The Science Academy: Guinness World Record Contender?
by Desmond Devine
Is Our School the Smartest?
Believe it or not, our school has been nominated for a new Guinness World Record, which will be recorded for the 2024 Guinness World Records and released in September 2023! The record in question is the “Smartest School” designation, awarded for a number of factors such as GPA, test scores, and the relative difficulty of the curriculum. If our school wins the award, it will receive a grant of $100,000 or more, and, as discussed in the last Coffee with the Principal, our school is making big plans with what to do with a hundred grand.
The beginning of the next school year marks five years of sharing a campus with East Valley, so we are going to go big. Many events are planned for next year, and our campus could undergo major renovations. As our ASB President Zahra R. states, “Our school has plenty of fun events and the like, but I think we deserve more for our test scores. [This award] will also benefit the East Valley students so that makes it especially important for our school.” I couldn’t agree more. ASB and the last CWtP have given me insight into the specifics of these ideas, which I will highlight in this article. All plans are subject to change, although there is a chance that this cash will be mainly set aside for our ever-growing Robotics Team and Porto’s pastries for the teachers.
Bringing back the Vending Machines
Newer students most likely have never heard of this, but our school used to have two vending machines near our stairwell. They had the traditional junk food and beverages in stock, and could be accessed by faculty and students at any time. These were only present during the 2019-2020 school year, and left quickly for a variety of reasons. They broke down often, were sometimes broken into by students after hours, and provided students with unhealthy snacks. However, all of these problems will be addressed if the reliable machines make a return next year. They will be given lithium batteries from the robotics lab for extra long battery life, and will be secured in solid titanium cages, which will be locked at night and monitored during the day. Our school could possibly hire guard dogs devoted to protecting the machines, but unfortunately they would probably get some of our snacks as payment. To keep students from stockpiling Cheetos and other unhealthy choices, the vending machines will be stocked with fresh meals from our cafeteria cut into little pieces. Ever wanted a quarter-quarter pounder to nosh on during a long Chemistry lecture? Now you can, but don’t heat up your food with a bunsen burner!
New Sports Teams
One of the plans with the hoped-for $100,000 from the Guinness World Records is that one of the baseball diamonds will be removed to make room for new Pickleball courts. While this decision will probably face opposition, ASB looks at the positives: “Pickleball is trendy so lots of people would be interested, just about everyone can play it, and also the skill floor is incredibly low. It would be good to finally have a winning team,” says Vice President and esteemed Pickleball fan Jasper M. ASB will also look into purchasing giant fans to simulate the windy conditions so often noticed in Pickleball games.
In addition to Pickleball, other future sports teams to be founded include teams devoted to Lacrosse, Croquet, Curling, and Boxing. Lacrosse and Croquet will occur on the PE field as expected and a Boxing Ring will be installed for the gymnasium, but where will Curling occur? A glance at ASB’s wish.com search history across multiple Chromebooks shows that they have been looking at kiddie pools and walk-in freezers… not a promising start, but keep up the good work and we might soon have a proper curling arena!
Weekly STEM Talks and Monthly Events
STEM talks were a highly requested event during the 2020-2021 school year and they remain popular this year, so The Science Academy is upping the ante. Every Tuesday, during 7th Period and the teacher’s weekly meeting, students will enjoy a STEM talk from 2:40 to 3:40 from a variety of professionals sharing their expertise from their respective fields, which will be filmed and broadcast on our own television channel: STEMCast.
The success of Pi Day and other carnival events has been noted, and so the Guinness influx of cash will allow for events like this to take place every month with an extended lunch, which all our teachers will greatly appreciate, especially those preparing for our AP exams. All events will offer fun games, purchasable food, and an incredible music selection, but all students have to pay $20 to attend the extended lunch or spend the 90 minutes in study hall. The events, by month, will be:
- August, beginning of school year: Back to School festival (+ Back to School Grams)
- September, Friday before Labor Day: Labor Day celebration (+ Labor Union Grams)
- End of October: Halloween Fear Fest (+ Spooky Grams)
- November, before Thanksgiving Break: Harvest Festival (+ Gratitude Grams)
- December, before Winter Break: Holiday Celebration (+ Winter Grams)
- January, first week of school: New Year’s Party (+ Resolution Grams)
- February, Valentine’s Day: Love & Kindness festival (+ Valentine Grams)
- March, Pi Day: Guess (+ Lucky Grams for St. Patrick’s Day)
- April, Tax Day: Finance Festival (+ Money Grams)
- May, after AP Exams: AP Exam Completion Celebration (+ We’re out of Ideas Grams)
- June, last week of school: Summer Festival (+ Graduation Grams)
- And in July, come to school for the massive Independence Day Fireworks Show and print out 4th of July Grams for your parents!
One of the biggest planned additions to the school is a helipad, which will make student life better in a variety of ways. Computer Science students who have played on Mr. Bradfield’s flight simulator will be excited to try the real thing, and a helicopter would be beneficial for Physics students studying principles such as wind resistance–hey, maybe the Pickleball fans could help with that! It would also be useful for police officers and fire departments that utilize helicopters, so our school would be better prepared in case of an emergency.
Where would a helipad go, however? The most popular option would be paving over the grass circle in front of the Northwest building, which students aren’t allowed to walk over anyway. Another choice is the parking lot/basketball court, but a helicopter could get in the way on the days when it’s used. A helicopter could get parked on the roof of the Northwest building, but that roof isn’t really made for one. A helipad at our school would improve things greatly and would give us huge bragging rights, but the effort may cost more than the outcome.
An Extra Day Off
All students, starting this year, will get April Fool’s Day off to ensure that no dastardly pranks are pulled at school. If April 1st falls on a weekend or during a break, students will get the Friday before off. For this year, students will get an extra-long break because of this new added holiday off, although students will have to work for an extra week in June to make up for the time lost.
If you are confused about any of these changes, make sure to ask your grade representative, a Sci-Fi or staff member, or better yet, remember the article I wrote a year ago around this time:
This semester is about halfway over, and Mr. Lauchu is counting on you to help win the Guinness World Record for Smartest School. So work as hard as you can and have a great (extra long) Spring Break!