December 2011

Softball Team Spreads Christmas Cheer

Members of the CJ softball team spent Saturday, Dec. 3 serving youngsters of all ages at the Pancakes with Prancer community event hosted by the City of Moraine.

Eagle volunteers were in charge of leading arts and crafts activities during the event, which is aimed at raising money for the city’s Christmas Smiles Program. The program provides food and gifts for needy families from Moraine.

Dee Bowling, head coach, said the girls had a great time interacting with the children and taking a team photo with Santa and his reindeer, Prancer.

“They did a great job,” said Bowling, who works for the Moraine Fire Department. “These kids volunteer their time every time I ask and any time there is a need.”

In previous years, the Eagles have helped with service projects including K-8 softball clinics and holiday gift wrapping sessions said junior outfielder Annemarie Krug.

“I think it's a good thing to volunteer during the holidays,” she said. “Plus I just like working with kids.”

Krug and her teammates assisted children in painting pictures of Santa using handprints made of white paint for beards. The time spent together in the offseason helps build team chemistry, said Krug, but she added the reward of seeing a child’s face light up at Christmas time is far worth any amount of time invested.

“The kids just had a great time,” she said.

CJ’s softball team returns seven underclassmen from last season and opens competition this year with a GGCL Grey North match-up Saturday, March 24 versus Alter High School at Gateway Action Sports Center.

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CJ Carolers Share the Gift of Music

In the week leading up to exams, two separate groups of students stepped out of the classroom and in front of members of the CJ and Miami Valley communities to share holiday carols and spread Christmas spirit.

Carolers taking American Sign Language with teacher Judi MacLeod signed song lyrics for faculty and staff Tuesday, Dec. 13 while senior members of FLIGHT (Faith Leaders in God’s Hands Today) sang for residents of the Mercy Sienna Woods Retirement Community a day later during period 1 on December 14.

“FLIGHT students are faith leaders in our school, and part of that is modeling what it is to be a person of faith who lives out our Gospel call to serve others,” said Kelli Kinnear, director of ministry and service.

According to Kinnear, the call to serve presented itself this holiday season through an opportunity to bring the gift of music into the lives of residents who may not have many visitors or spend much time outside of the north Dayton nursing home. The gift, a small gesture of kindness, is one many at CJ feel can be given universally.

“I always think of music as transcending all boundaries,” said Debi Schutt, chair of the performing arts department.

Schutt and those taking her period 6 Music Theory course were treated to unique versions of Christmas favorites Jingle Bell Rock, Winter Wonderland and Do You Hear What I Hear? as performed by students using only their hands.

“Some people believe the hearing impaired can’t enjoy music, but that is not always the case,” said MacLeod, who provided vocals and graded students during performances. She incorporates music as a component of her first semester American Sign Language final exam each school year.

“The kids work very hard on their carols from about Thanksgiving on,” she said. “They learn, sign and interpret each song by exploring the idioms within the lyrics.”

Students were tasked with translating common expressions into appropriate signs in order to avoid confusion amongst the audience while properly maintaining the song’s meaning. MacLeod pointed out the phrase “bushels of fun,” a lyrical idiom found in line three of Jingle Bell Rock, as an example.

The combination of singing and signing is slated to hit the CJ stage during a performance by members of the liturgical choir at the December 21 Christmas concert Sounds of the Season. MacLeod said she hopes to eventually organize an Eagles sign-singing ensemble similar to the University of Dayton’s Hands in Harmony group.

Immerse Yourself in the Christmas Spirit

Come celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with the Performing Arts Department Wednesday, Dec. 21 at CJ’s annual Christmas concert, Sounds of the Season.

Friends and family members of all ages are invited to the auditorium to enjoy this free event, and all are encouraged to stick around following the performances for a dessert reception in the library hosted by members of the Parents of Performing Art Students (PoPS) and the development office.

Immerse yourself in Christmas spirit as members of the concert band, string ensemble, concert choir, liturgical choir, and pop a cappella groups Vega and Age V perform holiday favorites. The evening will open and close with unique medleys, and will include a special performance by the CJ alumni choir said Debi Schutt, department chair.

“Every single musician will perform together at this concert, and we are excited to once again welcome back the alumni choir,” Schutt said.

Six decades of Chaminade, Julienne, St. Joe’s and CJ graduates ranging in years from 1944 to 1993 will accompany current CJ students on stage. It will be the group's first performance since May, when alumni choir members gathered to welcome the graduating class of 2011 at the Schuster Center during commencement.

“This is a group that has grown since being formed last year for the President’s dinner, then graduation, and now Christmas,” said Caitlin Cronin Bennett, alumni relations coordinator. Bennett has assisted the Performing Arts department with organizing the group and scheduling rehearsals, which began in late November for the Sounds of the Season concert.

“There was a huge response to continue the alumni choir after the performance at the Schuster for graduation,” she said. “We’re excited to see how the group will grow into the future.”

Engineering Students Eat Like Soldiers

Through a presentation by Shannon Wagner, a U.S. Army educator, and several Army personnel, students taking the Project Lead the Way Introduction to Engineering Design class with teacher Brad Kassner learned about the history and development of U.S. Army MREs – Meals, Ready-to-Eat.

