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Tech & Health

Space Robots at MHS

posted Feb 24, 2019, 1:23 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Ian Creech

The Moorhead Robotics team is an interesting extracurricular activity. They are split into five separate teams, each one tasked with a different aspect of building a robot. “There’s the Electrical group, the Chassis, the Think Tank, the Media, and the Programming Team.” says Robotics Chassis member Andrew Hayes. Each one of these groups has a role within Robotics in order to get their robot working, which Andrew Hayes explained phenomenally.

However, it is important to know what the Robotics team is currently working towards. They are currently trying to design a robot that can participate in a game that is very complicated to explain. In summary, the robot has to be able to manually load “cargo” (which are just brightly colored balls) and be able to screw on windows so the cargo doesn’t fall out when they have to put it in. A much more detailed and accurate explanation can be found in the video (below, above, to the left, to the right, wherever you put it, mr. tichy) Now that the rules of the game have been established, we should go into what each different part of the Robotics team does

When building a robot in Robotics with a goal to perform, it’s very important that the builders of the robot know what they’re trying to build. That’s why the Think Tank exists. “They come up with the ideas for the robot, and how it’ll work in the game itself,” says Andrew Hayes. They’re the brains behind the brawn, in a metaphorical sense. They come up with the ideas, and the next group builds it into a robot.

The second group of Robotics is the Chassis. The Chassis does most of the manual work, and build the robot itself. “We’re given a kit of parts, and we have to build those parts into a body that can compete in the game.” says Hayes, member of the Chassis group. This is what most people think of robotics, when you mention it to them offhand; they’re the people who build the parts into actual functioning robots. However, the robots won’t work with just the Chassis alone.

Another group that is imperative to the robot’s functioning is the Wires & Motors team. “The [Wires & Motors Team] make sure that the motors and wires work properly when installed into the robot, and usually have to fix any problem relating to electricity.” says Hayes. While the Chassis group puts the robot together, it’s up to the Wires & Motors to make sure it works functionally when the code is entered in. Speaking of which…

The Programming Team has one of the most important jobs. They have to write all the code for the robot in order for it to work and be able to perform the tasks it has been set. It’s a pretty difficult job, since coding is not an easy task. To quote Hayes: “This group kinda explains itself, do I really have to explain it?”

Last, but not least, the Media team. They are responsible for a variety of things. “If it isn’t covered by any of the other groups, it’s probably Media’s job,” jokes Hayes. They are responsible for creating and managing the Robotics website, making the pit (the area where the robots are built), and for designing the shirts that the team wears to the events. Bit of a jack of all trade group.

Those are the five groups of Robotics. Each has a very important role within the Moorhead Robotics team, and without one of them, it’s likely the robot wouldn’t get very far. The Moorhead High Robotics team is currently working very hard to finish their robot, as it has to be completely finished in about a week.

YouTube Video

Cell Phones: An Epidemic of Distraction or Connection?

posted Oct 2, 2018, 10:00 AM by Andrew Tichy

By: Grace Halvorson

Walk down the hallways at Moorhead High school today and you’ll see one small object in the hands of every single student: a cell phone. Highly controversial, the topic of phones is debated frequently in schools around the world, with some schools calling for a complete ban. Some students and teachers find them crucial to connection and engagement in class, and others are firm in their beliefs that phones are ruining our relationships and distracting us from things that really matter. When talking to multiple teachers around MHS, many opinions were shared. Among teachers that have been teaching for many years, one crucial theme stands out. They really don’t like phones. Kathy Brekke, the Moorhead High choir director, says that having cell phones has changed the personality of her classroom. “People are afraid to take risks,” she says. “It might end up on someone’s Snapchat story.” Brekke has noticed an increase in anxiety, and a decrease in connection. “Whenever we take a break, the phones are taken out of pockets immediately, rather than having a conversation with the people sitting next to you.” Because of this, Brekke has implemented a “phones off of your bodies and in your backpacks” rule. The clarity and simplicity of this rule makes it easy to follow, and it creates a pathway for students to build real relationships with their peers. However, Brekke is unsure that banning phones entirely from schools is even possible. “Using them between classes is completely reasonable,” she says, “but in class they are very unnecessary.”

