TSA prepares for state

The Technology Student Association is hard at work putting the final touches on their projects for the upcoming state conference being held at the end of February at the Denver Tech Center.

TSA promotes science, engineering, mathematics and technology (STEM) in schools across the state and nation. The Heritage chapter is headed by club president Ethan Johnston ’14 who is excited about the upcoming conference.

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Three TSA members collaborate on projects for state. State takes place at the end of February in the Denver Tech Center

   “I have been in TSA ever since sixth grade. I remember I was really interested in the CO₂ cars and ever since my first year in it, I have moved on to more competitions that I like,” says Johnston.

   TSA has a variety of competitions. Johnston is competing in such competitions as promotional graphics, Tech bowl and t-shirt design.

With the state conference coming up soon, TSA members are working on completing their projects with the hopes of Nationals.

“My goal for this conference is to place high enough to be able to go to Nationals. And I also want to have fun at my last TSA conference,” says TSA Officer Jacob Williams ’14.

“This year has gone a lot smoother than previous years with the club and I have really enjoyed being president.  The only go

al left is to place at state” says Johnston.

Even with the spirit of competition, TSA is more than just placing at conferences.

“TSA combines a lot of skills like problem solving and teamwork that are useful in real life and add to your overall work ethic,” says Williams.

The Heritage TSA team will attend the state conference with 10 members during the weekend of February 28 and will compete to qualify for nationals in Washington D.C. for the summer of 2014.  

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Social media runs society

 

 

 

Our world has become inundated with technology and social media. Every day millions of people are visiting sites and downloading hundreds of apps. It has become a normal part of the everyday routine of life.

So many different social media sites exist. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Instagram, and many more.

 

I think that the most useful or most liked social media sites are Twitter and Facebook. People of all ages and social groups use these sites.

Facebook is ranked as number one most popular networking site. According to www.ebizimba.com over 9,000,000 people visit Facebook each month. It is also a good website for everything. You can share pictures with friends and family all over the world. You can receive information, invitations; join social groups and much more. All ages can use it also. It’s a very good way to reconnect with distant family or friends.

Twitter, on the other hand, is ranked as number two most popular social networking site. An estimated amount of 290,000,000 people use Twitter on a monthly basis. All ages can also use Twitter. But it is most commonly used for the younger generation. It is a great way to retrieve information. Celebrities use it , newspapers use it, teachers can also use it. It’s a quick and very easy to access. It’s also user friendly and easy to use and understand.

Social media has come into our lives and helped us and entertained us. It is a normal assurance to have social media and it keeps the world connected at a touch of a button.fbvstw

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Hollywood celebrates 86 years of the Academy Awards

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The Academy Awards will be held on March 2nd. This event will honor the best in film for the year of 2013.

On March 2 the most talented filmmakers and actors will pile into the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles to celebrate “The Magic of the Movies” at the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

The Academy Awards, also known simply as “The Oscars” is the highest honor given in the film industry honoring the best in film for the previous year.

“My favorite films of the year were Gravity and 12 Years a Slave because they were so emotional and I’m glad they are both nominated,” says Breanna Gonzales ’14.

While Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and seven other films are fighting it out for the coveted “Best Picture” trophy, the millions watching at home prefer seeing their favorite stars on the red carpet and their reactions when they win or lose.

“I like to watch the Oscars because you get to see all the good movies get rewarded, like Gravity and Frozen, and I also like watching the red carpet live pre-show because you get to see interviews with all of the nominated stars and presenters plus you get to see the fashion side of the awards season,” says Natalie Schoendaller ‘14.

The most exciting categories to watch for most people are the ones full of A-listers which are typically the four acting races. From the younger stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio and Sandra Bullock to the older veterans like Meryl Streep, Judi Dench and Julia Roberts, the Academy made a point to recognize some of the biggest stars around.

“I’m so excited to watch it on Oscar night and then come to school the next day and talk about the whole show and what I liked most about it, specifically about the winners and the musical performances and then talk about it with my friends who enjoy watching movies as well,” Schoendaller exclaims.

 

 

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Sudan struggles through religious conflict

For the past three months, a civil war has over swept large areas of  Sudan. The soldiers of northern Sudan have come into the southern part and have been stealing animals, killing people in the villages and burning homes. The main cause of the intense fighting is a rivalry between two major ethnic groups, the Dinkas and the Nuers.  Between February 3, 2014 and February 4, 2014, 50 people were killed. Since December, thousands of people have been killed. According to BBC News, 860,000 people have fled from their homes in search of safety. Thousands of woman and children have been forced into slavery.

Religion plays a huge part in the Sudanese conflict.  North Sudan is Muslim and Arabic-speaking. While South Sudan is more African in culture and beliefs,  Christianity has been introduced to the Sudanese nationals  by the British colonies and the southern part of Sudan has adapted Christianity into a large part of their daily lives. Religion in Sudan has turned into a raging conflict between the Christians and Muslims.

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Sudanese woman prepare a meal in their village. The ongoing wars make it difficult to provide food for their families.

This conflict began in 1955 when the British introduced their personal Christian beliefs. This conflict is becoming even more dangerous and rampant. British organizations have been all over Sudan providing shelter, water, and medical care to the nationals from South Sudan.

