Showcase Assembly (6/1/18)

On Friday, June 1st, Staten Island Technical High School held its 17th annual student showcase. Students hurried to the Salvatore Eretto Auditorium, buzzing with excitement and eager to watch their peers perform. On the way to the auditorium, they were immediately met with the sound of the opening band consisting of William Albee, Tyler Almquist, Daniel Donnelly, and Justine Molinari, who played passionately as the students filed into their seats.

There were many different acts over the course of the showcase, with students displaying talents such as dancing, singing, spinning flags, and playing instruments.

Some of the day’s performances included renditions of “What’s Up” by students Tess Lynch, Ivy Fan, and Felix Mastropasqua, “This is Me” by Katie Schermerhorn, Ivan Bourov, and Mike Albdewi, and “You and I” by Jess Liu. In each of these performances, students sang, and, in “What’s Up” and “You and I” students played instruments to accompany the vocals. Each of these performances were met with great praise from the audience; viewers clapped and cheered for their peers.

Tech senior Felix Mastropasqua, who was in multiple performances, reflected on his experience with the showcase: “It can be nerve-wracking to put on a performance, but I was motivated to make my last show at Tech as memorable as possible.”

Students involved in different school activities also performed in the showcase. Glee Club sang “Some Nights”, the Dance Team danced to “The Greatest Show”, Dance Gym students danced to various Rihanna songs, and the Color Guard showed off their skills to “Confident”.

Rachel Kneitel, a Tech senior in Dance Gym, said of the performance, “Giving your all during practices is worth it in the end when you see the crowd focusing only on the performance.”

The audience truly did focus on the performance, captivated by the many dancers on the stage. In fact, the audience was thrilled by each performance, encouraging the performers with their energy and enthusiasm towards all of the acts. Towards the conclusion of the show, Xenia Rudchenko and Anton Logochniak sang an incredible duet of the song “Stay”, wowing the audience as they walked down the sides of the auditorium, then onto the stage, singing.

To wrap up the showcase, the final act was Anton Logochniak’s rendition of “My Way”. As he sang, photographs of the senior class were projected onto the stage as a tribute to the graduating Class of 2018.

Overall, the students in the showcase gave remarkable performances, a testimony to the many talents of students at Staten Island Technical High School.

 

Microsoft DigiGirlz Trip

From May 18th to May 19th, Microsoft held another DigiGirlz event, offering an opportunity for girls to learn more about careers for women in the field of technology, interact with other inspiring women, and gain hands-on experience with different tools and new high-tech products.

The trip was divided into two different days:

On the first day of the trip, excited Tech students gathered at the Microsoft office and took part in different workshops. They were shown some of the new and impressive technology that Microsoft has developed.

digigirlz.jpg

A scene from the DigiGirlz trip.

The girls also took part in a coding workshop, which encouraged them to empower themselves with the language of computers. Fun activities allowed students to explore with code and gave them a base to develop the rest of their coding superpowers on.

The last workshop was a personal learning experience, where girls were divided into smaller groups to work with professional women in a male-dominated field. They learned how to pitch themselves later in their professional career, and practiced with each other several times as well. The experience was eye-opening and helpful for the soon-to-be college students and working women.

The meeting ended with a Q&A session in which students asked all of their personal questions and curiosities to a panel of professionals who were eager to respond and encourage them. Students came out of many of the sessions inspired and motivated.

On the second day, DigiGirlz met at the Microsoft Store and were able to experience the VIP tour of the building and newest technologies and innovations as well as meet staff. Some of the experiences included playing in a new gaming room filled with equipment worth thousands of dollars, watching a 3D film in a small theater, learning about LinkedIn and how to create a professional social network, and trying out the Halolens – a new holographic computer which utilizes augmented reality.

Russian Olympiada State Finals

What are you usually doing at 4:45 AM? On April 25th, while most of us were still sleeping, 20 dedicated students were just arriving at Tech. Why, you may ask? These students were selected to compete in the state Russian Olympiada: a yearly competition held at SUNY Albany. Competitors are separated into levels 1 through 5 based on their experience with Russian, and are further divided into native and non-native speakers. On their respective level, they must be able to answer questions about themselves, talk about Russian culture, recite poetry and speak about a story.

Competitors Kelly Chan and Rida Akhlaq getting their final moments of studying before the Olympiada begun.

