Staying Engaged: Freshmen, Sophomores, Staff

I’ve been checking in with freshmen and sophomore students and staff this past week about how they’ve spent some of their time given the extraordinary turn of events we’ve all experienced in the last couple of weeks. Not as many responses from them as I had from juniors and seniors, but they are staying busy. I asked each student and staff member the following question(s):

“What have you been doing to stay “engaged” in your life and learning lately given the abrupt shift we’re all experiencing? BTW: Learning doesn’t necessarily mean studying. For instance, I’ve been working on my guitar and bass playing, listening to audiobooks with my family, and taking gloriously long walks each day. Would you be willing to share a photo or video to provide context for the activities you’ve been engaged in?”

  • Aiden Bai (9): Recently, Ashton D, Naoto, Ben S, Mr. Jiang, and I created a online platform. It’s essentially a platform that allows students, parents, and Camas families to exchange necessary information and materials during the COVID-19 situation. It initially started out as a 10 hour hackathon, but we’ve been continuing development because of the potential of the idea. Website:
  • Sunny Wang (10): I’ve been spending most of my time practicing piano, and I am working on learning several new programming languages and how not to feed in league. I am also sleeping over ten hours a day which feels amazing.
  • Jennifer Roberts (Staff): I have to say as an introvert I have felt like Zoom and other digital resources has provided for more opportunities to engage and connect with kids and staff on a more individualized basis this past week. I have been sharing how to use Book Creator, practicing the features of Zoom, and frequently updating the class google sites with all the resources teachers are sharing across the nation. And yes- to be perfectly honest- I have still been obsessing and reading about the Coronavirus studies. It hasn’t been all work though, I have had a chance to learn how to use my rock tumbler, brought home 4 baby chickens from LJC and all the school pets to monitor from home- and put in 2 new algae eaters into my inside tank. I am about to start growing some plants with my youngest- four our seed germination lab time! I have enjoyed the opportunity to help out my parents more than I have been able to in the past, getting them groceries and taking their puppy Cooper in for his vaccinations. My youngest sister keeps posting workweek hustle challenges on our Fitbit apps- so I am out walking to get my steps in- so far I have not been winning 🙁 I do miss seeing all your smiling faces quite a bit!

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Staying Engaged: Juniors and Seniors

I reached out to our juniors and seniors earlier this week to see how they’ve spent some of their time given the extraordinary turn of events we’ve all experienced in the last couple of weeks. I asked each student in that group the following question(s):

“What have you been doing to stay “engaged” in your life and learning lately given the abrupt shift we’re all experiencing? BTW: Learning doesn’t necessarily mean studying. For instance, I’ve been working on my guitar and bass playing, listening to audiobooks with my family, and taking gloriously long walks each day. Would you be willing to share a photo or video to provide context for the activities you’ve been engaged in?”

We had a remarkable range of responses covering everything from traditional studying, canoeing, painting, crocheting, etc. Here’s a compilation of some of the ways in which time has been spent:

  • Victor Wu (12): Well…I spent the first week probably just goofing off and either wasting time. I think I got sick of it a few days ago because I missed the structure and schedule that my day used to have. So as a result the past few days I’ve been scheduling time blocks to accomplish certain tasks: AP Prep, classwork, revisiting old subjects, practicing languages, drawing, exercise, music. I think something I enjoy right now is being able to have control over what I want to do in the day and how much time I wish to spend. Digital art, something I haven’t really been able to delve into now has time to be worked one. I can practice kendo more now that swimming is canceled
  • Justine Pendergraft (12): I’ve been playing a lot of Minecraft and some D&D, learning how to play the guitar, and doing a lot of gardening (I’ve got about a dozen seedlings from acorns I collected in Ashland and downtown Camas in the fall, as well as a few other types of trees). I’ve got a few projects I’ve always wanted to do, so I’ll probably be working on those in the next few weeks.
  • Chloe Higgins (12) I’ve also been practicing guitar! As well as painting postcards, making jewelry, cooking, singing, and reading Shakespeare! Oh I also started a fashion Instagram where I can document my outfits! If quarantine is like the dark ages, then I’m gonna come out of it ready for a renaissance!!
  • George Walker (11) Working on guitar playing. I’ve also been softmodding my 3ds and am working on a port of a cpp compiler for it.
  • Faith Bergstrom (11) I’ve baked bread twice this week, and I’ve also been crocheting and embroidering. I’ve been listening to podcasts while doing that too. I just ordered Animal Crossing, so I’m looking forward to playing that
  • Daisy Wagner (11) I’ve been working on improving my art skills, by painting and doing digital art! I even started an art Instagram account to post things.
  • Julian McComie (11) I’ve finally had the chance to read like I used to; right now I’m reading the Count of Monte Cristo and Scientific American. I’ve been watching a ton of Jeopardy to make up for the surely cancelled state tournament. I drove up to the Gifford Pinchot forest and walked around for a few hours. I went canoeing alone overnight a few nights ago on Lacamas Lake. I greatly underestimated the length of Lacamas Lake, but I told myself I would go from one end to the other and back. I took me about 3 hours, and it was 36 degrees outside.
  • Ryan Glaze (11) I’ve been sick the whole time so I’m just sort of here, but I’ve been listening to music and when I get better I’m gonna make the best of the situation, I’m not sure how yet though
  • Sophia Nelson (11) I have been using my free time to paint! I never have much time during school unless I sacrifice a few hours of sleep, so I’ve been enjoying having time to work on painting and drawing.