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Heritage skaters to shine in “Showtime on Ice”

 

 

This spring, three talented Heritage figure skaters will be taking the ice in South Suburban Ice Arena’s annual “Showtime on Ice” performance.

The show began in 1973 as a way to expose skaters to Broadway musicals. Each year, the performance is divided into two acts. The first act usually consists of a Disney or Broadway storyline, and the second act ranges in themes from Michael Jackson to the Olympics.

Showtime on Ice” also brings in guest skaters to perform. Over the years, skaters like Kristi Yamaguchi and Robin Galindo have performed. Last year, Olympic skater Gracie Gold performed one of her short programs at the beginning of the show.

This year, the first act of the show will follow the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the second act is a tribute to the Beatles. Devan Walsh ’15 has a stepout role during the Beatles tribute. She is also featured as a Wonkette in the first half along with Lydia Waterman ’17 and Lauren Healy ’15.

Denver Figure Skating Club advertises for this year's "Showtime on Ice"

Denver Figure Skating Club advertises for this year’s “Showtime on Ice”.

For Healy, Showtime on Ice is a new experience. This is not only her first time participating in this particular show, but also her first time performing in an ice show.

“My favorite part about participating is probably getting to know all of the skaters that skate different sessions than I do,” says Healy.

Walsh started participating in “Showtime on Ice” back in 2008. Since then, she has worked her way up into the bigger roles. Last year, she was even able to “fly” in a harness as an Olympic high-Diver in the Olympic tribute. She also enjoys skating for a full audience and getting ready for the show each year.

“I  like being at rehearsal, it makes you feel apart of something big and I’ve had some of my best memories during Showtime,” says Walsh.

But participating comes with its challenges. The skaters rehearse every Saturday leading up to the show as well as every day after school during the week of the show. This is all in addition to the many hours they put into their training during the week.

“Balancing spending four hours a day at the rink with homework and clubs is hard sometimes,” says Healy.

With all of the work the skaters are putting into it, they are hoping for a successful show.   will run from May 9 through May 11 at South Suburban Ice Arena.

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United in defeat

 

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russel Wilson raises the Lombardi trophy. The Seahawks defeated the Broncos 43-8.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russel Wilson raises the Lombardi trophy. The Seahawks defeated the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl 48.

The best offense is the best defense. The Seattle Seahawks are certainly proof of this famous maxim. After beating the Denver Broncos very handily, 43-8, the number one ranked defense in the league celebrate their victory to Super Bowl XLVIII.

According to ESPN the Broncos were supposed to win. Having such explosive offensive weapons like Peyton Manning, Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno it seemed that ESPN would be right in their prediction. After seeing the first snap of the game fly over Manning’s head and into the end zone for a safety it seemed that it could not get worse for the Broncos. Yet, at half time with the score at 22-0, it was all over for Denver even though they managed to scrape up eight points in the third quarter. The Broncos had a historic year, breaking more than 30 records total within the team, according to the Mile High Report. Yet the Broncos would not stop there with breaking records. According to CBS Sports, they were the first team to get beat by a spread of points that bad in the Super Bowl. Also, they were the team that got scored on the fastest beating the previous record of 14 seconds by two whole seconds. This loss also brought the Broncos to record high five losses in Super Bowl games, the most in the league.

 

“It was disappointing to say the least, to have my favorite team lose in the biggest game in years is terrible, nevertheless it being that embarrassing,” says Madi Scharf ’14.

 

With all the hype being on how the veteran Peyton Manning would do, it seems that the sophomore quarterback Russel Wilson should have received more attention. Manning rightfully took the helm for the man in charge leading into his third Super Bowl and Wilson only finishing his second year in the league. Looking at salary Manning made $882,352 per week and Wilson only made $526,217 for the entire season, according to CBS Sports. It seemed that it was time for Manning to take his second Super Bowl ring and rule supreme as the best quarterback in history but Wilson proved his worth with the win. Wilson not only threw zero interceptions during the Super Bowl but throughout the whole post season, but he connected 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns, according to ESPN.

 

“Russel Wilson is a class act. That guy can not only throw the ball extremely well, but run and play well out of the pocket. He is going to be a historic quarterback in the league after this win,” says Connor Cain ’14.

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Unified Eagles takes off

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Heritage’s Unified Eagles huddles to pump up for the games. Players and partners bond and have a great time out on the court while representing the Heritage Unified Basketball program.

Heritage is home to numerous sports and athletes. Inside the gym walls, the Unified Eagles, coaches, and student partners practice for their basketball games every Wednesday night.

The team practices every Tuesday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm in the Aux gym. The team has had two wins already in their season. They are lead by their six coaches: Mindy Wilson, Kyle Duggan, Kat Mackey, Ginny Youngkin, Kim Cuthbert and Kelli Glorso.

The team this year consists of two freshmen, four sophomores, three juniors, and five seniors. There are approximately eighty-five partners.

“There are way more parents, students and staff supporting this year,” says Eva Chaffin’16, a captain and second year participant of the JV Poms. “The games are just so much fun to watch,” she explains.

