Tag: Maggie Ju

Centennial Celebrates Diversity at WorldFest

Words: Maggie Ju/ Photos: Harshitha Sayini

The CHS National Honor Society and the Dance Honor Society presented WorldFest, a celebration of student and staff diversity, on Thursday, April 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. It was an extremely successful event, and students could be seen throughout the school.

Most students milled around the cafeteria for the first two hours, where clubs set up to sell cultural cuisine. The Pre-Medicine Club offered mango lassi, the National Chinese Honor Society sold fried rice and dumplings, and ramen was available at the Korean American Student Association table.

In the media center, many students gathered to listen to a panel. The speakers included Dr. Calvin Ball, District 2 councilman; Mona Eldadah, co-founder of Next Wave Muslim Initiative; and Neveen Kurtom, chair of the Howard County Commission for Women. They discussed intersectionality, being part of multiple minority or disadvantaged groups.

Another popular activity was making crepes in the culinary classroom, which drew so many people that the strawberries quickly ran out. Latecomers simply piled chocolate sauce and whipped cream onto their crepes until the ingredient supply was exhausted.

The final event of the evening was a series of performances in the auditorium. Performers socialized with others before the show, admiring their decorative clothing. The theatre room, where they prepared, was a spectacle of glittering jewelry and vivid fabrics.

Representing India in the fashion show, freshmen Anushka Parab and Pratulya Chengala said that previous experiences helped them relax.

“I’m wearing modern Indian attire for the fashion show,” Parab said, doing jazz hands. Her bold red and gold apparel rivaled the bright colors of the dancers’ skirts. “I haven’t done anything like this before, but I’ve gone onstage to dance, so I’m not that nervous.”

Dances, set to music ranging from Bollywood to Blackpink, captivated the audience. Other performances had roots in West Africa, China, and Ireland. It wasn’t just physical talent that was highlighted. Centennial students Mallika Kadabha, Sindhoori Mukka, Arya Bhargav, Avni Patel, Amaka Agbim, and Bibiana Phan all choreographed their dances, an exceptional achievement.

There was a fashion show as well, where students displayed their cultural dress as Mr. Stephen Doff explained the origins. Clothing from all around the world was showcased. Nigeria, Iran, and Haiti were only a few of the countries represented.

Freshman Sarika Kapadia flaunted a turquoise Indian lehenga for the fashion show. After the fashion show, she said of her experience onstage, “It was quite scary, but once you get used to it, you realize that you’re in a supportive and cultural community.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Brightens Up Hallways with Inspire Murals [VIDEO]

Words: Maggie Ju/ Photos: Zach Grable/ Video: Julia Stitely

In the few days preceding spring break, clusters of New Forms art students could be seen painting colorful murals on the walls. Bearing inspiring messages, their work brightens the high-stress environment Centennial students are accustomed to.

The project had been scheduled to begin on March 22, but due to school cancellations, it was postponed until March 27.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

New Forms Art Students Create Inspiring Murals

Words: Maggie Ju

Nineteen students in the New Forms art class will be participating in the Inspire Mural Project, scheduled for Thursday, March 22, but is postponed due to inclement weather closings.

Instructed by art teacher Mark Hanssen, these upperclassmen are creating murals based on Centennial’s values to display uplifting messages to students.

“Mr. Hanssen inspired us to reach within ourselves and create something beautiful while being meaningful,” senior Isabel Trojillo explained. She and other students are working on a design by senior Sophie Lovering, which features the words “Be Kind” in sign language.

“The most important aspect to me is allowing students to see the process so that they can fully appreciate the effort and the values we are reminded of on a daily basis,” Trojillo said, “I cannot wait for our murals to be finished!”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

CHS Theatre Proudly Presents: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Words: Maggie Ju

Centennial Theatre Department students will be performing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in the auditorium at its spring musical. Showtimes are 7 p.m. from March 22 to 24, and 2 p.m. on March 25.

Tickets are $8 online until March 15, but will increase to $12 after. They can also be purchased for $10 during all lunch shifts from March 19 to 23. Tickets will be $12 at the door.

The musical centers on six spellers competing in a prestigious bee; their backstories are revealed through songs as the competition progresses. Complete with audience participation, CHS Theatre’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee promises spectacular entertainment.

The cast includes Matt Sorak, Sabrina Ochoa, Avery Beck, Kieran Newell, Noah Katz, Zoha Faraz, Caroline Pekrul, Carolina Requejo, Nicole Ouellette, Sydney Grossman, Antariksh Tulshyan, Allison Brown, Kai Daley, Grace Rout, Kayleigh Hasson, Sarah Kruhm, Casey Stratton, Myeves Lucien, Akhil Pramantre, Gillian Rossbach, Colton Smith, Ifechekwu Alachebe, and Abby Zoller-Gritz.

The production is directed by Ms. Kathryn Carlsen. Vocal direction is by Ms. Rebecca Vanover, music direction by Mr. David Matchim, and choreography by Mr. Kurt Boehm.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Eagles Celebrate Women’s History Month

Words: Maggie Ju

At Centennial, many students advocate for women’s rights, adding their own impact to women’s history. The month of March was designated by Congress as Women’s History Month in 1987, giving these students a special platform for voicing their ideas.

Centennial has three clubs dedicated to the promotion of women in society: Girl for Girl, Girl Up, and She’s the First. The three clubs combined have around 100 members. They regularly host events to support women and girls in need, both in the community and around the world.

Girl Up board member Emily Addalia said, “For Women’s History Month, our club members wrote morning announcements about different women in history, and what they have accomplished.”

