Cha Slide. Although the dance circle didn’t last for more then 4 minutes, our over enthusiastic DJ surely made it a night to remember.|
Personal Account of the SkillsUSA Baking Competition
Written by Ethan Schwalm
I have recently participated in the SkillsUSA baking competition. This was my first time competing, so I didn’t do the best compared to the more experienced competitors; but, I had fun and learned a lot from it. This competition was only 3 hours and it was very difficult, but I could not back down in this challenge.
(These pictures were taken after the Judges looked and tasted them.)
These were Parmesan and herb scones (I know they look like biscuits). They had little too much salt in them but were still good.
The Sugar Cookies came out perfectly. They were not burned and very soft.
I did not make the puff pastry since it would have taken days to do, but I did make the lemon custard inside them and made them into that square shape. I did forget to egg wash the top of them though.
GEEZ, my cake was terrible. I was running out of time in the end so I could not finish it. I couldn’t not turn something in for judging, so this was the best I could do. It looks like a toddler made it.
In the end, I learned a lot and had fun, and that was all that mattered to me. It was one of the most stressful things I ever had done…and I cannot wait to do it again next year.
SPHS VEX Travels to World Championships
By Cody McCauley
The SPHS VEX team placed in the top ten in the recent state competition, which allows them to travel and compete in the upcoming World Championships. This celebrated and accomplished VEX team is comprised of Adam Shick (12th grade), Armand Segui (9th grade), Quinn Commer (9th grade), Cannon Spencer (9th grade), and Rafael Treminio Bravo (9th grade).
The World Championships, being held in Louisville, KY from April 24th to the 27th, will host 580 of the best VEX teams from around the world. Now that is some serious competition!
Mrs. Kuhns, whose robotics lab is in the 9th Quad, is their outstanding advisor, and she has really taken this program from its start and built it up into a world contender. The team’s previous advisor from Brookside Middle School, Joel Kaplan, will be accompanying the team to the World Championships as a chaperone.
Armand Segui said that his inspiration when competing for the VEX team is Elon Musk and Kyle Ford, a legendary leader of a robotics team from South Florida.
The robot that they constructed, which operates from a hand-held control and shoots VEX balls at targets on specially designed courses, is named Rigor. It is a funny little thing, but it sure has some moves, and a great throwing arm.
When asked about what made the VEX team so special, Quinn Commer responded, “Everything!” He also said that the competitions were “stressful, fun, and nail-biting.” When competing against the world’s best, we can only imagine.
Make sure to wish them – and Rigor – good luck if you see them in the halls of SPHS. They certainly are something that makes us proud to be at SPHS.
Understanding Skills USA
Written by Cody McCauley
Nick Crosley, Marine Tech Bronze Medal
What is this Skills U.S.A. thing everyone is talking about? Skills U.S.A. is a competition for high school and adult students that go to STC (Suncoast Technical College) and other technical schools in the area. If your teacher allows you to go to Skills U.S.A., you will compete by completing several tests and tasks that will use your skills acquired in your CTE class.
As you know when you’re in a competition you are trying to win, that’s the whole goal in mind. Getting chosen to compete for your school is honorable, Marine Tech competitor, Nick Crosley said, “It felt good being able to go this year after turning down the opportunity last year.” This competition can also be stressful, and you may feel lots of pressure; Digital Design competitor, Jason Green emphasized, “It felt odd because I hadn’t done it before.” This shows how the competition helps students deal with real world situations and pressures.
This competition can be known as challenging as well. It is this way because all of your skills are being combined and used in difficult scenarios. While it is a hard competition to compete in, it is still a friendly environment. Green explained that yes, the competition was challenging but, “the judges gave me good advice.” This is nice to hear considering the point of being in a CTE class is to learn.
Nick Crosley placed 3rd at Skills in Marine Tech high school division and won some Matco tools, one of most popular tool companies. Jason Green placed 1st overall in Digital Design high school division, winning a gold medal and proceeding to the state competition.
Skills USA 2019
Written by Aby Mendez
Health Knowledge Bowl
Career Pathway Showcase/Health Services
Career Pathway Showcase/Health Services
Basic Healthcare Skills
“I am extremely proud of all the students who participated in Skills USA” ~ Mrs. Rupprecht and on behalf of Mrs. Walker
Visual and Production Skills:
Digital Cinema Production
Television Video Production
David Escobedo Jr.
The Vex Team Interview
Written by Brianna Barron
December 12, 2018
Recently, we interviewed some of the students in the Vex Competion, which were: Quinn Coomer, Armand Segui, Rafael Treminio Bravo, and Cannon Spencer. We asked them various questions, about their project and about the club. The students in the club were very nice and welcoming. Some of the questions that were asked were:
“Did you enjoy the project?”
The majority of them answered with Yes, they have been doing it for a long time. Some of them even started in middle school due to both an ongoing interest in the creation of robots and their parents encouraging it.
“What did you guys create?”
They created a robot that is designed to meet challenges. Since every year the competition changes they have to accomplish a new task every year. This year’s competition was to shoot yellow balls at the flags or flip caps.
“Is it the same robot every year?”
No, since the competition changes they have to design a whole new one specifically suited for that one task.
“How long does creating the robot take you?”
It usually takes them all year, the robot that was designed this year took them about 3 weekends. They would plan out on who’s house they’ll go to, to build it, test it, and go forward from that. It’s a lifestyle.
“Why did you join the club?”
Majority of them talked about how throughout their childhood they would love to see how things worked, so when they saw the opportunity in 6th grade, and 9th, they decided to join.
“Would you recommend this club to others?”
The majority of them said yes, and how being part of the club isn’t always easy, but you have to use simple concepts, dedication, and time.
“Is this part of TSA or is it something separate?”
It’s a project in TSA but not part of a competition, unlike in Vex.
Yes, it is part of TSA, but they compete mainly for the Vex competition.
Interviewing Vex was an amazing opportunity, to where we learned a lot about different things that we didn’t know before. It was nice to find out about their robot and the competitions that they have. A special thanks to those students who we interviewed as well.
SPHS at Barnes and Noble
Written by Keira Geary
Wednesday, December 5th was the Polytech Bookfair at Barnes and Noble. The Bookfair, which was held by Mr. Bellón and Mrs. Gissal, helped raise money for the school.
Among all the wonderful books you could buy, you could also see the games AGS created for the last open house. AGS created games targeted towards children and teenagers, which included an anti-gravity space themed maze, a shooter game, and a word-based puzzle game.
Additionally, TSA and VEX were there displaying their trophies from their competitions and the robots that they have created.
Furthermore, there were also authors showing off their latest books and talking with students. Our own teacher, Jessica Plowman, wrote a book and they were for sale. Congratulations to all who participated; it was great to see our SPHS unity representing during such a great event.
Written by Brianna Barron
Last Friday, the play “The Tempest” was performed in the STC Conference Center. I personally loved the play, and the actors and actresses were phenomenal. From their expressions, to their movements, it felt like something out of a video game.
The play “The Tempest” takes place on an island where Prospero, who was the Duke of Milan, and his daughter Miranda, have been stranded for 12 years. Other people who are on the island along with them include Ariel, who’s a magical spirit, and Caliban, who’s a native of the island. Both Ariel and Caliban are enslaved by Prospero. In the beginning of the play, it starts off with Alonso, his son Ferdinand, and some members who were in the ship when they got stranded on the island that Prospero’s storm had led them to, where Prospero plans to regain his position as Duke of Milan. He succeeds in his plans through magic and trickery, and makes his daughter fall in love with the king’s son, Ferdinand.
Most of the play from last Friday was similar to the original play, although there were a few changes added into the play. For starters, three of the characters from the original play’s gender roles were switched from male to female, which were Ariel, Caliban, and Prospero. Also, they changed the ending to a more forgiving ending compared to the original play’s ending.
There were a few factors that stood out to me: the costumes of the actors and actresses matched their character’s “theme.” For example, the characters who were more related to nature wore green colors to represent their “nature theme,” while the characters who were related to the ships wore regular clothing. I loved how lighting effects were added in the play, which attracted the audience; also, I enjoyed how there were more props added to this year’s play. Last Friday’s play was an amazing experience and I just wanted to congratulate and thank these actors and actresses who took their time to perform the play for our school. Also, we’d like to thank Mr. Disz for organizing this amazing experience for us!
Spirit Week Dance
October 26th , 2018
Written By Aby Mendez
Before ~student council members set up for a great night
And ~ students start arriving
- What did you do to get ready?