However, English teacher Denetre Stetz has a very different opinion. “Phones should be used as tools,” she says. In her classroom, phones don’t work because of bad wifi and reception, which she says is unfortunate. “I use phones all the time for research” she says, so not having access to Internet is a problem. In a past school that Stetz has taught at, phones were completely banned from classrooms. According to Stetz, this was not a good solution. “Kids snuck their phones out all the time because they were banned,” she says. “Here, because they aren’t banned, I don’t have those same behavior problems. I don’t see kids abusing it.” She also comments on how we need to teach students how to responsibly use their phones.  “I think we need to teach kids how to use their phones productively in an environment where they have phones. You’re not going go to your job and lock your phone in a cubby. You’re going to have to figure out how to work through your day and get your stuff done while you have your phone.” Whether our school follows the path of France, who just passed a complete ban on phones in schools, or continues using the list of rules in the handbook that many students aren’t even aware of, it’s clear that phones will continue to be a highly debated issue. As the year continues, students will need to find strategies to use their phone in a positive learning environment, and ensure that their phones aren’t a distraction to their education and relationships. But clearly, teachers of all ages and tenures will be there to help guide, educate on, and model healthy and productive phone use.

Is Moorhead High School Saving the World?

posted May 1, 2018, 6:02 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Laura Jensen

This past Sunday was Earth Day, a day when we celebrate our planet and the ways we can keep it clean. Though there are many things being done on a global scale to clean up the Earth, what is being done locally, and more specifically, at Moorhead High?

It’s hard to say that our school is the most eco friendly, with the constantly running sinks and water fountains and a lack of efficient hand dryers, but there are efforts being done to keep our corner of the world clean. One method involves a little bribery. A student can trade in two detentions for community service time after school. Students go around campus armed with garbage bags and gloves picking up trash instead of wasting time in a classroom.

Another method is making sure the trash doesn’t get there in the first place. A group of students set up a table in the mornings so that any student that doesn’t eat an item they bought  can bring it to the table as opposed to throwing it away, so other students can eat it. This can reduce overall waste produced by Moorhead High.

Recycling is a globally recognized way to keep Earth clean, and Moorhead High is pretty good about having a recycling bin in almost every classroom and some hallways. This encourages anybody in the school to recycle their bottle instead of lazily throwing it away, especially if the recycling bin is right next to the trash bin.

Although our school has some effective ways of saving the world, there is still so much we could be doing. One way is by letting the sun take over. On an especially nice day, teachers should consider moving class outside, if the lesson allows. It saves energy inside the school, but builds energy in the students. Another way is increasing the amount of dusting and decreasing the amount of air fresheners to improve air quality, which would not only be good for the environment, but for students with asthma or allergies.

On an individual level, carpooling to and from school saves gas and reduces local air pollution. You could also bike if the weather allows. And when you go for that morning Starbucks run, consider bringing your own mug. This decreases the amount of waste and can be applied to many other restaurants you may go for lunch. Or just scrap the eating all together for a day and bring a water bottle. One big thing, though, is unplugging all electronics. Don’t constantly be charging your phone. Maybe once or twice a day.

While the ongoing climate change debate is preventing the U.S. from taking many proactive measures against an increasingly inevitable environmental disaster, there is so much we can do to improve the quality of Moorhead, Minnesota, and eventually the world.

Share Table aims to feed students, cut waste

posted May 1, 2018, 6:02 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Fatuma Mohamed 
Just in this country, Americans waste about 165 billion dollars worth of food, according to the National Resources Defense Council, or NRDC. In developed countries, there is a lot food that gets wasted. Food could be donated to the homeless shelters, and can be used for consumption, instead of being wasted. Students at Moorhead High School, in a Study Strategies class of 11th and 12th graders started a share table at the school, where students leave food that they don’t what to eat, instead of throwing away to help prevent food waste. Speaking to the teacher who organized this with her students, Mrs. Olson said “the students started to look up articles and saw other schools starting a share table, and it would be a great idea here.”  Mrs. Olson and her students first went to talk to Assistant Principal Josh Haag to start the share table. After, they collect the food the package it over the weekend and donate it. So far, they have collected and redistributed 33 pounds of food.

Screening against the sun

posted Mar 31, 2018, 7:14 AM by Andrew Tichy

By: Sydney Reierson

As most people know, the sun can do a lot of good things for your body. The weather and the seasons always seem to take a toll on people’s moods and life patterns. Not only does the weather affect our moods and the things we do throughout our day, but it also can affect our physical appearance. The sun is known to do wonders for our skin, but also some not so wonderful things.

Everyone wants to be tan and the summer is the time to go out and try your best to get one. “I always lay on the dock at my lake and hope that I can gain a little bit of color so I don’t look like such an eskimo,” says Paige Mcarthur. I asked her if she knew of anything bad that the sun can inflict on your skin. “I mean I know that you can get skin cancer and stuff like that but I don’t really know about anything else,” she told me.

We are aware that when the sun comes out, so do our freckles, our tans, and our lighter hair. We have also heard about skin damage and skin cancer, too. But there are so many other things that the sun can do to our skin.

