Road to Champions: Science Olympiad

Sophomore Staff Writer, Amith Jagannath

For years, Science has been developing and directing our society in ways that have made the world as advanced as it is. With small efforts originating from all across the world, an organization called Science Olympiad has provided children with a promising future by giving them ways to express their knowledge and various cognitive abilities. On a small scale, states across the U.S. have been competing for years to win the pride and infamous identity as the national Science Olympiad champions. Founded in 2007, Voyager Academy has been an active participant in the statewide Science Olympiad competition since 2009 throughout all three of the schools.

Voyager Academy High School has formed many rivalries since its preliminary stages in competing in both regionally and statewide. Ranging from recently founded home schools to well-established public schools, Voyager has always been put to the test when it comes to winning as a team. For those who don’t know about the fields that are covered in Science Olympiad, events are classified between hands-on, testing, and stations. Hands-on activities can include building a structure prior to the competition and impounding it on the day of. One of the most historic events that continues to give teams a run for their money is, “Bridges.” This event involves constructing a bridge that has a lightweight but can hoist a larger one. The organization ensures that they include specific restrictions to really challenge the event entrants.

In the past few years, Voyager Academy has been striving for excellence, hoping to one day make it to the revered state competition. Students even look forward to that as it is a prideful accomplishment and it looks excellent on college applications. Last year, Voyager made history by making to the state competition for the first time. Constructing a solid team requires a few key factors. Firstly, to even be able to start a team, a coach has to be involved. Voyager has been lucky to have Brandon Le in the past and his involvement has been essential. Mr. Le says that, “Being part of a greater cause has allowed me to turn my students into my friends. I love helping people with a field that I enjoy and am passionate about.” Unfortunately, Voyager lost such a great teacher as he left to pursue his degree in Biology. This year, the school will be in the hands of Amanda Honey, the Chemistry teacher at the Academy. The second most important factor in constructing a great team is the students. Usually, students who have the drive to succeed participate in Science Olympiad to sharpen their skills and broaden their horizons in the various fields of science.

In a grueling competition like this however, experience matters. From the get-go, Voyager has been efficiently grooming students from a young age, so that when it comes time to participate in high school, their skills are polished. One of Voyager’s most infamous students, Rosie Scott-Benson has been an active member in the Olympiad throughout her Voyager career. Starting from 4th grade itself, she has been involved and is a wonderful team player. When asked about her favorite kind of event to do, Rosie said, “I like the stations actually. I like that the stations give a variety of  questions and some are interactive.” Throughout Rosie’s schooling career at Voyager, she has been successful on all fronts. In Middle School, Rosie won the schoolwide spelling bee two years in row making Voyager Academy history. When it comes to athletics, Rosie takes part in cross-country, swimming, and track. She says that her versatility influences her focus when it comes to the academic portion of school. “I’ve been doing it for a long time, I know a lot of people who do it, and it’s fun! I like getting to compete at states,” she says in response to her liking of Science Olympiad. To motivate others to join, Rosie says, “I think it’s a good out of school activity, you learn a lot, and it’s a fun team competition.”

Voyager Academy is also home to students who are not as extracurricularly affiliated. But, as they get older and more mature, they realize that afterschool activities are imperative to having a good future. One student that is a recent participant in the Olympiad is Dillon Woodward. Dillon has only been in Science Olympiad for one year but his experience and teachers have had a lasting effect on his growing knowledge basis. Throughout Voyager, Dillon is known for his intelligence, so naturally, he likes testing events in Science Olympiad. “I prefer having a nice knowledge base and comparing that objectively against other students.” He says that his Biology teacher, Mr. Le provided Dillon with a few suitable events and that that has sparked his interest in Science Olympiad. His goals for the future in Science Olympiad are to, “Go to states on the varsity team.” He encourages people to join by saying, “Sometimes science class can be fairly boring by learning subject matter that is boring. Science Olympiad has such a broad spectrum of topics, that you can find one that appeals to you and fully delve into that.”

One of the ways that people can be affiliated with the Olympiad is to talk to Amanda Honey, the Chemistry teacher. The VAHS Science Olympiad is in dire need of more students and the people we have at this school are the right choice. So, who will be the next champion? The Viking Tide says Voyager Academy.

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Viking Tide Student Council Endorsements

Staff Writer, Delina Berhane

This 2017-2018 school year elections are happening on Monday and The Viking Tide staff voted and have chosen who The Viking Tide believes would be the best candidate for the school.

