Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Watch the Olympic winter guard's winning performance

Today's Young Achievers page highlights three local, award-winning winter guard teams (Providence, South Mecklenburg and Olympic).

Winter guard teams incorporate dance with tossing and spinning flags, rifles and sabres.

The following is Olympic's performance of “Turning Pages,” by Sleeping at Last, which was featured in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” soundtrack. The team won second place in its division at the Carolina Indoor Performance Association championships.

The performance told how two lovers struggle to find the words to express themselves (see the "Dear Diary" and script written on the floor).

While most of the performance is meant to be sad, the ending is joyful because the lovers are finally able to say how much they love each other. The team’s director, Ahmez Nash, said the guard formed a big red heart on the floor at the end to show the love.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Three days before "Going All Art" summer session deadline

Middle and high school students have three days left to register for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts' 2013 summer session.

This summer's session, called "Going All Art," offers intensive programs in dance, drama, filmmaking, music and visual art.

Registrations are due May 1, and after that, they'll be accepted on a case-by-case basis until spaces are filled.

For more information, visit uncsa.edu/summersession.

UNCSA is the nation's first state-supported arts school, which the N.C. General Assembly established in 1963. It became part of the UNC system in 1972.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Daisy troop helps at Ronald McDonald House, Levine Children's Hospital

Daisy Troop 3045 was busy last week: The first-grade girls collected and donated cleaning supplies to the Ronald McDonald House and also delivered potted flowers and activity kits to the Levine Children's Hospital.

The troop is from Antioch Elementary in Union County.

Photo courtesy of Kelley Cobb
At the Ronald McDonald House, the Daisies took a tour and learned about how the house works, said troop leader Leslie Williams.

Then the troop went to the hospital and planted potted flowers in the garden area. The Daisies also dropped off bags full of activities for patients to enjoy.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Randolph Middle wins NAL championship

After a history-making match in the National Academic League final championship (two CMS schools squared off in the finals for the first time), Randolph Middle emerged victorious.

Randolph beat Crestdale Middle 79-72 in a match at East Mecklenburg High this afternoon.

The two middle schools beat out 14 other schools from around the country to get to the championship match.

The Randolph Middle NAL team.
Photo courtesy of Steven Oreskovic

Monday, April 22, 2013

Metrolina Christian junior to attend White House Science Fair

Greyson McCluskey.
Photo courtesy Time Warner Cable
Greyson McCluskey, a junior at Metrolina Christian Academy, will compete in the White House Science Fair this afternoon.

Greyson, 16, will be showing his invention called Tempro: Thermal Protection Solutions. He has filed for his first patent on the device.

Tempro recognizes the presence of a person or animal and simultaneously takes their temperature. If a body temperature fluctuates drastically, the device can send notifications to someone so that hyper- or hypothermia related illnesses can be prevented.

For example, if Tempro were used in a baby's car seat, parents would know if their child was overheating in the car, Greyson said.

Greyson first entered the initial version of Tempro, then called Baby Safe Rider, into Time Warner Cable's "Wouldn't It Be Cool If..." national invention contest last year and won.

Greyson's Tempro: Thermal Protection Solutions.
Photo courtesy Time Warner Cable
Today he'll join other winners from various science and math-related competitions across the country at the White House Science Fair, which will be hosted  by President Obama.

"If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House," the President said in a release. "Well, if you're a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too."

The science fair begins at 2:25 p.m. and will also be webcast live at www.whitehouse.gov/live.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Charlotte Christian senior wins 2013 Congressional Art Competition

Beth Richter, a senior at Charlotte Christian, won the 2013 Congressional Art Competition for her painting called "Medal of Honor."

Medal of Honor, by Beth Richter
The Art Institute of Charlotte and Congressman Robert Pittenger invited high school students from the 9th Congressional District to compete.

The 9th District includes parts of south Charlotte, Matthews, Mint Hill, Weddington, Pineville, Huntersville, Cornelius and Mooresville.

The guest expert judge, Mike Watson, said Beth balanced the tones of the black and white painting well. Watson is an instructor at the Art Institute of Charlotte and curator of the Guinan Gallery.

"The piece is nicely laid out -- much better thought-out than the average student," he wrote. "Speaks to the moment. Would be less effective if in color."

As first-place winner, Beth will get to hang her work in the U.S. Capitol building, receive a scholarship from Savannah College of Art & Design and fly to Washington, D.C., to attend a national reception and see her artwork displayed.

The second place winner was by Sabrina Collias, a sophomore at Myers Park.

