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.”

Middle School Players Present Luck of the Draw – an Improvised Musical

The Chaminade Middle School Players will be presenting Luck of the Draw – an Improvised Musical in the Fr. Allen DeLong Center for Arts and Athletics (Chatsworth campus). Come witness Luck of the Draw cast members take on the challenge of combining improv and musical theater based on strictly on audience suggestions! No two performances are alike and all story lines and songs are completely original! Roll the dice and come see Luck of the Draw!

Performance dates are:

  • Thursday, May 11 at 7:01 p.m.
  • Friday, May 12 at 7:01 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 13 at 7:01 pm

Tickets are $10, and may be purchased online.

 

Bro. Skip Continues to Inspire Chaminade Students to Serve

After Bro. Skip’s passing in December 2016, several students proposed putting together a Chaminade service project to keep his memory alive. The inaugural event took place on a Saturday in March, and more than 100 students and faculty from both campuses served three organizations, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, MEND, and Heal the Bay.

The day started in Campus Ministry (West Hills), and the group joined in prayer before leaving on buses to their destinations. The Student Council sponsored bus sponsored headed to the Food Bank, the largest in the United States serving several millions of people each year. Students helped by sorting donated foods and checking expiration dates and quality of canned foods before sending them down a conveyor belt for packaging. By the day’s end, they sorted 29,737 pounds of food!

MEND Poverty volunteers cooked meals and worked in the organization’s mailroom. Their work doubled as a cooking lesson, and they had an opportunity to taste the food MEND clients would be served the next day. This bus was sponsored by Chaminade’s Caring Hearts and Homeless Hearts Clubs.

The Key Club and Environmental Eagles Clubs joined forces to sponsor the third bus, which took Chaminade students and faculty to participate in Heal the Bay activities. With more than 1,000 other volunteers, including Chaminade’s middle school students, the group worked to keep Southern California’s beaches clean.

Chaminade Service Day happened thanks to the efforts and commitment of Keegan Coppola ’17, Nick Sederlin ’17,  Monty Balleweg ’17, Cristian Puente-Ortiz ’17, Tina Najm ’17, Erin Fabian ’17, Tina Pan ’17, and Alec Simoni ’18. High School Principal, Bro. Tom Fahy; Director of Campus Ministry, Shawna Sedik; and Director of Student Activites, Julie La Belle helped the students to determine how the day would unfold. The students each took ownership of a specific project, promoted Service Day, led ice breakers on the bus, and served as group leads at each service site on the day of the event.

Each service group had an amazing experience and impacted their local communities through a few hours of service. Campus Ministry and Student Activities hope to continue to offer Chaminade Service Day, work more with the middle school, and double the number of students who will go out and keep Brother Skip’s legacy alive.

Funds raised during Chaminade Gala’s fund-a-need on April 8 will establish the Bro. Skip Matthews Apostolic Works Endowment. This endowment will help fund projects like Chaminade Service Day, which will ultimately enhance one of the most important parts of the educational experience at Chaminade – Apostolic Works.

 

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

holmes_outside_team-2

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.