One of the things that most people don’t know about your skin in relation to the sun is that the sun is responsible for 80% of premature skin aging, which leads to bad wrinkling later in life. The biggest thing you can do to prevent premature skin aging is using and reapplying sunblock regularly.

Another thing that the sun can do to your skin is actually clear your acne. The UV rays from the sun can actually weaken your body’s overactive immune system (what causes acne and psoriasis) which means less acne and clearer skin. However, it is not a smart idea to rely completely on the sun to clear your face, as the rays do weaken your immune system which is what can lead to skin cancer.

When I told Mcarthur about these things, this is what she told me. “I noticed that when I was outside it cleared my skin but I never knew why, so that’s pretty cool to know. I had no idea that it can cause you to be all wrinkly when you get older so that’s also good to know because that makes me want to be a little more careful.”

There are many things that the sun can do for your body, good and bad. Just always remember to be careful and to always take good care of your skin.. It’s the only skin you get!

Fighting the flu at MHS

posted Feb 25, 2018, 1:40 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Laura Jensen

It’s that time of year again, where tissues are gold, cough drops are candy, and Gatorade is elixir. It’s flu season, but this year seems to have brought the virus to a high. Along with the winter blues comes sniffling, coughing, headaches, and frequent trips to the bathroom. Just make sure you don’t go to the bathrooms at Moorhead High. MHS has a history of gross bathrooms. For years, the sinks haven’t worked properly, only letting you wash one hand at a time, the paper towel dispensers get stuck causing some students to grab used ones out of the trash, and there is no good system in place for keeping your hands clean after washing them. And the students have noticed.

“I would equate the bathroom situation to if you let a monkey go around and throw it’s excrement everywhere,” says sophomore Grant Gervais. It’s no secret that the bathrooms are gross, but how badly does this affect a student’s health?

“Any place where large numbers of people are close together all day can spread disease. Airports, dorms, schools, etc.,” says Heidi Twedt, Physician and Chief Medical Information Officer at Sanford. “There has been a lot of flu this year. But we say that every year. Until most Americans get vaccinated every year, we will continue to have bad flu years."

The flu has been around for at least 500 years, so one would think society has figured out how to live in perfect health and harmony, but Moorhead High certainly does not show it. But that doesn’t mean it can’t start. There are a number of ways schools can stop the spread of germs.

“Schools can encourage good hygiene. AKA everyone wash their hands. You should also stay home from school if you are sick,” Twedt says. A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics adds to this idea by stressing the importance of disinfecting everything and teaching kids at a very early age how to wash their hands properly.

Specifically, there are many improvements to be made in the bathrooms. Many experts recommend a more updated system, including motion-activated hand dryers and a door pedal so no one has to touch the handle after they have washed their hands. It might also help to have working sinks. So, to avoid the spread of sickness around the Fargo-Moorhead area, a little goes a long way.

When does phone use become an addiction?

posted Feb 25, 2018, 1:39 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Kaia Pepsin

When do we call it quits? When do we as human being admit that we have an addiction? Not the kind of addiction that is explained through schools, lectures, and posters. Let’s talk about the addiction that some of us, can’t admit we have. This is a phone addiction.

Some might consider it a unhealthy addiction, some may consider it healthy; it all comes down to what it is doing to your life. Experts say that the increase of technology causes the increase of anxiety, depression, and bullying. MHS Counselor Scott Matheson had some wisdom to share about the addiction. “I talk to people all the time about their phones. It seems like it has become a complete part of their life and so much more. When they become separated, it is hard for them to move on in their lives,” said Matheson. Students in this school agree. It is truly hard for them to let it go.

But when do teachers call it quits? When do they finally say “ No more”? Social Studies teacher Tina Bentz had a few words to say. “I use my phone all the time. I know I’m not addicted because I keep it across the room and don’t think about it until it is important. What I see is some students who won’t leave it for a few seconds and their grades seem to show that,” says Bentz. “As a teacher, I don’t know how to encourage them to take some time away from their phone to be able to focus on the important things such as their grade.”

It’s a addiction that is contagious. What can you do to help prevent it?

Healthy choices important during winter months

posted Feb 25, 2018, 1:39 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Sydney Reierson

Food is a huge part of our lives. It always has been, and always will be. However, our eating habits aren’t always consistent. They change over the seasons; sometimes for the better, but most of the time for the worse. Along with the stresses of school and staying in shape for sports, keeping a consistent and healthy diet isn’t always easy. It can sometimes be quite a struggle to make sure you’re giving your body the nutritious foods it needs.