President: Tie between Anna Teer Barringer and Jaclyn McVey
There is a tie on who we thought best would be the best president, Anna Teer Barringer and Jaclyn McVey, both Seniors.

 

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Anna Teer Barringer (left) promises, “To listen to every student and their opinions of what they think would be better for the school. I want to leave Voyager better than when it started.”

* Jaclyn McVey promises (right) , “ My big campaign goals are to create school events, make the school more involved, and allow people to have a voice–create an environment the students are proud of.”

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Vice President: Mary Bowen Barringer

Mary Bowen Barringer (left) promises, “ My campaign promises are to create more student-involved pep rallies, a more fun spirit week and homecoming, more activities for the students after school hours, and fundraising options (to help raise money for these activities).”

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 12.49.46 PMTreasurer: Katerina Lamm

 Katerina Lamm promises, “ My biggest campaign promise is to have more inclusion of student representatives, and to have more school-wide events and programs. My goal is to make VAHS a school where the students have a variety of events through which they can exhibit school spirit while having fun! Also, I would like to have more student recognition. Essentially, I would like to showcase the talented student at Voyager Academy.”

Parliamentarian: Caitlin Leggett

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 12.51.10 PMCaitlin promises, “My big campaign promises are to give helpful ideas to my other Student Council members, at the requests of the students and to help keep order among the meetings.”

Secretary: Ugonna Ezuma-Igwe

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 12.53.47 PMUgonna says, “I promise to make the students look forward to Voyager events and to make sure Voyager Academy is a place where everyone’s voice will be heard.”

Should Apple’s new iphone cost one thousand dollars?

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 2.44.02 PMSenior and Staff Writer, Ugonna Ezuma-Igwe

Apple released a new iPhone on September 13, 2017: The iPhone X. Before the release, the cost was rumored to be around thousand dollars. This would have been an significant increase in price compared to the average cost of previous iPhone. The average selling price of an iPhone is $605. The Viking Tide wanted to know about how the students and administrators of Voyager Academy felt about the new iPhone. We asked them if they would buy it, if Apple’s demographic of buyer change due to the significant price increase, and if the modifications of the iPhone is worth the price increase?

The significant price increase is due to the new features added to the iPhone. The major hardware changes are an edge-to-edge OLED screen, glass front and back and stainless steel frame. This is the first time Apple has put glass on the front and back. The OLED screen improves color accuracy, high contrast ratio, and true blacks. The major software changes are facial recognition, higher iPhone display resolution and wireless charging. The facial recognition allows you to simply raise the device, look at it, and swipe up on the screen to unlock the device and use Apple Pay. The iPhone X has the highest iPhone resolution ever with 458 pixels per inch. The X can now charge by being placed on an inductive charging pad.

We asked Ms.Wolfe, the English teacher for juniors and sophomores, if she would she buy the new iPhone. She said, “No, I don’t even have the new 7 and the reviews from the 7 don’t sound that great.” She went on to criticize the changes that were made to the iPhone 7 which lead to the next question; are the modifications of the phone worth the price increase? Her response was, “No, they are not they are just trying to get the money from people who are addicted to their phone.” She even went on to say that some of the new modifications, “sounded kind of creepy.” The idea that Apple is continuously trying to find new way to take people’s money was a common opinion among the people that were interviewed. Ms.Wolfe said, “it’s good to have the idea of buying quality and quantity but there is a point where that line is crossed,” and students agreed. She also believes, “There will be people that will buy it but there will also be a lot more people going another direction.”; this means that some people will have no problem buying the phone while a lot more will find an alternative option.

Seniors, Camryn Dunn and Caitlin Leggett, both said no to buying the phone, but for very different reasons. Camryn’s main problem is that, “they add things that are stupid.” She felt that the previous changes that have been made were unnecessary. For example, she felt that removing the headphone jack was useless because now people can not charge their phone and use their headphones. Referring back to what Ms.Wolfe said about Apple trying to get people’s money, Apple took away the headphone jack to give incentive to buyers to buy their new bluetooth earphones that did not require a jack. Unlike Camryn, Caitlin’s main problem was the price. She said, “No, that is .1 of my yearly college tuition.” She is currently working on college applications and the last thing she is ready to do is spend a thousand dollars on a phone.