The Old Days, by Sabrina Collias

Watson also praised her painting, called "The Old Days," saying it reminded him of a Norman Rockwell painting.

"The piece feels light, effortless and delicate. Nice use of a light hand," he wrote.

Sabrina will receive a scholarship to the Summer Studio art program at the Art Institute of Charlotte, which features five days of creative workshops.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tune in for Richmond Drive student's Green Screen Adventures episode

Serenity Cash, a third-grader at Richmond Drive Elementary in Rock Hill, wrote a story for Green Screen Adventures called "The Dingoes." The episode will air Saturday morning.

Green Screen Adventures is a children's television show that chooses writing and illustrations from students that adult actors reenact.

"The Dingoes" will air at 8:30 a.m. on Me-TV, which is on WCCB, Channel 18.3.

Or you can watch the reenactment of Serenity's story here: http://greenscreenadventures.tv/thedingoes-521/

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lincoln Charter students run for Boston

Courtesy of Lincoln Charter School
The Lincoln Charter School's running club and varsity track team ran yesterday in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The students (elementary and middle school students are in the club) each wore black ribbons and ran for 26.2 minutes.

"Our runners and coaches hope that this simple gesture will help Boston residents and marathon participants deal with this tragedy," said Jonathan Bryant, Lincoln Charter's assistant chief administrator.

(Click on the photo to see it enlarged.)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Video: Slam poetry, 'A+DHD,' by Jaclyn Burton

Watch Jaclyn Burton, a Charlotte Latin senior, perform her slam poem, "A+DHD" below.

The poem won a silver award in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Slam poetry, or spoken word, is poetry that's performed to evoke certain emotions and reactions from the audience.

Jaclyn was featured in Young Achievers this week for winning Scholastic's top honor for her essay, "I am a series of numbers," which can be read in the post below.

American Voices-winning essay by Latin's Jaclyn Burton

Jaclyn Burton won the American Voices award, which is the top honor in writing from the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Jaclyn is a senior at Charlotte Latin.

Here's her award-winning essay:

I am a series of numbers.

By Jaclyn Burton

I am a series of numbers. A birthday – 8.2.1995 – a social security number, an age. I am the person who sat in bus seat number 16 on 7.5.11 at 14:36 Athens time, and I was the 36th person to enter the room the night I met the 1 person I cannot quantify in numbers. The person it took me 2 words to be interested in, 4 songs to get up the courage to talk to, 4 fingers on 1 waist to be set on, 28 days to admit I liked, and 11 minutes to say yes to. The person who, in the turn of a single second, challenged 15 years, 7 months, and 28 days of preconceptions, beliefs, and dreams.

I am a series of numbers. I am 67 inches of confusion, and 5,818 days of new experiences. My brain is a complex web of an ever-changing and extensive number of synapses and connections, constantly processing and recording. Recording every touch. Every smell. Every grain of salt. Every tear. Every freckle. I am a complex matrix of emotions, memories, and perceptions all scientifically significant and explainable.

I understand numbers. My numbers. They are simple, reliable. They always end the same way: 2+2=4 ∏ = 3.1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5 3 5 8 9 7 9 3 2 3… Life once seemed that way: quantifiable and explainable by statisticians and profit margins. As my numbers grow though so does their complexity. Somehow, between the start of the clock and the growing of the ever-ticking seconds, the answers have changed. Because I am slowly realizing that 2+2 is not the only way to get 4, if 4 is even the number we are looking for.

My computer tells me I have listened to the recorded vibrations of our song 18 hours 38 minutes and 47.4 seconds. It computes that I have felt within my ears the intonations of the voice which jumpstarts my dopamine receptors played back to me electronically 11 days, 21 hours, 45 minutes, and 42 seconds. My calendar reminds me it has been 218 days since my phone received the wireless electronic signal that it then translated into the 8 words that would change the course of my very brain chemistry. Yet I could not tell you the number of freckles on the shoulder I long to see, nor the shape of the wrinkles stretching across the genetically unique lips I long to kiss. I cannot provide the measure of the silky hair running its way through my mind, nor the inches between the fingers I yearn to fill with my own. I could not tell you the frequency at which that ever-present voice resonates, only that I have yet to find another that equals it.

 I am a series of numbers. A statistic — 13.1% - a graduate – 2013 – a majority, a minority. I am the XX in the seat next to you and the XY on your wedding day. I am four different versions of a first kiss and V3 of a genetic combination once illegal in this nation of numbers. I was once illegal in this nation of numbers. A nation that has bred me and built me and coded me for perfection: wrapping me in white gloves and blushed cheeks (Red 40).