The meals have experienced many changes and improvements since their introduction during the Revolutionary War, all of which were designed by engineers at a lab in Natick, Mass. Metal can packaging changed to plastic bags during World War II when air surveillance became more prevalent, as enemies could detect metal on the ground.

Today, MRE menu selections have broadened greatly, encompassing vegetarian, Kosher, and Halal options. Meals now even include such “luxuries” as M&M and Skittles candy. The food is designed to have a shelf life of up to three years, and can be eaten at room temperature; however, a flameless heater — an engineering application of the heat-generating chemical reaction that results from mixing magnesium and water — is included for hot meals.

CJ students got to sample three different MREs during period 8 on Wednesday, Dec. 7 and found them to be not too bad, but not quite up to par with “mom’s cooking.”

After school, 7th and 8th grade students from Bishop Leibold and St. Chris had the opportunity to sample the Army’s combat cuisine during a CJ STEMM Scholar program on campus. All seventeen grade school participants had a chance to taste the MREs, and were also introduced to a free Web-based nationwide STEM competition for students in grades six through nine called eCYBERMISSION.

Story and photos provided by Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator. For more information and opportunities to get involved, browse the STEMM Web pages at cjeagles.org or contact Mrs. Draeger via email or by phone at 937.461.3740 x487.

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STEMM Idol Speaker Mike Monnier

Mike Monnier, a manufacturing engineer at BarSplice Products in Dayton, began his STEMM Idol presentation Tuesday with a historical whodunit-style look at the world of Dayton manufacturing.

Among famous area engineers and their feats, Monnier mentioned John Patterson who founded National Cash Register (NCR) in 1884, and built mechanical cash registers into the 1970’s; Charles Kettering who invented the first electric starter for automobiles, and designed a “home electrical plant” useful to rural residents in the early 1900’s; and Charlie Taylor, the Wright brothers’ mechanic who designed and built the engine for their 1903 Flyer in six weeks.

Bringing the discussion back to the present, Monnier showed students images of manufacturing facilities and highlighted the changes that have occurred over time in the United States. He pointed out that in some places of the world, such as Bangladesh, there are still poor working conditions and child labor. Generally the workplace of a modern manufacturing engineer is clean, safe, well-lit, and offers exciting opportunities to work with many types of people and industries, Monnier said.

Monnier then walked students through the steps involved in the engineering design process. Taking the plastic shell of a Nintendo Wii controller as an example, he showed how manufacturing a product is accomplished in stages. The process begins with a conceptual design, followed by a rough design and the fabrication of a first physical model. Finally, dimensioning and specifications are taken into account so that an exact prototype model can be produced. Molds are made and the injection molding process starts, producing the final product.

During the presentation, students enjoyed handling samples of products used by Barsplice. Monnier explained that his company designs and produces rebar mechanical splices, or “couplers,” used in reinforced concrete structures such as stadiums, ball parks, and nuclear plants.

ABOUT MIKE MONNIER
CJ STEMM Idol speaker Mike Monnier is a manufacturing engineer at Barsplice Products, Inc. According to its Web site, the Dayton-based construction technologies business provides mechanical splice systems used for concrete reinforcement. Monnier has served with Barsplice for more than a decade and provides field service support to customers, technicians and manufacturing personnel.

Mike has been in the manufacturing engineering industry for 17 years. In addition to possessing a Bachelor of Science from the University of Dayton, Monnier is also a chairman of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Chapter 18, a board member of Greenville Farm Power of the Past, Inc., and volunteers annually at the Miami Valley TechFest sponsored by the Affiliate Societies Council.

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Latin Class Builds on Vocabulary Lessons

When learning Latin this year with Mrs. Linda Colas, foreign language teacher, students have been building on vocabulary lessons by constructing scale models of Roman-style architecture just as the Romans did.

Freshmen and sophomores in Colas's period 5  Latin I class worked in pairs and individually to build miniature versions of ancient Roman dwellings, designing both the interior and exterior of urban, rural and wartime buildings. Students were then challenged to demonstrate their knowledge by labeling the structures and rooms, and presenting their creation in class.

“Working on this project helped me understand the placement of rooms in the houses and their significance,” said Faith White, a freshman.

White and fellow freshman Laura Springman partnered to build an ancient Roman villa, or country house, using paper and cardboard materials. The pair incorporated period specific details, including Roman columns, an indoor garden and a slanted roof to catch fresh rain water.

“The students get to see how many of the innovations we have in our homes today came directly from the ancient Romans,” Colas said. “It shows them how the past is present.”

Classmates Vaughn Martin, a sophomore, and freshman Pearse Scudder each chose Lego bricks to lay the foundations of their Roman farm houses known as villa rusticas. While completing the project, Scudder said he gained an appreciation for the ancient culture’s vast influence on modern architecture.

“To learn that back then the buildings were so technologically advanced was surprising,” he said. Most surprising, added Scudder, were innovations like indoor plumbing and underground systems used to heat and cool homes.

According to Scudder, Springman and White, the scale model project took about one and a half to two weeks to complete. The Roman structures are now on display in Mrs. Colas room (334.)

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