We asked Mr. Ingram, the APES & Earth and Environmental teacher, if he would buy the new iPhone. He said, “I’m not paying a one thousand dollars for a phone,” and went to say even if he got a raise he still would not. He believes that Apple is heading in the wrong direction by following the competition. To elaborate he said, “their business model is based off innovation and giving the consumer what they want before they know what they want but instead they are following what the competition has already done.” He was saying that the new features on the IPhone X have already been on android phones. For example, in 2009 Palm released their smartphone, “Pre” that came with optional wireless charging. Phones with wireless charging are not new at all; they have been around for eight years. We then asked him, “would Apple’s demographic of buyer change,” and his response was, “Overall less people will change but at the end of the day if someone wants an iPhone then they’ll buy an iPhone.”

Overall, teachers and students were not willing to spend thousand dollars on the new iPhone, but they all had different rationale on why they would not. Many people really love Apple’s device, but do not love the price especially the fact that they keep increasing.

Plummer, L. (2017, September 19). Apple has unveiled its 10th anniversary iPhone X – here’s what you need to know. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/iphone-x-release-date-specs-10669502?service=responsive

The iPhone X (or whatever the new iPhone will be called) is expected to come with all the bells, & Screen, W. A. (2017, September 11). Is anyone really going to spend $1,000 on the iPhone X? Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/11/technology/gadgets/iphone-x-1000-dollars/index.html

Thursday September 14, 2017 6:00 AM PDT by Joe Rossignol, 1 hour ago on Front Page, 4 hours ago on Front Page, 15 hours ago on Front Page, 19 hours ago on Front Page, 20 hours ago on Front Page, . . . 1 day ago on Front Page. (2017, September 14). 50 New Features in iPhone X. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from https://www.macrumors.com/2017/09/14/50-new-features-in-iphone-x/

Palm Pre. (2017, September 17). Retrieved September 19, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Pre

Climate Change: A Man-Made Hurricane

Staff Writer, Maryn Leonard

Climate change is a problem that is often overlooked by our society. When thinking about pressing political issues climate change isn’t always the first thing to come to mind. The changing climate impacts our lives every day. Recently two giant Hurricanes slammed into the continental United States. It is because of climate change that these big storms are becoming more frequent causing more death and destruction across the globe.

In late August 2017, 33 trillion gallons of water were unloaded by Hurricane Harvey onto the United States. There have been 68 confirmed deaths after the thunderous Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean and Southeast United States. The two storms have caused an estimated $290 billion in damages in the United States alone. Millions are left homeless after the two relentless storms hit less than two weeks apart. So what does this have to do with climate change?

In 2011 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide were pumped into the air across the globe. This air pollution traps the sun’s heat inside our atmosphere which leads to global warming. Over the past century the temperature of the Earth has increased by 1.4° Fahrenheit. This may not seem like a lot but it is a dramatic increase than the natural heating of the Earth after an ice age period. This heating has been enough to melt ice caps in the arctic which has lead to the ocean rising 8 inches in the past 100 years. Much of the heat is absorbed into the oceans which has caused the water to be warmer than ever before in recorded history. “The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year,” says C. L. Sabine in his book The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2. This has lead to the acidification of our oceans which is disastrous for marine habitats.

The warmth of the water is one of the key factors in the new found intensity of storms forming over the oceans. Hurricanes and Typhoons get stronger over warm water. Storms that were already big have become even bigger. With the rise in sea level, storm surge and flooding have gotten worse and worse. Hurricane Harvey dumped an estimated 15 trillion gallons of rainwater on one city: Houston Texas. It is because of the warming temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico that Harvey caused so much freshwater flooding. Large quantities of water was evaporated from the warm ocean which increased the amount of rainfall the storm had.

In other parts of the world the problem is a complete lack of rainfall. With the earth getting warmer, water has evaporated from the soil creating droughts. Droughts have become a significant issue in the Middle East, Africa, and even in the Western United States. Due to lack of rain it has become impossible for farmers to adequately grow their crops in parts of the world. This has led to people fleeing their countries to escape the extreme heat and famine that kills millions each year. If nothing is done to help change the climate these extreme weather patterns will only become more frequent and devastating.

The United States hasn’t done much to combat climate change. This past June, President Donald Trump removed the United States from the Paris Climate Accord that was agreed on at a climate convention in late 2015. One hundred and ninety five countries came together with plans to reduce the global input of fossil fuels and to keep the planet from increasing in temperature. The United States pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord is just another step backwards in the global attempt to reduce fossil fuel emissions. “I don’t think global warming is a problem but we should worry about the pollution we make.” Sophomore, Chris Bennett, commented on his views of climate change. It is true that many people around the world don’t believe in climate change. “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” President Trump stated back in 2012. It is clear that the president does not think climate change is a relevant issue.  despite 97% of scientist stating that humans are responsible for the changing climate. This could be disastrous if we continue to deny the facts that are right in front of us.