I am a series of numbers, nothing more, nothing less. I am the sum, and the product, and the derivative. I am waiting to be counted.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hear the 2013 Middle School Honors Band perform

The 2013 Middle School Honors Band will perform Saturday afternoon at E.E. Waddell Language Academy.

About 100 students from across the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district were chosen -- after auditions -- to perform in the honors band.

They'll play instrumental works of various composers. The concert is the third of a three-part series sponsored by Charlotte Concerts, and the previous concerts were for honors orchestra and choral programs.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 2 p.m. at 7030 Nations Ford Road.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Former Observer intern wins national journalism award

Photo courtesy of Annie Will
Madeline Will, a junior at UNC Chapel Hill and 2011 summer intern at the Observer, was one of nine college students from across the country to win the Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition.

The annual contest, which was started in 1984, is sponsored by the Scripps Howard Foundation and its prize helps young journalists understand international affairs.

Will and the other eight winners will go on an expense-paid trip to Japan in May with Joseph Coleman, the Indiana University School of Journalism Roy W. Howard Professor of Practice. Coleman was formerly the Associated Press bureau chief in Tokyo.

Will is from Huntersville and graduated from Hopewell High in 2010. She interned for the Communities desk at the Observer and mostly wrote for the Mooresville and Lake Norman sections.

At UNC, she's a journalism and political science major and has written for The Daily Tar Heel for the past three years, including a year as an assistant state and national editor.

Will has also interned at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and plans to intern for Reuters in New York this summer.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Catching up on Honoreé Brewton

Honoreé Brewton, who was featured by Young Achievers in December 2011, recently became a  member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

She's a freshman at Howard University and was invited to be a member of the NSCS after she earned a 4.0 GPA for her first semester.

Photo courtesy of Suni White
The last we talked to Honoreé, she was about to graduate from CATO Middle College High (which she did), and loved learning about primates. She was also learning Mandarin Chinese.

Her mother, Suni White, reports that Honoreé is now interning with a doctor studying fetal alcohol syndrome and the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus in primates. She said Honoreé hopes to continue working with him this summer.

And Honoreé has kept up with the Chinese too.

She told us back in 2011 that she wants to study abroad in China and go to graduate school for primatology, and we think it's a safe bet to say she's well on her way.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Randolph Middle student advances to National Geographic Bee

In what Canadian province is Niagara-on-the-Lake located?

Matthew Janson, a Randolph Middle eighth-grader, gave the correct answer (Ontario), which made him the North Carolina finalist for the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C.

Photo courtesy Liz Janson

Matthew competed against almost 100 other North Carolina students (grades 4-8) Friday at UNC Charlotte.

As the state winner, he received $100, the "Complete National Geographic" on DVD and a trip to Washington, D.C., where the Bee takes place May 20-22.

The National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild will air final round, moderated by Alex Trebek, May 23.

For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

'Tis the season...

...for mission trips, thanks to spring break.
Kudos to kids who have been spending their vacation time helping others.

Photos courtesy Calvin Easter.
Here, Keyonte Easter, a senior at Hough High School, traveled to Haiti last week (disregard the timestamps) to help build houses in a village that the 2010 earthquake destroyed.
Keyonte spent time with the village children, pick-axed stones to fill house foundations and used cement to prepare areas for construction.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

101 students to compete in National Geographic Bee at UNCC

UNC Charlotte will host the state tournament for the National Geographic Bee this Friday.

The Bee is open to fourth- through eighth-graders.  Charlotte is sending representatives for the state competition from the following schools:

Adventist Christian Academy
Barringer Academic Center
Carmel Middle
Charlotte Christian 
Charlotte Country Day
Charlotte Latin 
Charlotte Home Educators
Charlotte Preparatory 
Charlotte United Christian Academy
Devonshire Elementary
Hickory Grove Baptist Christian 
Holy Trinity Catholic Middle 
Irwin Academic Center
Jay M. Robinson Middle 
McKee Road Elementary 
Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy
Northeast Middle 
Northside Christian Academy
Providence Day 
Randolph Middle 
St. Gabriel Catholic 
South Charlotte Middle 
Southwest Middle 
Trinity Episcopal

The 101 finalists from across the state, including from those 24 schools, will compete for first place to represent North Carolina in the national competition.

This Friday, the state competitors will gather at the McNight Hall in the Cone Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The winner of the state contest will win $100, the "Complete National Geographic" on DVD and a trip to Washington, D.C., where the Bee takes place May 20-22.

The National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild will air final round, moderated by Alex Trebek, May 23.

For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee.