On February 5, the Sturgis East ROVers club invited Jessica Donohue from Sea Education Association to speak about her research on microplastics in the ocean. Through her talk, Donohue hoped to raise awareness about the impact that plastics have on our ecosystem and discuss approaches we can take to help solve this problem.
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic that have been broken up in the ocean. After plastic products enter the ocean, they break down and become smaller, though they eventually reach a point where they cannot change shape anymore (becoming smaller than 5 mm in size). Organisms such as plankton can then be harmed by consuming these microplastics. Subsequently, other aquatic animals in the food web can get sick or die by eating the plankton. Therefore, these seemingly-small plastics can have a widespread impact. It is important that we reduce the number of plastics that enter the ocean to protect all forms of sealife.
Jessica Donohue added that a common misconception about microplastics is that they are most abundantly found near the coast, close to civilization. However, due to large-scale ocean currents, plastics actually congregate in zones called gyres in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. In addition, some plastics do not float near the surface of the ocean and are difficult for scientists to detect, so while the problem of plastics in the ocean appears to be a major issue today, the situation could be even worse than scientists realize.
On the local scale, businesses have begun to shift away from depending on plastic products. Citizens can help reduce ocean pollution by recycling, avoiding using single-use plastics, and spreading the word about this issue. With a greater sense of awareness and urgency to stop the flow of plastics into the ocean, our society can protect our own future and the future of a myriad of aquatic organisms.
Many thanks to Jessica Donohue for visiting Sturgis East to discuss her work. If you have any further questions, you can contact Jessica Donohue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poetry Out Loud 2019
On January 31st, Sturgis East students participated in the school’s Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition. POL is an event in which students from across the U.S. recite poems from memory in front of a panel of judges. Throughout these competitions, students are taught important skills. They develop skills in public speaking by presenting in front of an audience of their peers. In addition, they gain experience in understanding sophisticated poetry and memorization through useful techniques. Students also become familiar with different authors and voices in literature that they may not have previously known. Students have the ability to choose the poems they recite from an official database of hundreds of poems, giving them a lot of freedom to find a poem that they truly enjoy and can connect with. POL leaves room for students to interpret different meanings of each poem.
Each year, one student from each English class in the 9th and 10th grade is nominated by his/her peers to participate in the schoolwide competition. Each student memorizes two poems for the event. Students are judged on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, and accuracy.
As someone who has participated in POL in both my freshman and sophomore years at Sturgis, I have to say that I have benefited from reciting poems in front of my peers. I have learned a lot about presentation skills and how to manage my own anxiety and nerves about standing up in front of a class. While some people may find the whole experience to be nerve-wracking, I believe that it is a useful way to help people step out of their comfort zone and learn about poetry in a dynamic way. Sophomore Hunter Crossman, another two-time participant in the competition, added that “It is really difficult to get up in front of everyone since a million different things are running through your head, but when you get into a rhythm and just start going, it is a lot of fun. It allows you to express yourself in ways you might not normally be able to.”
This year’s winner was Caroline Curran, followed by the runner-up, Andrew Juan (both sophomores). Caroline Curran will be representing Sturgis East at the regional POL competition on Sunday, March 10, at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Yarmouth. The StormWatch would like to wish Caroline Curran the best of luck in the next competition. Also, many thanks to the Sturgis librarians, Ms. Milne and Ms. Prantis, and the English department for putting together this event.
New Film Club at Sturgis East
What inspired you to start Film Club?
“I started Film Club because I want to share my love for film and my behind-the-scenes knowledge with like-minded students. I enjoy exchanging creative ideas with others.”
Have you always been interested in film?
“I have been interested in film for as long as I can remember. It has always been a part of my life, partly because my dad is a film fanatic. Between us, we own countless DVDs, and we love to spend time together watching as many movies as we can. I began to make short films at a very young age (mainly with the assistance of my dad), but in the past five years I have been branching out and making films of my own,. I have even managed to make a few seasons of a short-form television series. A little while ago I realized that, as a sort of pièce de résistance, and to truly make my mark as a young filmmaker, I would need to complete a feature-length film. Now I am ready to fully commit to this project.
What do you plan on doing in Film Club?
“In creating the Film Club, I hoped to recruit as many people as possible to be the behind-the-scenes crew of my feature-length film: a modernized, high school remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby. I already have a small team of people on board, but my goal is to get even more members.”
What do you hope to accomplish in Film Club?
“Of course, our overall goal is to finish the film. Even though the film will take a while to produce, I hope that Film Club will succeed in bringing like-minded people together to do what they love.”
What would you like any new members to know about the club?
“What new members should know about the club is that we accept everyone, no matter what you like to do. Whether your interest lies in writing, directing, costume design, makeup, cooking, or another area, there are a wide variety of ways for members to be involved.”
The Sturgis StormWatch would like to wish the Film club the best of luck in their future endeavors.
Many students find that past experience taking these exams can help ease nerves. “Midterms went pretty well this year because I knew what to expect from last year,” said sophomore Corinne Cole. “I would tell others to definitely study by looking over the review sheets teachers give you because those are good resources for what to expect on the exams.”
Mia Sylvia also noted that her test taking experience from last year helped her improve her study skills, saying, “Unlike last year, I used physical flashcards more than online ones to study. I find real index cards more helpful since I get the extra chance to write down and review the answers and main points before I quiz myself on them.” Sylvia offered some advice for her fellow classmates for exams. “My main piece of advice for students is to not put off studying for the last couple of nights, especially for the tests that you don’t have to take until later in the week.”
It is important for students to use the time after midterms to reflect on their exams. Looking back and reviewing your midterms can help you by revealing gaps in your knowledge as well as where your study habits may have fallen short. Sturgis is a strong community filled with support and resources including peers, teachers, and counselors. Giving consideration to your exam results and using Sturgis’ resources can help everyone be the best student they can.