- What song do you hope plays tonight?
- What are you going to do after the dance?
When asked, Emily, Evan, Alexis, and Sanai each said before the dance, they got showered, dressed, did their hair/makeup. During the dance, they looked forward to NBA Youngboy, Spanish songs, and Taki Taki. When asked about plans after the dance, they all said they would be going home and sleeping afterwards.
Written by Devon Geary
The dance had a Royal Court theme, so throughout the week, princes and princess were voted for and presented on Friday, and Kings and Queens for each grade level were announced at the dance.
Staring at 7:00 am October 12th, the nomination forms for Spirit Week Princes and Princesses opened. Then from the ones chosen there, another nomination form was released October 17th, allowing the students to choose one prince and princess from the selected few for their grade level. The five with the most votes became royalty. The Spirit Week Court Ballot was put on the backs of the dance permission slips/tickets, so people would vote for the King and Queen of each grade level when they got to the dance and then the announcement would be made there.
The theme was well liked by the students, but some felt there could be improvements if it is done again. In an interview with Myra, Junior Queen, she explained a method to get more participation and school spirit from the students: “We should have a decorated box at lunch and people can hand-write their nominations and put [them] in a box, eliminating the issue of some students not having Remind.” This would limit the amount of people chosen, make it feel a little more competitive, and increase participation because people would see their classmates actually going up and voting.
King: Joshua Demarzian
Queen: Ema Chrinside
King: Colin Gentile
Queen: Mikiah Dixon
King: Jack Tutino
Queen: Myra Joseph
King: Bear Hill
Queen: Kayla Erny
First-Person Account: Spirit Week Games
Written by Sierra Smith
Spirit week was a lot of fun, but I personally always love participating in the games. On the Thursday we played dodge ball out on the hope court and the excitement coming from everyone and my team members was absolutely exhilarating, even if I was hesitant about playing before, I was in the game now. In my grade not a lot of girls signed up, so I was able to play a few rounds, most of which I cowered back and passed balls to those who were good at throwing all while dodging the balls thrown at me; the not so weak link. The Seniors and Juniors went head to head and the Seniors, as per usual, dominated the game but then it was time for sophomores vs. freshmen.
Freshmen always have high hopes about wining and they are into the game just as much as the rest of us, but being able to crush those hopes was quite fun. Sophomores were dodging and throwing with all their might, while freshmen had way too many kids playing and were easy targets, but they put up a good fight for what they had.
Next it was time for the ultimate Sophomores vs. Seniors game, two strong-headed teams ready to battle it out. While the score board went back and forth with wins, many Sophomores, including myself were chanting and screaming our heads off in support for our fellow Sophomores. During one of the rounds, when both teams had few members left, a Sophomore by the name of Evan made the most epic catch that I have ever witnessed. A blue dodge-ball flew from the Senior side all the way to the Sophomore side, about to hit the ground, making it seemingly uncatchable, but Evan slid across the court and dove for the ball, catching it and taking out the last senior; this was a win meant for the books.
We did not win the dodge-ball game but a mentionable moment is definitely when we were going head to head with the Seniors and someone decided to throw a loaf of bread instead of a ball, which caused a chorus of chants saying “LET’S GET THIS BREAD!” from the Sophomores. Oh, how we love our meme culture.
The next day, the game of choice was Tug of War, and war it was. Since the grass was wet from the rain, the whole event was shifted to the HOPE court, where food was supplied, and then in the grass next to it the game took place. First up was Freshman vs. Sophomores; the original game was best 2 out of 3, but to give the Freshman more of a chance and to lengthen the game it was changed to best 4 out of 5. Sophomores obviously won, with the 4 out of 5, and there was one match where the Freshman got the upper hand, by using way too many people and they finally pulled the rope on their side.
After that match, Freshman and Sophomores went to go eat and relax while the Senior vs Juniors match went down, so I cannot give you a play by play of those matches; but, let’s just say, Seniors dominated the game. All these matches were very teamwork-to-the-max-oriented: we made game plans and teachers screamed for their grade to win. Hands were always in the middle it was always time to chant.
