Robotics Squads Deliver Strong Performances, State Qualifier in Home Tournament.

img_0002-2.jpgBy Tommy Smeltzer

Chaminade’s Eagle Engineering robotics team has qualified a squad to compete in the California State Championship for the sixth consecutive year as team 1138A took home the top award at their home tournament, The Chaminade Showdown. At the same tournament, Team 83A, the Vex Robotics team from Chaminade middle school won the Judges Award.

As in previous years, Eagle Engineering splits off into three distinct teams for the Vex Robotics competition. While all of the students collaborate and support each other leading up to game time, they compete as separate teams in tournaments. During qualifying rounds, matches are played between alliances of randomly paired teams vying for the highest ranking, while judges interview students and study their machines for a variety of awards. Based on the results of nine matches for each team, top-ranked teams then pick their alliance partners for the elimination rounds.

This is the fourth year for Chaminade hosting a tournament on their West Hills campus. Overnight, volunteers turned the Bob Hope Center into a sports arena featuring competition fields and bleachers, pits for teams to work on their machines and a full livestream broadcast setup. All four of Chaminade’s Vex squads competed, along with 28 other area teams.

The teams rebounded from a rough start to the season as tournaments in Bakersfield and Calabasas presented a slew of technical and strategic challenges. Needing a fresh perspective in the two weeks off, team 1138B founding member Anthony Gruppuso ’13 was brought in to inspire the teams to re-think their approach. Gruppuso’s unique leadership style and a keen eye for strategy sent a bolt of energy through the high school squads, and the results were impressive. All three played to their strengths with greater urgency, with the senior-most squad, 1138A leading the rankings most of the day only to be toppled (literally) by the all-girl 1138G in a late round. Both 1138G and 1138A finished in the top eight (4th and 8th respectively), guaranteeing them a spot in the elimination rounds.

Both Eagle teams were knocked out in the quarterfinals. However, the judges chose 1138-A as the winner of the Excellence Award, given to the team with the best performance consistently across all categories. That guaranteed them a berth at the State Championship where they will compete next March for a chance to move on to the World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky in April.

With the season now in full swing, Eagle Engineers have no time to let up. Both the 1138B and 138G teams, as well as the 83A team from the middle school, are more driven than ever to qualify to compete alongside 1138A at the State Championship. All of the teams are determined to improve and refine their machines as they go into their remaining three events of 2018 in Reseda, Granada Hills, and El Camino College.

Eagle Engineering is a student-centered competitive robotics program with a focus on a professional team approach to design, engineering, programming and business challenges. For more information on Chaminade Robotics and how you can support the team, please contact Head Coach Tommy Smeltzer: tsmeltzer@chaminade.org.

Celebrating Respect Life Month

“Today, we remember Saint Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals and the environment. He cared for the poor, the sick, and all creation…” said Mrs. Kate Beskid ’00 on Thursday, October 4, kicking off Respect Life Month at Blessing of the Animals on the Chatsworth campus.

 

Eight miles away, on the West Hills campus students, faculty, and staff celebrated Respect Life Month with a special Mass and candlelight procession. “At the deepest level of our being,”  said Bro. Adam Becerra “there is a thriving force that holds power, wisdom, love, and grace. And that thriving force, is God communicating all that God is, so that we may thrive to be who we were created to be.”

As a Catholic, Marianist school, Chaminade’s CME of Service, Justice, and Peace teaches students to promote the dignity of human life from conception to natural death and to respect creation.  Every October, Chaminade Joins the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to celebrate Respect Life month as one human family and put our faith into action.

Throughout October, Chaminade will emphasize Catholic Social Teaching (CST) principles in the classroom to help develop students’ awareness of the contemporary issues in their world that directly relate to:

  • The Dignity of Human Life
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  • The Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
  • Solidarity
  • Stewardship (Protecting Creation)

The Chatsworth campus will also hold a Respect Life Mass on Monday, October 15 at 9:15 a.m. in the Fr. Allen Delong Center for Arts and Athletics.

 

Students Commissioned to be Agents of Change

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade said, “We are all missionaries, and we consider ourselves on a permanent mission.” In September, high school and middle school students were commissioned to start or continue their journey of service in a special Apostolic Works Commissioning Mass held on each campus. Throughout each Mass, the message was clear, as a community we must continue the mission of the apostles and follow in the path of Mary and become agents of change.

“No matter what type of service you choose, no matter what organization you help, you are making a difference to someone,” said Chaminade student Gia Frank ’23 during her presentation at the middle school Mass. Frank continued to reflect upon her first experiences as a fifth-grader visiting Chaminade for the first time and how one student recognized her trepidation and made an effort to make her feel welcomed. “I just came here in search of a school, but I found a home and family I didn’t know was missing from m­­y life. I have witnessed the power of God’s love through this community, and it is a powerful thing.”

The Mass was not only a call to action but also a reminder that God has blessed us all with unique talents and gifts to help one another. “If there is one thing God gave you that is powerful and cannot be overlooked, it’s your voices. What you do well, and what you are passionate about, is what makes you special. It is what makes you…you, and it is what makes you a servant leader.”

The Apostolic Works Service Learning Program is rooted in the Catholic, Marianist tradition of being in alliance with Mary’s mission: to nurture Christ in others and communities to transform the world by giving service to those in need through various methods of outreach. It empowers students to discern their gifts and apply them to organizations that expose them to life situations different from their own to become agents of change. From middle school through high school, students will experience a progressive growth in their responsibility of service from one grade level to the next. The program also spurs students to question why service and transformation are necessary, what changes have to be made, who needs to be served, what motivations move one to serve, and how adaptations and changes might be practically affected. Students discover an opportunity to connect the knowledge or skill they learn in a classroom with how it can be used to help others or transform conditions in their community.

Click here if you would like to read Gia Frank’s full reflection.

Chaminade Hosts 2nd Annual Oktoberfest

Chaminade’s second annual Oktoberfest is Saturday, October 6, 2018. This year’s festivities, hosted by Chaminade’s Gala committee at the Marianist Community House in West Hills and sponsored by Laura and Michael Galieote, feature authentic German food, beer, music, games, and other fun activities.

“It’s a great community builder,” says Chaminade’s President, Rob Webb “parents from both the middle school and high school attend and it draws our community closer creating that family spirit.”

Chaminade’s Oktoberfest is a fundraising event leading up to the Chaminade Gala Benefit and Auction in March. All proceeds directly benefit student programs on both campuses. “We had so much fun,” says Karen Friedman, who attended last year’s festivities with her husband, Adam. “The food is great, and the music is  fun, people dance and best of all, it’s a great way to help our children’s school.”

Guests can either bring a Gala auction item valued at $50.00 or more per person or pay $50.00 per person at the door by check, cash or credit card. Click here to RSVP today!

Calling All Volunteers!

 

Homecoming is coming up on Friday, September, 28. Chaminade Eagles will face Bishop Amat Lancers. The annual festivities include a midway of food booths and Boosters spirit wear sale.

Chaminade needs parent volunteers for food booth ticket sales, set-up, and clean-up. Click here to sign-up today for booth volunteer opportunities.

Additionally, volunteers are needed for Boosters clothing sales during Homecoming. Please sign-up here to help Boosters.