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2020 SWWRSEF Results

Last Friday, March 6, 2020,  33 CHS/MST students competed in a variety of categories at the Southwest Washington Regional Science and Engineering Fair at Washington State University Vancouver. Students presented their research to judges and the community and brought home a ton of prizes. See the full listing below:

Students Project Title Awards
Seung Choi, Minjae Dang, and Kevin Klave Viability of 3D Printed Casts in Modern Medicine: Are they really better? Engineering Mechanics-1st Place
Aiden Stewart and Andrew Wessel Aquaponics: Food of the Future Plant Sciences-1st Place
Ricoh Sustainable Development Award
Ashton Doane, Robert Spencer, and Sunny Wang Automating Music Transcription Through Machine Learning Systems Software-2nd Place
Justine Pendergraft and Gareth Starratt Implementing visible and thermal imaging techniques for Disease and invasive species analysis in forestry. Environmental Engineering-2nd Place
BPA Tour Award
Aiden Bai, Minwoo Dang, Austin Shin Filtering Microfibers Environmental Engineering-Honorable Mention
Naval Science Award
Stockholm Junior Water Prize
Paige Frawley, Ava Wagner, and Stefanie Valent-Musleh Chemically Modifying Plastic to Facilitate Degradation by Mealworms Earth and Environmental Science-2nd Place
U.S. Air Force Award
Sarah Luo, Ananya Pattamatta, and Selina Zou Analyzing Chemical Content of Water in Camas, WA Earth and Environmental Science-3rd Place
Sydney Apacible, Lucia Jiang, and Ting-Syuan Lai The E. coli-Eating Mushrooms Microbiology-3rd Place
Anabel Jiang and Lena Trieu Using Micrococcus luteus to Sustainably Dye Cloth Microbiology-Honorable Mention
Lisel Shyam Is the amount of mold and the type of preservatives used related? Microbiology-Honorable Mention
Pauline Do and
Natalie Ge
The Healing Capabilities of Trichoderma reesei in Concrete Materials Science-3rd Place
Imogen Hinchliff and Rose Kuhle Naturopathic Preventions for Escherichia coli Biomedical and Health Sciences-3rd Place
U.S. Agency for International Development Award
Katrina Le, Vivian Lu, and Ishan Mehta Algae Biofuel Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design-3rd Place

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2020 Service Project Update

We’ve put together an impressive 25 strong group of volunteers from Magnet kids, staff, family, and friends to serve on behalf of Share, Inc. in this year’s Vancouver Couve Clover Run. Mrs. Jarvis and Mr. Greene are volunteering this year by running the race with a group of students. Consider supporting Share by making a donation to our racing efforts and helping us to meet our goal while also helping Share take care of some of Vancouver’s/Clark County’s most vulnerable citizens … Let’s Go!

Donate here: 


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Couve Clover Run Service Opportunity

We typically try to do at least one service project per year as a group to support our community, build community, and to instill in our students the importance of service.

