March 2010

Brain Awareness Week

CJ welcomed Professor Jim Olson, PhD, as March's guest speaker for the CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series. In commemoration of "Brain Awareness Week," he shared his experiences as a professor and lab director of neuroscience, cell biology and physiology at Wright State School of Medicine and how lab research is translated into medical practice. Project Lead the Way biomedical students had the opportunity to examine brain specimens and learn first hand how the organ and spinal cord are constructed.

Dr. Olson graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Engineering Physics. While there he expanded his interest from physics to biology and spent some time working in a laboratory in the Chemistry Department. He then went to the University of California at Berkeley and completed his doctorate in Biophysics. In his research there, Dr. Olson studied the interaction of laser light with nerve cells in culture and performed some experiments using the billion electron volt heavy ion particle accelerator at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories. He also taught physics in small group sessions and laboratories. He then moved to Stanford University School of Medicine for more research training in Neurochemistry and additional experience teaching in the medical cardiovascular course. Dr. Olson also developed and taught physics courses in the respiratory therapy program at a local community college.

Next, he took a faculty position at Tulane University in New Orleans where he began teaching medical neuroscience and continued his research on a variety of conditions that affect the brain. Finally, Dr. Olson moved to join the Department of Emergency Medicine at Wright State University in 1986 and head up their research laboratory. Dr. Olson's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Emergency Medicine Foundation, among others. He also participates in medical and graduate neuroscience courses and helps direct medical research projects for residents in the department's resident training program

JCOWA Places in National Top 20

On April 24, four members of CJ's JCOWA quiz bowl team, sophomores: John Chick, John Manovich, Jon Meyer and Sam Mullins competed in the Academic World Quest in Washington D.C. held at the National Press Club. They placed 16 out of 40 teams nationally--a very respectable showing. While in D.C., the group attended a conference at George Washington University, toured many of the monuments and Smithsonian Museums and had a private tour of the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum.

The four sophomores were invited to the prestigious competition after placing first in the Dayton World Affair's Quiz on February 1. In addition to the blue ribbon, CJ placed four teams in the top 15. All participants are members of Junior Council on World Affairs or JCOWA, which sends students to various forums for discussions, quiz bowls, and events—all designed to help them grow in their knowledge of global affairs.

Before heading to Washington, the team prepared for the competition, scheduling practices during homeroom periods and took advantage of other opportunities. “We are going online, looking at current events, and also doing in-depth research on specific topics,” said Mullins.  “I am interested in current events, and that’s what drew me into JCOWA. It seemed like an interesting organization.”

Club moderator and social studies teacher, Tony Ricciuto ‘74, appreciates the aspects of Marianist charism that JCOWA offers students and enjoys seeing "students’ global awareness expanded" through programs and opportunities that it offers. He also recognizes the important role online networks play in today's global society.

By Tim Herrmann, contributing writer

Eagle "Bot" Wins 3rd Place

CJ sent a robot into battle for the first time at the DTMA Bots Competition in Piqua on Saturday, March 27 and walked away with a 3rd place finish out of 36 teams entered, including a team from the University of Dayton. After beating out "The Black Death" from Milford H.S.; "Rambo" from Upper Valley JVS and "Dave" from Xenia H.S., the "Swiss Cheese Eagle Bot" advanced to the Sweet 16!

That's when CJ triumphed over "Exterminator" from Bloomsburg Area H.S. and made the Elite 8 and zapped the "Zapper" from Upper Vally JVS. It came down to the Final 4 bots battling it out for the top four positions. Swiss Cheese Eagle finally hit a wall when it met last year's champ, Centerville H.S. who entered "Son of Beast" this year. In its last round of competition, Swiss Cheese Eagle edged out "Axiom" from Bloomsburg Area H.S. for 3rd place honors. Not too shabby for first time participants, and the only Catholic high school team entered in the tournament.

This year's CJ bots team was made up of Project Lead the Way engineering students and included : David Baumgartner ‘10, David Fan ‘10, Josh Landes ‘11, Randy Leik ‘12, Mike Noonan ‘10, Justin Overman ‘10 (bot driver), Ian Owens ‘10, Joe Scupski ‘10, and Elizabeth Wirrig ‘11. Instructor Bob Young and the team are grateful for the help, advice and support from industry mentors: Dan Reynolds, American Testing Services, in coopration with Brad Verberg (Precision Certified Welding); Bob Ginsburg & Mike Hughes; (RPG Industries); Mike Bozzo and Charlie Farish (T&R Welding Systems Inc.), and Jim Limberg (Weldments, Inc.). Well done!