The ultimate game, Sophomores and Seniors met again, blue vs. purple. Everyone’s hands were in the air so that no one had the upper hand at grabbing the rope, the whistle blew and we all dove down, pulling with all our might. Knowing we might fall or get hurt, all that mattered was winning, and we were all for it. Each side made inhumane noises, yanking, but the Sophomores were no match for the Seniors.
A few more matches went down like this, and then it happened… I dove for the rope but the kid in front of me was faster. As he was coming up, I was going down and I busted my lip against his forehead. I still tried to tug on the rope, but we were already losing, and I was in pain. Sadly, after that match I was rushed to the nurse and was unable to finish the game.
We all know the Seniors won, reigning as ultimate winners of the games until next year. Who will next year’s winner be? No one knows, maybe it could be your grade, better start preparing.
Spirit Week: Clash-of-Classes Friday
By Isabella Ocasio
Pride comes in many forms. At Polytech, it comes in the form of colors and grade level. On October 26th, for the 2018 spirit week, students were encouraged to display their reverence for their class by wearing the color palette associated with their grade level. Freshmen wear green; sophomores wear blue and white; juniors wear red and yellow; and seniors wear purple and black.
However, many of the Spirit Week days were color-related. Simple colors quickly became old and it simply wasn’t enough to settle which class had the most pride. A competition must be put in place! And so, a deadly tug-of-war was decided on. First, freshmen clashed with the sophomores. Then the juniors and seniors brawled. In the end, it was the sophomores up against the seniors in an exciting tug-of-war. The seniors proudly came out on top!
There was still one final game of tug-of-war. Teachers went at it, and in a brutal game, they tied.
After participating, students could relax – or watch their teammates in the game – and eat. Hundreds of boxes of pizza, endless numbers of candy, and sweet snacks were provided at the event. The lunch period was completely replaced with a thrilling game for all students to enjoy.
But now that the final day of spirit week came and went, everyone’s itching to know: which grade level had the most spirit?! Well, the seniors earned first place! Freshmen came second, in a very close call with the Juniors who won third; freshmen and junior class switched places nearly every day. Sophomores came in last.
With the Royal Court Dance later that day, Clash of Classes and an electrifying game of tug-of-war was a memorable way to bring Spirit Week to a close.
Monday – Schools Colors
Written by Devon Geary
Walking into school at 7:10 Monday morning, there were already plenty of students donning the school colors. Vegas Gold and Brick flashed about the quads as students headed to class throughout the day. During lunch there was at least one student at each table showing their school spirit.
Student Council members wore their Vegas Gold shirts, other students found yellow shirts, red pants, and utilized face paint. While those two colors seemed a little difficult for some to find, school spirit was high that day and both students and teachers participated in wearing Vegas Gold and/or Brick.
Tuesday – Tacky Tourist
Written by Ethan Schwalm
The enjoyment of traveling has been around since the beginning of time, first it was Columbus traveling to the Americas to now, a family going to Disney World™. We dawned the attire of these strange people who call themselves tourists, with their floral button-ups, cargo shorts and straw hats.
Here at SPHS we celebrate the tradition of dressing-up like a tacky tourist. Being in a highly sought-after location for vacations, we all know too well what the local tourist looks like.
Wednesday – Warrior Wednesday
Written Keira Geary
October 24 was Warrior Wednesday. Warrior Wednesday was set up to bring awareness to Breast Cancer. According to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second most common cancer overall. It is a leading cause of cancer death in less developed countries and the second leading cause of cancer death in American women, exceeded only by lung cancer.” While mainly in women, about 1% of men are diagnosed with breast cancer as well. The goal of bringing awareness to breast cancer is to increase the public’s knowledge and overall insight of the cancer. In recent years, breast cancer awareness campaigns have been highly effective in gaining attention and knowledge of this cancer in recent years.
Pink, more specifically, the pink ribbon, is the international symbol and color, of breast cancer. So naturally, on October 24, Warrior Wednesday, we wore pink to bring awareness and show support.
To find out more about Breast Cancer you can read these articles:
Thursday – Character Day
Written by Devon Geary
Character Day was a favorite for some, with the ability to dress as your favorite character from movies, shows, or books to school. Last year there were about two dinosaurs roaming the quads, Link, a wolf, Arthur, and other interesting characters. This year, the spotlight was stolen by a costumes such as Raven, Spiderman, a shark, and Merida, among other fantastic costumes. It also included a game of dodge-ball against the different grade levels.