Eagle Engineering Tops World in Programming Challenge

VEX Worlds 2017

Christian Gideon ’19, Eagle Engineering programmer, earned the top score in the world in the Robot Virtual Worlds Vex Online Challenge this spring, earning his team a berth to the 10th Annual VEX Robotics World Championship. Beginning in early fall,  teams traditionally compete at the local level in hopes of competing at the state level, then going to the World Championship. Gideon’s performance earned the team the unique opportunity to get straight to the Championship.

“I got to meet the company that designed the online challenge when we received the award onstage.  The designer of the game told me that I just edged out a team from China!” said Gideon in Louisville, Kentucky.

Nine students from Chaminade College Preparatory’s Robotics Team 1138 spent their Spring Break in Louisville, picking up their sixth overall World Championship Level trophy and competing at the highest level for the third consecutive year.  The three-day competition is the largest gathering of STREAM (Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts & Math) students in one place, as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2016. Teams compete head-to-head in tournament play and are judged not only on design and functionality of their robot, but also in a variety of areas including driver skills, programming and coding skills, engineering process, community outreach and presentations.

Eagle Engineering is comprised of more than 60 Chaminade students. While they compete as a team in a sport for custom-built machines, the program operates much like a business. Students develop skills in more than just technology; including leadership, project management, PR/marketing, business, service, design and communications.  During the team’s most intense six weeks of the year called Build Season, robotics students can be found working long hours in the Bob Hope Center several days each week.

So why not get a part-time job?  “This is a job! “ Gideon said, half-jokingly. “ A lot of my friends are there and I am getting real-life experience.  I also like the competition aspect of Robotics.  And it’s a family.  I started with Mr. Clark in 6th grade, then spent two years with Coach (Harry) Hosaka at the Middle School.  Now I am with Coach Tommy (Smeltzer) at the high school.  I am really happy to be part of this family.”

Chaminade Mock Trial Makes History…Again

Chaminade Mock Trial has accomplished what no team from Los Angeles County ever has: they reached the semifinals at the California State Championship two years in a row. This is on top of their history-making victory in November 2016; a back-to-back Los Angeles County Championship in the senior division, and a concurrent first-place win in the junior division.

As was the case last year, the Legal Eagles first had to prevail in the largest county Mock Trial competition in the country, and defeat more than 90 different teams. No school has ever repeated as Los Angeles County Champion in a field of this size.

Winning qualified the team to represent Los Angeles County at the State Championship held in Riverside. From the beginning, Chaminade was considered one of the teams to beat. In their first round, the Prosecution Team defeated the county champion, Justin-Sienna High School (Napa). In Round 2, Chaminade’s Defense Team faced and defeated former State Champion Redlands High School (San Bernardino). The Defense was called upon again in Round 3 to win against former State Champion and reigning Sacramento County Champion Elk Grove High School.

Wins in the first three rounds secured the Legal Eagles a spot in one of two semifinal rounds against Shasta High School (Shasta). In their third match of the day in a packed courtroom, Chaminade was narrowly defeated. However, their 3-1 record and scores secured Chaminade fourth place overall at State. This is ahead of former State Champions and Mock Trial Powerhouse schools Menlo, Tamalpais, Riverside Poly, Centennial, Redlands, Elk Grove and La Reina.

This year’s case was People v. Awbrey, where the Defendant, Cameron Awbrey was charged with the Human Trafficking and False Imprisonment of the chef of his new restaurant, a young immigrant from the fictional country of Tanterra.

Three members of the team were recognized for their performances during the competition, including Bryce Hurless ’17 who received the most outstanding witness award for his portrayal of the Defendant Cameron Awbrey. Others receiving recognition include attorneys Samantha Bader ’18 and Louis Gerny ’18.

The members of the 2016-17 Mock Trial Team are Maxwell Newman ’17, Conor Fairtlough ’17, Spencer Levitt ’17, Lexi Afradi ’17, Veronica Mansour ’17, Christine Gotthardt ’17, Christopher Azarloza ’17, Bryce Hurless ’17, Kristina Marter ’17, Samantha Bader ’18, Louis Gerny ’18, Rebecca Steinberg ’18, Spencer Delgado ’18, Hannah Sellfors ’18, Bryce Shirley ’18, Claire Fairtlough ’19, Isiuwa Omoigui ’19, Julia Wilson ’19, Brenna Cheney ’19 and Chloe Johnson ’19. The team is coached by Jennifer and Bert Bader.

 

8th Grade Debate Team Takes Championship

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Chaminade College Preparatory’s 8th grade Debate Team took first place as the top overall school at the Quad League Championship Saturday, March 18. This was the biggest and most competitive tournament of the year with schools from all throughout Los Angeles. Out of 90 teams, seven Chaminade teams placed in the top 25, including the team of Camila Gaona, Cameron Hunt, and Gavin Villalobos who went undefeated! Other teams placing include the team of Izabella Gandara, Madison Marker, and Armen Ajemian; the team of Hannah Hayes, Serena Gill, and Brendan Teehan; the team of Skylar Takac, John van der Wel, and Chandler Moutes-Lee; the team of Dylan Barsoumian, Karan Singhvi, and Andrew Langrudi; the team of Zane Naso, Azi Hormazdiari, and Trey Topping; and the team of Leroy Freelon III, Dario Cardenas, and Bailey Sellfors. Seven debaters were recognized as Top Speakers for the tournament, including Chandler Moutes-Lee, Katherine Schultz, John Van der Wel, Andrew Langrudi, Azi Hormazdiari, Trey Topping, and Bailey Sellfors who was the Top Speaker for Chaminade. 

The Debate Team will conclude their season at the Golden State Debate League Championship in April.

Team 83: Holmes International VEX Robotics Tournament Champions

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Eagle Engineering fielded two teams at the Holmes International VEX Robotics tournament on Saturday, February 18. Team 1138B from the high school, and Team 83 from the middle school were part of the 42 teams who battled for prestige and the chance to qualify for California State Championships.

After qualifying rounds, both teams placed in the Top 10, and entered playoffs. At this point in the tournament, the top teams form alliances between three robots, for a total of eight alliances. During alliance selection, the number one qualifying team selected Team 1138B and Peninsula High School Team 3050B. Team 83 was seeded as the number five seed alliance captain and selected Malibu High School Team 224X and HiTek Team 12180B. Both alliances won their quarterfinal rounds, and Chaminade’s two teams were forced to face each other in the semi-finals.

After a hard-fought three-round semi-final, Team 83’s alliance was the victor; and their win put them in a finals showdown against the number two alliance of Harvard-Westlake, Champs Charter and Calabasas High School. Ultimately, the number five alliance pulled an upset in two straight matches, and emerged as Tournament Champions.

It was an impressive performance by the number five alliance. Team 83 was one of two middle schools in the alliance, and their group of three was comprised of teams ranked seven, 20, and 28.

The win automatically qualified Team 83 to the California State Championships in March.

 

Chaminade to Hold its First Alumni Hall of Fame

On February 4, 2017, Chaminade College Preparatory will host its first Alumni Hall of Fame and celebrate the achievements of Kate (Lospalluto) Beskid ’00; Meghan Hawthorne ’10; Conor McCullough ’09; Kevin Pillar ’07; and Captain Duncan Smith, USN ’76. Previously, alumni athletes and distinguished alumni were honored during two separate ceremonies. The new tradition combines both events and recognizes graduates for their professional achievements, dedication to the school, and service to the community.

kateAfter graduating from the University of Arizona in 2004, Kate Beskid ’00 returned to her alma mater as a 7th-grade religion teacher. For the last 13 years, she has served the Chaminade community in many ways—teaching, coaching cheer, working with Student Council, and much more. In 2009, Kate, along with Annette (Dietel) Damien ’01, founded the middle school’s SHINE program. She was the chair of the religion department for eight years and is currently Chatsworth’s director of campus ministry. Kate is part of the Marianist National Program and served as their regional coordinator for the Pacific for three years and works with the national LIFE program as well.

meghanMeghan Hawthorne ’10 was a record-breaking swimmer for Chaminade. She won titles in the 100 butterfly (2010), 500-yard freestyle (2008), broke the CIF-SS D1 record for the 200 individual medley (2010), and was named L.A. Daily News Swimmer of the Year in 2008 and 2010. She was a two-time All-American Swimmer at the University of Southern California, and reached the Pac-12 Championships finals seven times. As a member of the USA Swimming National Team, she reached the final of the 400 IM during the 2012 Olympic Trials and earned a silver medal in the same event for the United States at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia. Meghan is retired from swimming and is in her second season as assistant swimming and diving coach for Boise State University.

conor_olympic-trials-medal-picBy the time Conor McCullough graduated from Chaminade in 2009, he held five national hammer throwing records and a 2008 World Junior Championships silver medal. He continued his athletic career first at Princeton University, then at the University of Southern California. In 2010, he won the USATF Junior National competition and secured his first international gold medal at the World Junior Championships. While at USC, Conor won the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championship. He made his Team USA debut in 2015 and finished second at the USATF National Championship and earned a bronze medal in the hammer throw at the Pan-American Games. Conor represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was the highest ranking Team USA athlete for the hammer throw.

pillarKevin Pillar ’07 was played football, basketball, and baseball for Chaminade, and earned first-team All-CIF honors in each sport. He continued his baseball career at California State Dominguez Hills as an All-American center fielder. As a freshman, he had a .379 batting average and set the NCAA Division II record with a 54-game hitting streak in 2010. During the 2011 Major League Baseball draft, the Toronto Blue Jays selected Kevin, and he made his debut on August 14, 2013, against the Boston Red Sox. He was named the 2015 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year and was a Golden Glove finalist. In 2016, Kevin was again a Golden Glove finalist, received the Fielding Bible Award, and was nominated for the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award.

d-smithCaptain Duncan Smith, USN ’76 is a Navy SEAL and American hero. An involved student at Chaminade, he ran cross-country and track, played on the tennis team, took photos for the yearbook, competed in Speech and Debate, and served as senior class president. He graduated from the University of Southern California, and after a year of working and cycling in New Zealand, he worked as a stockbroker. Duncan later joined the Navy and became a Navy SEAL in 1986 with BUD/S Class 137. He served as an officer in Special Operations platoons at SEAL Teams One and Five before transitioning to the Navy Reserve while attending the Anderson School at UCLA. In September 2001, Duncan returned to active duty in Naval Special Warfare where he has served with distinction the last 16 years. Captain Smith’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Action ribbon, and both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaign medals.

To attend Chaminade’s inaugural Alumni Hall of Fame event, please purchase tickets online.