Going to Nationals

Lynsay Strahorn '11 captured the hearts and minds of judges and finished first in the State at the Poetry Out Loud Competition held on March 13, 2009. Strahorn was one of 28 students from Ohio high schools to participate. In addition to receiving top honors, she won $200, an all-expense-paid trip to the national competition taking place in Washington D.C. on April 29, and $500 for CJ to use to purchase poetry books.

Strahorn has a passion for poetry fueled her drive for success this year. “We always read prose in the classroom, but I love the way poetry sounds and the way poets use words in different ways. You really have to find a meaning, and it can connect to readers in so many ways. I am really excited and nervous to compete nationally. It really is the best of the best at this point. I will have time to work on my poems and perfect them.”

Strahorn competed last year as a sophomore and placed third at the State level. This year, at Ohio Dominican University, Strahorn took first place by performing the poems “Walking Down Park,” by Nikki Giovanni; ”I Am,” by John Clare; and “For Love,” by Robert Creeley.

“After finishing third last year, Lynsay was determined to win it all and do what was necessary to win. She proved to her classmates that if you work hard at something, you’re going to get better,” said Jim Brooks, CJ English teacher and Poetry Out Loud moderator. “She is a great student, great person, and very dedicated.”

Poetry Out Loud is in its third year at CJ. Students in English classes compete within their classes. Winners from each class move on to a school-wide competition. This year, CJ had 18 students participate in the school-wide competition with Strahorn representing the school as the champion.

She will now move on to represent Ohio and CJ at the National Finals in the footsteps of CJ graduate, Rachel Chandler, who won State in 2008 and competed nationally.

Students choose and memorize a poem from over 600 poems on the Poetry Out Loud website for the classroom competition. As students advance, their requirements and the competition increase. At the state level, participants were required to memorize three poems, of which one or a combination had to be 25 lines or less and stem from the pre-20th century.

“The major benefit is a greater familiarity and appreciation for poetry. Another great aspect is the performance aspect,” said Brooks. “They don’t think of poetry as an art form presented publicly. Finally, they learn to internalize the poem. They make it their own, and take on the voice of the poet.”

Strahorn, the daughter of Derrick and Kris Strahorn of Harrison Township, also plays varsity basketball and soccer for CJ.

According to its Web site, Poetry Out Loud’s mission is to encourage the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. The program provides an opportunity for students to master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

By Tim Herrmann, March 15, 2010

Heading to District Science Day

After presenting their science fair projects to judges on February 18, Kateri Dillon '12, Grace Kauth '13, Annemarie Krug '13, Courteney Muhl '13, and Caitlin O'Loughlin '13 earned the right to represent Chaminade Julienne at this year's Montgomery County Science Day held on March 6. Dillon, Krug, and Muhl now advance to the West District Science Day competition held March 20 at Clark State.

Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, appreciates the support shown by alumni, parents and colleagues who helped mentor science fair participants as well as judge at CJ's science fair. Draeger stresses the importance of the CJ STEMM program developing partnerships and relationships with professionals in STEMM careers because of the impact on students.

"Students gain practice communicating, organizing thoughts, and displaying professionalism during meeting with mentors. We are also privileged to have a talented group of professionals who are more than willing to share their time and knowledge with our students."

Olympic Souvenir

German language students experienced the 2010 Olympic in an unusual and academic way. They practiced their German by emailing letters to German athletes wishing them good luck and good health during their stay in Vancouver. According to teacher Jake Browning, the exercise took the students beyond watching educational videos and working out of text books to an interactive experience.

Two of the athletes managed to take a break from training and competition and replied to emails sent by Annie Reuter '11 and Nick Flannery. Frank Rommel, a 25-year-old skeleton racer from Oberhof, Germany thanked Flannery for his good wishes and let him know that he was currently in his final stages of training for the Olympics. “I thought it was really cool that an athlete competing on a world stage took time to write to a high school kid,” Flannery said.

Browning was pleased with the responses. “This exercise was an authentic, cultural communication experience. It allowed students to write and interact with a real person instead of learning about someone through a picture in a book.