As the bus left Tech bound for Albany, you’d expect many competitors to doze off and await arrival. However, nerves and excitement kept most awake as they reviewed study materials and made final preparations for the competition later that day. Sophomore Kelly Chan was reviewing the stories she could be questioned about; the end of a study process that first began in February. Kelly remarked: “For preparation I studied a little each day. There have been days when I was really tired but studying for 5 minutes is better than not studying at all. Practice is key.” With the amount of energy in the air, the three-and-a-half hour journey seemed to pass in mere minutes and soon enough, Tech’s delegation to the Russian Olympiad arrived in Albany, ready to compete.

Shortly after arriving, the competition began. Competitors waited for an event to be called for their level. They would then walk in, and complete one section of the competition: oral, civilization or reading. This process repeated itself until every student had completed every event. The environment was fast-paced and hectic, as competitors tried to fit in last moments of studying before running to compete in their event. Competitors ran in and out of rooms, letting others know if the judges were fair and what kinds of questions they’d been asked. Even though everyone was competing against each other, they all helped and supported one another as one team.

Competitors Kelly Chen and Iandra Ramos before entering the competition.

After an hour, nearly everyone was finished competing. I caught up with Kelly shortly after she completed her last event. When asked how she thought she did, she noted: “The actual process took only a few minutes. In the testing room I was polite and cheerful. It’s always important to have a good impression with anyone really, especially the judges. I think I did alright, but I guess I’ll see later”. Many shared that sentiment: at this point, there was nothing to do but wait.

At 1:00 PM, results were announced. Tech placed and won at every level we competed in.

On Level 1, Philip Dulas won first place and Jasky Karem won second

On Level 2 non-native, Kelly Chen came in first place and Scott Rappaport came in second. In Level 2 native, Andrei Klepach came in first place.

On Level 3 non-native, Jerry Li won first place and Evan Rubenstein came in second. In the heritage category, Elizabeth Nikolaeva came in first place.

At Level 4 heritage, Sophia Kobzarenko came in first place, and at Level 5 Heritage Timur Ibragimov came in first place.

Oh Snap! SI Tech’s Gingerbread Decorating Contest

This past Wednesday, December 13, Staten Island Tech conducted its second annual Gingerbread House Making Contest. Twenty teams went head to head for 90 minutes and competed to construct the best house. This event not only brought a sense of holiday spirit to the school, but also was a time for students to kick back and spend time with their friends.

It kicked off immediately after ninth period. Room 244 became overfilled with people, and by 3:01PM, the competition had officially begun. People eagerly began assembling the foundation of their houses. Mr. Terrusa, the event coordinator, was very pleased with the turnout and success of the contest. He described it as something that started last year because, “…the S.O. wanted to have more holiday involvement and activities. It was something that this students overwhelmingly wanted to continue this year.” The success was unbelievably amazing.

Participants Michelle Wang, Tappy Lung, Jacquelyn Chin, and Michael Albdewi pose with their gingerbread house.

“It’s a fun time. It’s a fun day. Students really get into it and that’s the most important thing.” Mr. Terrusa stated.

The students seemed to really enjoy the event. Jacquelyn Chin, a sophomore participant, shared her experience. “The frosting wouldn’t make the gingerbread stay in place and the walls caved in a lot. But we got to eat M&Ms and make a mess out of the frosting. It was a lot of fun.”

Tappy Lung, another sophomore participant, described her experience as well, “I had a lot of fun attempting to build a gingerbread house. I had a whole plan, but

Contest winners Amanda Chin, Mark Rekutin, and Sydney Schmidt pose with their gingerbread house

 it didn’t turn out the way I wanted to and I got more frosting on myself than I wanted to. But, I still had a lot of fun.”

 

Everyone started out with the same kits, but by the end of the competition, creativity truly flowed and the outcomes were all unique and different. Some houses 

became teepees or pyramids. There was even one that resembled a poptart! Wesley Fong called his creation “a masterpiece”: “It’s a true piece of art.”

Voting took place the following day, December 14, during the lunch periods. By the end of the day, the winner was determined. In 

 

first place came a team of juniors: Amanda Chin, Mark Rekutin, and Sydney Schmidt. In second place was the sophomore team of Fatima Gonzalez, Salma Torky, Rianna Pineda, and Trisha Vinay. In third place came juniors Taylor Teusch and David Abramson. Win or lose, the gingerbread making contest was ultimately an enjoyable time for all!