Monday, March 9, 2015

March 6th Edition

Students Take On Snowpocalypse(s)

Dealing with snow days, and the desire for the snow to stop.

By Emily Crace

      With the recent amounts of inclement weather, snow days are inevitable. The Mercer County School District now sits at 11 snow days, a figure not close to last year, but enough to cause a number of cases of cabin fever among the Mercer youth. Most students are looking forward to the warmer weather that will--hopefully--come with spring.

      Junior Delaney Claunch said, "The first couple of snow days are okay, but they get old after a while. I'm really looking forward to spring." Claunch does try to enjoy the snow days when they come, though. "I usually watch TV or Netflix and catch up on sleep. Or I force someone to play in the snow with me."

     Claunch isn’t alone in her snow fatigue. Senior Hannah Logue feels the same way. After getting around 11 inches of snow in this second wave of winter weather, Logue is looking forward to sunshine and spring. In dealing with the boredom that comes with the current days off school, Hannah said, "I sleep extra, eat a lot, and watch Law and Order."

     With spring in our sights, it's almost unbearable to be dealing with so much snow. But if students can relax on these snow days or find ways to be productive, then warmer weather will be here before we know it. Or so we can hope.

Engineering at Mercer County Senior High School: “Building a new kind of learning”

By Aalayah Purnell

     Over the past year,  Mrs.Brandenburg's engineering classes and engineering club have intrigued many students and making them desire to tread into the once mysterious waters of engineering.
     The engineering curriculum at Mercer is tops in execution and design. There are four engineering classes offered throughout high school. Beginning your freshmen year you can take Intro to Engineering, which teaches students about 3D design, mainly how to assemble mechanical parts. Your sophomore year is Principals of Engineering which teaches students about programming in relation to engineering. Your junior year Civil Engineering is offered which begins the design of housing which begins at the blueprint all the way to to the digital replica. Your senior year is Digital Electronics where you learn how to design and build circuits and making your own.
     The engineering club recently participated in a Vex Robotics competition where they entered 3 of their own robots. One of the entries was designed by Jae Blankenship, Jackie Cheng, Austin Arnold, and Ruben Bacon. They said they designed their robot 18 x 18 x 18 and had the ability to pick up sky rises and cubes. Throughout six rounds they placed 28th out of 75. For it to be their first vex competition and the first one for our school as well they accomplished a ton this year. 
     Proud of what was accomplished at the competition, Bacon, a sophomore, said, “We kicked butt until the last two rounds.” The engineering club is now preparing for their next competition hoping out come out on top.
     Overall the students who take Mrs.Brandenburg's classes rave about how much they enjoy them and her. It’s not uncommon to hear students sing praises. Senior Tyler Dixon said, “If you want a teacher that is always there when you need her and always willing to help you learn go to Mrs.Brandenburg.”

National Spanish Honors Society Convention

By Gabe Tuggle

     The best of the best in a foreign language recently represented our school as a state level.
Last weekend, seven Mercer County Senior High students attended the state Spanish Honors Society convention in Erlanger, KY.  Students proudly representing the school were Katie Swope, Sara Mullins, Kelsey Rogers, Savannah Gagnon, Gabe Tuggle, Blake Quinton and Andrew Dunbar, who were guided by club sponsor Mrs. Shelly Loyall.

     The convention was meant to hone in on students’ knowledge of the Spanish language and challenge them in various ways that they were not expecting. Attendees participated in activities such as salsa dancing, conversation, and singing, to name a few. Upon arrival on Friday and checking into the hotel, students watched campaign speeches and were split into multiple groups for four hours. During this time, everyone took turns going to different workshops and exercising their knowledge of Spanish while making friends with fellow members. According to Quinton, the convention “seriously challenged my Spanish skills”, especially in the conversation section, where students were expected to speak the language for all of thirty minutes. Many saw it as a good opportunity to bond and get to know their Spanish Honors Society counterparts from other counties. When it was all said and done, however, there had been enough Hispanic food eaten to feed an army. No lesson taught or worksheet in Spanish class can challenge students in the way that the convention did. From speaking the language consistently to learning about the history of Hispanic countries, everyone agrees that plenty was learned those two days in Erlanger.

Selection for Success: A Guide to Making A Big Decision

Senior Staff Writer Austin Sparrow shares his tips for choosing a college

By Austin Sparrow

     Making a college choice can be the most stressful choice you make all of high school. The United States offers over ten thousand colleges and finding the right one for you can be hard. When figuring out which colleges you want to look at, I suggest you make a list of things you are looking for in a college. I suggest your list consist of school size, location, financial support, and other things that you are interested in. after making your list of things to look for in a college you should find a list of colleges in Kentucky and the surrounding states and mark off the ones you are not interested in attending. After you have your list, set up a campus tour to all the campus’s you’d like to look at and then mark out the colleges you didn’t enjoy or get a great vibe from. Some things you should consider on a campus tour is the size of campus and if you would enjoy walking it every day, the attitude of the students there and mainly if you could see yourself living there for four years. After your campus tour, I would encourage you to narrow your list town to two or three schools and take an overnight visit, attend some classes, and eat the cafeteria food. This will help you get a better grip on life as a college student at those universities or colleges and ultimately help you make a decision in the end.

Senior Spotlight: Dakota Baldwin

By Kasey Halcomb    

     Like many seniors across the country, Mercer County Senior High School Senior Dakota Baldwin is extremely excited about the end of his high school career and graduation, even though Baldwin had an active time playing football and working with drama.
When asked how he felt about his senior year he said he was “very hype” because he is ready to start his adult life.

     Baldwin plans on attending college after high school. He is going to go to Western Kentucky University because of their architecture program. Baldwin believes WKU offers some of the best classes suited for him at a very affordable tuition. He is also very excited to be venturing out on his own. He’s never lived away from his home in Mercer so he has mixed feelings about leaving. He plans on visiting back to Mercer as much as he can and he wants to keep in touch with some of his closest friends. Mainly he’s ready to start a new chapter in his life and he can’t wait to do so.

Teens Against Tobacco Use: An Insight

By Gage Redimarker

     At Mercer County Senior High, we have a strong and inspiring sponsor of our TATU (Teens Against Tobacco) club, Melody Pike. Mrs. Pike makes it a priority to be proactive and show support in any way possible for the fight against tobacco, and on February 17 the club traveled to Frankfort for Smoke Free Kentucky Day.

     When asked what inspired her to be a member of TATU and to participate in Smoke Free Kentucky Day, Senior Jeannie Hood replied, “My brother has picked up on cigarettes, and the fact he’s harming himself like that… I don’t approve of it at all.” Hood also mentioned that her ultimate goal would be to outlaw the sale of tobacco and hopefully inspire others to drop the dangerous habits.

     Additionally, Pike mentioned, “EVERYONE has a right to breathe air,” and she was certainly displeased when Kentucky received another F grade by the American Lung Association, which is based off of smoke-free legislation, regulation of spending on tobacco, etc. Her efforts, along with members of TATU across the region, are making an impact on Kentucky’s legislation and hopefully the grade received by the American Lung Association. At the Capitol during the Smoke Free Kentucky Day, Kentucky Senator Julie Raque Adams and Representative Susan Westrom introduced a new bill – House Bill 145. The legislation places a ban on secondhand smoke in all indoor workplaces in Kentucky, and would be the first of its’ kind. Students from both Mercer County and Burgin were able to meet with Representative Kim King, although King voted against passing the bill, it passed through the House with a vote of 51-46, and TATU’s mission was complete.

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