School news from around the Archdiocese of Baltimore

By Catholic Review Staff
 
Students attending schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore have been active on a variety of fronts, from technology to public speaking. Read news about awards, grants, projects and contests from a variety of schools.
NDP senior received first place honors in oratory competition
Jamie Watson, a senior at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson, received first place honors at the 39th Annual Harvard National Forensics Tournament for Original Oratory Feb. 16-18 in Cambridge, Mass.
She was one of the six top winners from more than 4,200 national participants at the tournament.
Watson researched, wrote and delivered her original oratory, “Laughter—FDA Approved.” 
Her 10-minute speech was “about the importance of comedy in our daily lives and how much laughter can truly benefit us,” Watson said in a statement. “I use various studies and statistics to get the message across, as well as some real stories about how comedy has changed lives. And, of course, it incorporates many jokes.” 
Watson is a member of NDP’s Speech and Debate Team, Chamber Choir, regularly performs in school musical and dramatic productions and is president of NDP’s International Thespian Society chapter.    
 
Catholic school students named finalists in essay contest    
Keegan Knox, a seventh-grader at St. Joseph School in Fullerton, Stephen Hochschild, a seventh-grader at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg, and Vera Pommett, an eighth-grader at St. Ursula School in Parkville, were among the finalists in Fox45 Baltimore’s 2013 Champions of Courage Black History Month Essay Competition.
This annual state-wide contest challenged middle and high school students to describe, in 90 words or less, how someone in their life demonstrates the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   
Keegan selected prison chaplain Father Charles J. Canterna, who is in residence at St. Vincent de Paul in Baltimore; Stephen wrote about Tommie Smith and John Carlos, 1968 Olympic medalists who spoke in favor of Civil Rights from the Olympic podium; and Vera wrote about Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Dorothy Stang, an American-born Brazilian member of the religious order.
Finalists created video presentations of their essays, which are being aired by Fox45 throughout February. 
Keegan’s submission is as follows:

“Father Chuck Canterna shares Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs of equality, non-violence and a deep faith in God with all his heart. To Father Chuck, who is a prison chaplain, everyone is equal in God’s eyes, even the worse (sic) criminals. He rejects violence in favor of love. His faith in God is the basis that helps him love everyone equally and to live non-violently, even in the most violent of places.”
Stephen’s submission is as follows:

“In October 1968, at the Mexico City Summer Olympics, two courageous black Americans stood on the victors’ podium after the 200-meter dash. During the national anthem, winner Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos raised black gloved hands in a gesture that energized the civil rights movement. Shoeless, their black socks symbolized solidarity with the poor, and John’s bead necklace showed compassion for lynching victims. They knew these defiant acts would see them both banned from the Olympics, but, like Dr. King, it was more important to them to draw attention to injustice. When asked to name Champions of Courage, I think of this indomitable duo.”
 
Vera’s submission is as follows:

“ ‘At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.’ Dr. Martin Luther King’s words echo the great commandment to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. Sister Dorothy Stang worked in Brazil along the Amazon and helped peasant farmers reclaim their land from gangs working for a deforestation movement. As she was murdered, her final words were ‘blessed are the poor in spirit.’ She was an activist for social justice who believed in peace and whose only weapon was her Bible.”
 
Mother Seton students receive top honors in essay contest
Four Mother Seton School eighth-graders earned top awards in the 2013 Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6658 essay contest.
The theme was “What I would tell our Founding Fathers.”
Annabelle Eyler won first place and received a $150 savings bond. She advanced to the district competition and placed first, receiving a $300 savings bond.
Kathryn Thomas and Kara Roberts came in second and third place, respectively, and earned $100 and $50 savings bonds, respectively. Hannah Reed received an honorable mention and a $20 savings bond.
 
Mercy High School students attend United Nations interfaith event
Faculty and staff from Mercy High School in Baltimore were invited by The Committee of Religious NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) at the United Nations to attend “United for a Culture of Peace through Interfaith Harmony” Feb. 14 at the U.N. in New York.
The event was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations and The Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, according to information from Mercy. Participants included representatives from U.N. missions, delegates, faith leaders and interfaith workers.
Jessica Robinson, a Mercy social studies teacher and director of the school’s Center for Global Education; Pegeen D’Agostino, Mercy’s principal; four juniors and four seniors traveled to New York for the day-long event. They sat in the General Assembly Hall, according to information from Mercy.
Mercy High School is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, who have a presence at the U.N. through Mercy Global Action at the U.N. Sisters of Mercy advocate for human rights and environmental protection.
 
Resurrection-St. Paul School students construct remote operated vehicles
Nearly 60 seventh graders at Resurrection-St. Paul School in Ellicott City recently constructed underwater SeaPerch Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV).
Building ROVs incorporates math, technology, ethics and language skills.   
“Building a SeaPerch exposes the seventh graders to many different elements of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines, especially engineering,” said Nick Caputo, a science teacher at Resurrection-St. Paul, in a statement. “Troubleshooting is a critical part of this project.” 
Students learned construction and trial and error skills to test their creativity and practical application, according to information from the school.
With minimal assistance and in groups of four, students used power tools, including soldering irons, power drills and electrical equipment, according to information from the school.  They fashioned the robots as they learned about marketing and product development.  
After they completed the building phase, students learned about buoyancy and navigation, according to information from the school. They tested their vehicles through a series of obstacle courses and timed races as they submerged the ROVs at an aquatics center.  
They wrote about the experience, including what skills they learned and how the skills will benefit society, according to information from the school.  
“Hands-on construction and robotics are relevant to the students,” said Patricia Grue, the school’s media specialist, in a statement. “What I find most exciting about this project is that it promotes diversity. It shows girls that robots, engineering, math and power tools are fun and not just for boys.” 
This is the second year the school has incorporated ROVs into the curriculum.
 
Archbishop Curley High School to begin iPad initiative
Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore has announced its plans to implement a one-to-one iPad program, beginning with the Class of 2017.
The one-to-one program allows every student and teacher to have an iPad for classroom work, according to information from the school. Archbishop Curley will be the first all-boys private school in the Baltimore area to do so. 
The program encompasses a new way of teaching and learning, which includes Apple TV to project student work on boards, interactive assignments and assessments, among other things.
Archbishop Curley’s Technology Committee found the program’s success is the buy-in and training of teachers, according to information from the school. The school’s faculty is being trained by faculty from Maryvale Preparatory School in Booklandville and Mercy High School in Baltimore, which have one-to-one programs.
Almost $300,000 in grants has helped to fund this initiative, according to information from the school.
“We are grateful to receive the generous support of three foundations, without whose support none of this would be possible,” said Conventual Franciscan Father Joseph Benicewicz, president of Archbishop Curley, in a statement. “I believe their commitment to Archbishop Curley also demonstrates their confidence in our vision for student learning and in our capability to implement a program that is forward thinking and transformational.”
 
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Feb. 21, 2013 CatholicReview.org 

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