If we continue to deny the fact that climate change is a relevant problem, there will be more and more devastating weather related events. The future of the Earth is in our hands and we can work together to stop climate change. If we switch to renewable sources such as solar or wind power than we can cut down on global emissions and help save the environment. “We need to all work on this together, it’s our planet. We breath the same air. It’s all of us as human beings and we need to care for eachother. We need to care for the future,” Sophomore, Allie Akers comments on climate change. Climate change is real and relevant and Iif we work to reduce our carbon footprints, than we can halt climate changet it and save the planet from a potentially disastrous future.

Climate change evidence: How do we know? (2017, August 10). Retrieved September 15, 2017, from https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

Climate Change Indicators: Greenhouse Gases. (2017, February 22). Retrieved September 15, 2017, from https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/greenhouse-gases

Andrews, R. (2017, September 13). This Is How Much Water Hurricane Harvey Is Dumping On Houston. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://www.iflscience.com/environment/how-much-water-hurricane-harvey-dumping-houston/

VAHS Yearbook: Behind the Scenes

Staff Writer, Camryn Dunn

Who could possibly be thinking about the Voyager Academy High School 2017-2018 yearbook? Well students need to start placing orders sometime soon. Yearbooks are now on sale for only $55. However, starting September 29th the price is going up to $60. The price will continue to rise throughout the school year. This year the yearbook staff has decided to make the theme “Behind the Scenes.” Their goal is to take students, staff, as well as families behind the scenes of a small school. This is unlike the previous yearbook staff members.

This year, the staff has really taken on social media marketing. From Instagram and Twitter accounts, to their own email where students are encouraged to send in photos that they would like to be included in the yearbook. This year the staff has set many sales goals. New teacher Mrs. Kreisman is taking over for Mrs. Deans, not only teaching yearbook, but also teaching marketing. Her plan is to really teach the yearbook staff how to properly and effectively market the yearbook.

Creative efforts of marketing have already happened. Last week, the yearbook class constructed fake parking tickets and place them on students windshields. The tickets included information on how much the yearbook was and also where to buy it. The yearbook and marketing classes are also working together to film a commercial that will be shown to not only students and faculty, but families as well on exhibition night. The commercial will be advertising the yearbook for this year and giving information on how/where you can purchase one.

Senior, Taliek Pratt in charge of sports coverage said, “This year in yearbook the students really have a say. We love pitching ideas to each other and giving each other feedback on how to be better. I’m excited that I can cover the Varsity basketball team as well as other sports this year.” Senior, Diamond Champion the member on the yearbook staff in charge of marketing stated “This is my first year taking yearbook and what I really like about it is how Mrs. K lets us really take charge in our roles that were assigned. She’s gives us freedom and responsibility which is cool.” The yearbook this year is going to be different compared to previous years with the unique theme, so make sure you buy yours now while it is on sale!

Voyager Academy Yearbook social media:

One Tree Hill says final goodbye

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Creative Commons One Tree Hill image

The struggle of seeing a favorite Netflix show removed from the line-up is a real one. However, for the most part, Netflix has kept one show that is a personal favorite for several VAHS students.  One Tree Hill is being officially removed from Netflix starting October 1st, 2017. That means that you have a little under a month to binge watch your favorite episodes. From the Tree Hill High School State Championship episode, to Peyton and Lucas’ wedding.

The local tv show, filmed in Wilmington, NC that ended in 2012 is still being watched by a whole new generation of kids. Even though the show has already ended, many young people are just now starting the show due to commentary from older generations.  The show has been on Netflix for almost ten years now.

While Netflix continuously removes viewers favorite shows, One Tree Hill has always remained. Fans have taken on Twitter to show their frustration. Popular accounts such as “Tweet Like A Girl” posted about Netflix now being a joke since they are removing the show. The tweet received almost 9,000 retweets.

Senior, Kassidy Ball expressed how she felt on this situation, “I’m angered! I feel devastated! I watch it all the time and it’s always been my favorite show. I’ve cried like 5 times since I found out.” Another senior, Hannah White stated, “I don’t understand why they would take away the show. It’s so popular and everyone loves it so it makes no sense why they would take it away.”

The group mainly affected by the removal of the beloved show is specifically teenage girls. Another tv show teenage girls love, also rumored to be removed from Netflix is Gossip Girl, which stars fans favorites such as: Blake Lively, Chace Crawford, Leighton Meester, and Ed Westwick.  

If Netflix continues to remove these viewers most loved shows, some viewers will be forced to cancel their subscription. Fans have already stated on social media that they are prepared to boycott the platform if One Tree Hill is not kept available to stream. Hopes of One Tree Hill making a reappearance on the streaming site seem to remain. 

Homecoming King, Laughter and Cries

Staff Writer, Amith Jagannath

Imagine this: There’s an Indian biking as fast as he can to a his prom date’s house on his blue BMX bike. He stumbles up to the doorstep to find his date with another boy and they’ve already exchanged corsages! In general, comedy shows appeal to their audience by relating real-life experiences that they have gone through, to other instances where the audience can relate. When it comes to the demographics of the audience, it really depends on the race and religion of the comedian, because the viewers most often relate to comedians that share the same obstacles and/or advantages.

Being an Indian American, social interactions between me and my peers are still a little awkward because there’s always a constant stigma I can sense in even the closest friends. The film “Homecoming King,” a Netflix special of “Daily Show” starring Hasan Minhaj, discusses one man’s journey during a decade of interracial conflicts. Minhaj addresses his struggles to fit in as a resident of Davis, California, as well as his efforts to develop a stronger relationship with his father. There’s always this problem in Indian relationships where the father struggles to understand the son’s issues or fitting in at school, and normally, one would think that the father would take time to understand the son, but instead, he just moves on with his life.

Now, I am not going to say that I can relate to that because thank all the gods in my religion, my father is so down to earth. Typically, when I watch comedy shows, I don’t understand all the references made, because half of them are about ancient crap that I don’t really care about. For example, while Gabriel Iglesias is a great comedian, most of his jokes are directed to either white people or Mexicans because he can relate to those people the most. However, watching this specific comedian make such relatable jokes, as an Indian, made the entire experience so positively and negatively emotional.

Throughout the show, Minhaj addressed specific instances throughout his life, where he felt that he was living vicariously through his father, rather than himself. Spoiler Alert: He explains that his mother is in India working towards her medical degree, while he and his father are trying to get by in America. His entire world turns around when he realizes that he has a younger sister that was five years old that he had no idea about. It is only when his mother walks in the door that he understands that his father had impregnated his mother in his frequent trips to India.

Moreover, Minhaj describes how there exists this norm of “conditional love,” where the kids have to work their butts off to get the parents’ love. To describe this, Minhaj shows a clip of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee where Arvind Mahankali won. His parents are shown towards the end of the clip emotionless, which explains itself.

While this may be the comical side to living in America as an Indian, even the American Dream is not as easily achievable as it is described. Minhaj touched many people in one of his areas of discussion, where he talked about the emotional environment post 9/11. Many of us out there are privy to racial discrimination and unfortunately the more we hear it, the more it becomes a part of us. He told his audience that the night of the event, his family had gotten a call from a group of teenagers calling his family racial slurs. Minhaj went on to explain that he had “the audacity of equality,” after this event. He uses this event as a mode of explaining his righteousness and freedom during such a difficult time for the United States.

In the entirety of Minhaj’s comedy special, he talks about one high school experience that changed his life. So, I’m in highschool and I’m Indian and after watching this, it made me realize that this could happen to me. Spoiler Alert: Bethany Reid, Minhaj’s high school sweetheart is what this is about.  They get to know each other in their Calculus class as Bethany finds herself being the new girl. After a process of studying together, going to each other’s houses, and a class bracket to decide prom dates, Bethany and Hasan see that they’re meant to be. Minhaj goes to the extent of climbing out of his window on the second floor, to racing on his Blue BMX bike to fulfill his and Bethany’s dreams. But, it all changes when he is welcomed to a puzzled mother who tells him that he wouldn’t fit into the family pictures. Their connection resumes a couple years later over Facebook where he finds her profile to see that she’s with an INDIAN! Minhaj even relates this instance to greater social problems such as the Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray issues to portray that prejudice against brown people is prevalent each and every day.

From those moments onward, Minhaj depicts more of his father’s worldly views and his own. He tells the story as it is, without seeking the reaction in laughter or gasps that other comedians seek. “Homecoming King,” still but a few weeks old, casts its banner as an interracial comedy like no other.