The Unified program provides a sense of community for everyone in and out of the school.

“Everyone on the Unified team is important and recognized as a critical member of the team,” says Wilson. “whether it is the athletes, partners, spectators, coaches, opponents, band, cheerleaders, poms team, or the Heritage mascot.”

The students come back each summer asking about Unified. They love it and look forward to it all year.

“The game and program highlights the abilities and strengths of all the students and what they can offer to the game, school and community, whether on or off the court,” says  Wilson.

Unified brings Heritage students together as a whole student body. Unified is built off of making connections for all students that attend Heritage. The partners and players do many team building activities together. The competitive nature also comes out because basketball is a naturally competitive sport.

“The best part of Unified is knowing that as diverse as we might be on the outside, that on the inside we are all Eagles who like to celebrate, be active and just have a good time and have fun,” says Wilson.

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Guns part of the solution

The ability to obtain and carry a concealed weapon disturbs my wish that the world is safe.

I choose to believe that there is no reason to carry a gun on a person because that shouldn’t be the first reaction to a “life threatening” situation. I think people should call emergency enforcement if they should come into contact with a problem.

For example, on January 13, 2014 seventy-one year old, former police officer Curtis Reeves shot and killed moviegoer, Chad Oulson for texting during the previews in Florida.

According to ABC, Reeves shot Oulson after repeatedly asking him to turn off his cell phone. The actual situation which caused Oulson’s death was truly childish. Yes, it is rude to text during a movie but this happened before they made the “silence is golden” announcement and while people were still walking into the theater. Even before, Reeves shot Oulson with his concealed weapon, Reeves’ actions were taken overboard.

I am not a fan of allowing people to obtain a concealed weapon with or without a “special” permit. No one should have the option to carry around a weapon for safety. More danger can come out of protecting oneself than if they didn’t have a gun.

 

If the government continues to allow guns as a means of protecting people, the world's peaceful reputation might be a stake.

If the government continues to allow guns as a means of protecting people, the world’s peaceful reputation might be a stake.

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From the embryo to medicine

You may have heard about stem cells in newspapers, on the television, or simply in your Biology class. Now, new methods have made these shape-shifting cells even more prevalent in science, medicine and human life.

According to the Karolinska Institutet website, a team of researchers headed by Karl Tryggvason, Professor of Medical Chemistry at Karolinska Institutet, has devised a method of large-scale production of embryonic stem cells. The key is that this method removes only one stem cell from an embryo containing eight stem cells.

“We know that an embryo can survive the removal of a single cell. This makes a great ethical difference,” says Tryggvason on the site.

Embryonic stem cells can become any cell in the body; there is no limit to the possibilities they can provide to science and medicine.

Embryonic stem cells can become any cell in the body; there is no limit to the possibilities they can provide to science and medicine.

It is illegal in the United States to harvest embryonic stem cells as the process destroys the embryo. However, this new method allows for the embryo to be re-frozen and have the potential to become a healthy and, most importantly, living human. This takes some of the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cell harvesting out of the equation, and could therefore allow for new medicine and treatments for illnesses chronically plaguing the world to come about quicker.

“I think that this is a good method because it still allows for the embryo to become a living human. Yet at the same time, I feel like natural methods are better for pregnancy and not in vitro fertilization that happens in a laboratory,” says Maddie Allen ’16.

Once the stem cell is harvested from the embryo, it is placed on a human laminin protein normally associated with stem cells in the embryo that allows for them to multiply without risk of contamination, according to the Karolinska Institutet. Being unspecialized and pluripotent, the embryonic stem cells are able to become any other cell in the body, from skin cells to cells that produce insulin.

“I think that stem cells are important because they can mean the difference between life and death in certain medical circumstances,” says Erica Brooks ‘16.

Stem cells, especially embryonic stem cells, hold a prominent place in the scientific and medical fields. However, with this new method of mass-production of those cells, doctors and scientists can begin to tackle the ailments of the world.

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Wamsley’s journey to Heritage

Mr. Wamsley congratulating a student on a perfect test score with an excited thumbs up.

Mr. Wamsley congratulates a student on a perfect test score with an excited thumbs up.

Attending Penn State, Mr. Brett Wamsley did not make the decision to teach until his junior year of college. After working at summer camps and taking on the role of a leader, he realized that a Biology major with good leadership is perfect for teaching. Moving here for the fishing, skiing, and outdoor activities in 2003, he now claims to be Colorado proud.

“Finally after being here for 10 years, I am allowed to officially be called a Colorado native,” laughs Wamsley.

Now, he walks the halls of Heritage High School teaching Physical Science, Biology, and sponsoring the Brownie Lemonade & Games club along with the Botney Club.

“Heritage has been good, I have been here for nine years now. The students are fantastic and that is why I stick around!” explains Wamsley.
Students appreciate his ability to add excitement and interest into everything that he teaches while still getting the lesson across clearly.

“I really enjoyed being in his class because he incorporated a lot of humor into his teaching,” says Tiffany Jenks ‘14.
He plans on being here for as long as possible, as he wants to continue to walk these halls as a teacher, friend and eagle.

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