This year we’re partnering with Share of Vancouver to provide event help for the Vancouver Couve Clover Run on March 22nd, 2020, from roughly 8:00 am -12:00 pm. We’re looking for students, staff, friends, and family who would like to serve in one of four possible ways. We are offering to help with packet pick up, general clean up, and in serving as “course marshals” who help direct race traffic. And we also have the option of doing service by volunteering to run on team Share and trying to raise money for them (free registration). We are looking to partner students with parent and staff volunteers so that all students will serve with an adult they/we know during this event. I’m told that all volunteers will receive a shirt, too, but I’ve yet to hear the final confirmation on that. Event info:

If you think this might be something you, your parents, and friends might be interested in doing to help a local organization who helps to take care of some of our community’s most vulnerable members, then sign up here:

By the way, what does Share do in our community? “At Share, we provide a spectrum of services—from the Outreach team on the streets to emergency shelters and free nutritious meals, to the Backpack program feeding hungry children and subsidized housing for low-income individuals and families, to a matched savings program and permanent housing, and so much more.”

What does Share get out of this? Share gets a donation from event partners when they reach their volunteer quota, so we’ll be able to help them out by being “their” volunteers for this event.

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Class of 2021 Swarthmore “Fly in” Opportunity

Current juniors: Are you interested in a free fly-in program to Discover @Swarthmore? Come to 710 or email Mr. Greene to nominate you! Learn more about it here:
Also, check out this historical post about Gabe Mukobi’s (CHS/MST, ’18)  fly in experiences: Gabe Speaks: CHS/MST Sr. Reflects on Fly-in Visits at Four Major Universities
“Discover Swarthmore, held each fall, is our all-expenses-paid overnight fly-in program for high-achieving high school seniors. Admissions pays for all transportation, meals, and on-campus housing expenses for students selected to attend one of these programs. Participants experience Swarthmore firsthand as they attend classes, stay with current students in our residence halls, eat in the dining hall, and go to campus events. Prospective students hear from faculty, staff, alumni, and current students through a series of panel discussions and informal conversations.”

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Duke Computational Biology Webinar Series

A former student of mine and CHS grad recently contacted me about a cool opportunity in the field of computational biology offered this spring by Duke University.  What’s computational biology, you ask? Well, in her words, it’s the “intersection of biology and computer science”. Although she never imagined she’d have a career in a field like this, she’s found her passion in this field working at OHSU, stating that it’s “opened so many doors for her.” Check out the full flyer here: Duke Computational Biology Webinar Series

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CHS Poetry Out Loud 2020!

Performing in front of a packed house in CHS rooms 706 and 710 on January 22nd, students from several CHS English classrooms convened to recite poetry in our 2020 CHS Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition. CHS senior Bailey Grubbs took top honors with an awesome interpretation of Jimmy Santiago Baca’s I Am Offering this Poem. Magnet sophomore Nathan Sutherland was close on her heels with his soulful interpretation of Caged Bird, by Maya Angelou, which earned him runner up honors. Congratulations, Bailey and Nathan, as well as to all the other contestants and the six school competition finalists, including two other MST students, sophomore Emily Elwell and freshman Aiden Stewart! Bravo!

In order to advance to the CHS school competition, Bailey, Nathan, and the almost 20 other students participating first had to qualify in their respective English class competitions. By virtue of winning the school competition, Ms. Grubbs advanced to the regional competition, held last night, January 22nd, at the ESD 112 in Vancouver, WA.

On a historical note, this marks the 13th anniversary of CHS involvement in this national recitation/interpretation contest. We estimate that approximately 500 CHS students have participated in the school competition, not to mention 2500+ students in the various classroom competitions held at CHS over the last 13 years. Long live the spoken word!  

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MST 2020 Admissions Timeline Updated

See below for important dates in the 2020 admissions cycle.  For more info on specific requirements, please visit our Admissions Portal.

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2019 December to Remember Grad Panel

Each December our freshmen and sophomore students present their 1st semester project study progress to a panel of staff and program graduates. It’s one of the highlights of our year, as graduates returning home from college, grad school, work, get to spend time with family and friends and also reconnect with our program and help give feedback. After formal presentations from the students, our grads participate in a panel where they share their post-high school experience with us. This is one of the three panels that took place in our three presentation rooms.

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