When it comes time for school to begin, stress begins with it. With stress comes stress eating and stress-not-eating. Sometimes when our lives get busy, we don’t always make the time to think a decent meal through. We grab a granola bar or a fruit roll up and run. This habit, while convenient, can be hard to break.. not to mention dangerous and not without consequences.

“Honestly, I never eat the way I’m supposed to”, says Paige Mcarthur, a student at Moorhead High. “ But during the school year, it just goes downhill even further.” When I talked to Paige, she also told me that her eating habits worsen during sports seasons because of having to get up super early for practice. “Most days I don’t even eat breakfast.” Mcarthur said. “Lunch is usually a granola bar or some chips or something.”

Eating healthy isn’t easy, especially when we’re stressed. It can he hard to find a balance between our busy schedules and nutrition. During the summer months, it’s easier to make time for three solid meals a day, for the most part. “I definitely eat way better in the summer, even though I do miss an occasional meal,” Mcarthur told me. “I think it’s easier to find time for meals in the summer. When you have school and sports and homework and church and music and all those things going on in your life it’s, like, impossible to actually eat.”

Habits of not eating meals or eating small and sometimes unhealthy portions of foods is not a good thing. Eating too much can cause weight gain, but not eating enough or not eating at all can cause weight loss and loss of energy. When you get used to having nothing for breakfast and a bag of chips for lunch every day, your body adjusts to that pattern. So when it comes time to actually eat three meals a day, you can’t. It’s especially bad when you get used to eating all the wrong things every time you do eat something. Just having a bad of chips or a bag of fruit snacks or some kind of snack for your lunch is not the way to go, especially when you have school and sports to attend.

Not eating enough is serious.. more so when you have other things going on in your life. Physical activity requires lots of energy and strength. You can’t get those things by not eating enough or not drinking enough water. When I asked Paige about how she thinks her eating habits affect her performance in sports, she told me this: “I honestly think that part of the reason I feel weak when I’m trying to jump or spin ( she is a figure skater ) is because I don’t have the energy from food to do it. Sometimes I literally feel like I’m too weak to just stroke around the rink.”

Getting enough to eat and eating the right things is vital in order for your body to perform the way it is capable of performing. It will help prevent you from feeling so tired after sports or during the school day, and after school while you’re trying to stay awake doing your homework. If you don’t have the time to come up with a meal, try to grab something that is good for you; fruits, vegetables, protein bars and yogurts are good alternatives to chips and sugary things. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water - this will help prevent headaches from being so tired during sports. Nutrition is important - you only get one body in your life, so treat it with the utmost respect. You won’t be sent a replacement if you ruin the body you were given.

Robotics Team holds fundraisers

posted Feb 12, 2018, 5:39 PM by Andrew Tichy

By: Tyler Wagner

The Moorhead Robotics club (team Spudnik) is a club where the members take the time and resources to build robots. The robots they make are made for competitions. The competitions are usually different each time, with the robots being made to complete a certain task, like picking up a box from an elevated position and placing it in a certain spot to get points. This club currently has around 20 members so far, and is led by Matthew Craig and Hannah Reisdorf. This club usually takes place after school hours and takes place in the industrial arts room in room 125.

To get money for an event, the Robotics Club starts fundraisers including their most recent event at Pizza Ranch in Dilworth. They also sold candles as another fundraiser. The fundraiser itself ended that following Wednesday, where they spent another night working at the same Pizza Ranch.

If you enjoy building robots, competing in competitions, and making friends, then this is the club for you.

Winter clothes drive serves MHS students in need

posted Dec 27, 2017, 6:12 AM by Andrew Tichy

By: Sydney Reierson

We all have those old winter coats that we’ve outgrown and gloves our hands no longer fit into. You might bring them to the Dakota Boys Ranch, sell them, or even throw them away. However, students from MHS decided to contribute and create a new place for you to bring the winter things that you or your family has outgrown.

Over the past week, students from the Avid 9 class have been collecting gently used winter clothes. The clothes are going to kids at our school that are in need of something to keep them warm in this frigid Minnesota weather. We all know that the winters in Moorhead are some of the coldest. Before going outside, we get all bundled up in all our warm clothes so we don’t freeze to death. However, there are more kids than you think that aren’t able to do that.

So many kids walk to school each day, and some of them don’t have access to adequate winter wear. With the winter clothes drive, Moorhead High is able to provide those kids with winter clothes that are able to meet their needs. The more we can do to come together as a school and also as a community, the better.

Together as a school we can make a difference and help those in need. The winter clothes drive is a great way to do so.  It is an awesome way to make Moorhead high a better place by coming together as one to help the people who need it the most, especially in this winter weather that we have. So the next time you grow out of that winter coat, bring it to Moorhead High first.

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