It is widely acknowledged that historical women often faced difficult times simply for being women. Suffragists, scientists, and athletes are rightfully celebrated for their hard-earned achievements, but the everyday lives and decisions of women often go unnoticed.

Ms. Parker, who teaches history at Centennial, said, “When I did have the chance to teach Women’s History, I focused on the unique experience that women have had throughout history and the unique contribution they have made. For instance, birth control does not often come up as an important issue in US history but in a study of women in the 1920s and 1930s, it is a central issue. The choice not to have children for a Depression-era mother was a very serious one.”

In the wake of recent female-empowerment movements, the spotlight of Women’s History Month has shifted to include those who were often excluded by early women’s rights activists: minority and marginalized women.

Freshman Aria Ma, who identifies as bisexual, felt that the month was significant for LGBT women. “People think that all girls have a little gay in them and therefore don’t treat us like we’re real,” she explained. “Having a women’s history month would better give representation, not just for women in general but [also] for bi and gay women.”

Despite the struggles that the month highlights, Addalia was hopeful. “Women’s History Month is an opportunity to celebrate women from our history and our present,” she said, “and to inspire young girls to dream big and accomplish their goals.”

For more information about Girl Up, visit centennialgirlup.weebly.com. Girl for Girl meets during Eagle Time in Portable 1, and She’s the First meets Mondays after school in Room 904.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Science Students Showcase Their Knowledge at Know Your Planet Night

Words and photos: Maggie Ju

On Thursday, March 2, Know Your Planet Night was held in the cafeteria from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The majority of the presenters were freshmen or sophomores who did projects for either Earth and Space science or Biology class.

Along with neat, decorated boards, students engaged audiences with games and experiments. A watershed Spin the Wheel game, a tectonic plate puzzle, and an earthquake impact simulator were some of the creative formats in which topics were showcased.

One eye-catching exhibit was freshman Alexia Moreira’s solar system board game, designed with planets and asteroids on a starry background. Players had to answer a question correctly about a planet of their choice to advance on a trail to the Sun. Cleverly, the prize was Starburst candy.

Sophomore Jasmine Ji and freshman Kelsey Genovese were partners, supervising a hands-on experiment to extract DNA from a strawberry.

“This was one of the coolest experiments you could do with ingredients that are just lying around the house,” Ji said. The materials list included everyday items like dish soap, salt, and rubbing alcohol, and the procedure itself was less than five minutes long.

Genovese agreed and added, “I also like the topic of GMOs and this is a really cool, simple project to help introduce the topic of genetic engineering.”

Freshman Erica Zuo, who worked on a game-based project, said, “I really think that this night was quite successful because we got to educate people on our topic, which was GMOs. We also got to give out food!” The prizes for winning at her board were a generous handful of candy and a bag of chips, drawing dozens of people to her board throughout the event.

As the event came to a close, freshman Sophie Chao folded up her display with a smile. She concluded, “It was really fun, and I learned a lot tonight.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial’s Model UN Takes on Johns Hopkins Model UN Conference

Words: Maggie Ju

36 delegates from Centennial’s Model United Nations club attended the Johns Hopkins Model UN Conference (JHUMUNC) in the Hilton Baltimore from February 8 to 11. Nearly 1,800 delegates, a record high, were present. Organized and staffed by Johns Hopkins’ students, the conference’s six sessions were an opportunity for high school students to simulate international relations while solving issues.

The Centennial delegates, chosen for club participation, had been preparing since winter break to understand their topics. Their hard work came to fruition as they worked in committees, some with as many as 100 people, to write resolutions. In addition to the countless students from Maryland, delegates hailed from as far away as Minnesota and Wisconsin. According to the organizers’ remarks, there were even international students attending the conference.

JHUMUNC, with its formally dressed delegates and professional air, appeared completely serious and rigid, but the laughter and stories shared outside the committee rooms proved otherwise. Highlights included a saxophone solo in the Legal Committee, a Darwinism-based plan in the Special Conference on the Environment and Natural Disasters, and the recurring theme of inappropriate acronyms for resolutions.

Sophomore Sydney Kelley, Centennial MUN’s spring coordinator, said, “I felt that the hardest task as spring coordinator was trying to organize everything. It required a lot of multitasking and communication, which seemed overwhelming at times.”

Each delegate submitted a form with roommate, country, and committee preferences, which meant tough decisions on Kelley’s part to ensure all students got something they wanted.

“It was really motivating to hear that people were enjoying their committee sessions, rooms, and the various JHUMUNC events,” Kelley said.

In the hours between committee sessions, delegates had the opportunity to eat at various Baltimore restaurants, watch musical performances by Johns Hopkins students at a social event, and attend the Delegate Dance.

JHUMUNC was Centennial freshman Lauren Stipe’s first collegiate conference. She exclaimed, “I met a lot of great new people, and my committee even had a moderated caucus for compliments at the end!”

During the closing ceremony, junior Robert Gao and senior Alex Na received the Honorable Mention Delegate award in their respective committees.

Na explained that his initiatives in the United Nations Security Council Committee, including the simulated assassination of Kim Jong Un and support of foreign aid programs, likely factored into his candidacy for the award. Despite his strong points, his confidence wavered when it came to awards.

“Since it was one of my first crisis committees, I never fully grasped the concept of sending directives,” he said. “Because of this, I started to doubt my chances of winning so it was a sweet moment hearing my name.”

Delegates left the conference with smiles, pausing to take last-minute pictures with friends and exchanging contact information.

“I wish I could do it again next weekend,” Stipe said.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.