HHS clubs host Green Fair to inform about sustainability

T
he HHS Green Ops and Key clubs hosted a Green Fair on Friday, April 17 to celebrate Green Week after Earth Day.

This is the first time that Green Fair has been an event held at HHS. In previous years, Green Ops hosted guest speakers to discuss environmental issues.

“[The purpose is] to teach students about different things that they can do to make our community a greener place and also educate them about different issues that are going on in our environment,” club president and senior Emma Chan said.

Club members and officers set up various tables and handed out fliers related to sustainability and raising awareness about environmental issues, junior Helen Wang said. They had guest speakers and worked with a variety of clubs to provide information regarding Green Week.

“We had Design It and Engineering club make posters and we had FBLA hand out reusable bags,” Chan said.

The bags were a great success overall, Chan said. This got students more excited to learn information about sustainability in our community.

The activities offered to students, thus allowing for multiple learning opportunities, is what makes Green Fair unique, Wang said.

One way that sustainability was taught to students was through a “smoothie bike.”  Green Ops officers, such as Chan, participated in pedaling a bike in order to generate enough power to blend eco-friendly smoothies to show that saving the environment can be delicious.

Speech and Debate attends Stanford Competition

Members of the HHS Speech and Debate Club attended a competition at Stanford University Feb. 9-11. 17 students participated in the competition and many of them placed extremely well, club member and junior Govind Menon said.

The Stanford Invitational is the largest and one of the most competitive tournaments that the club will attend this year, club president and junior Noah Thurm said.

Stanford is our biggest tournament of the year, with 283 schools from 28 states and 6 countries competing,” Thurm said.

Thurm and his partner, junior Eric Cheng, participated in the Parliamentary event.  They went through three elimination rounds, and made it to Octafinals, the round before quarter finals.

There were two different types of debate: Parliamentary, which is a partner event with a tight 20 minute preparation period and Lincoln-Douglas debate, which is a solo event that involves a 10-15 page case, Menon said.

“The best way to practice debate, in my opinion, is to actually debate with others and gain knowledge from opponents,” Menon said.

Menon and his partner junior Valerie Hu placed in quarterfinals for the Parliamentary event, placing in top eight out of 131 teams.

I became a better speaker that weekend, and developed stronger opinions about certain issues such as the government shutdowns and debt ceiling, standardized testing, and public versus private prisons,” Hu said.

Economics competition continues reeling in students

The Economics Club was formed on campus recently to unite students who love economics as well as to help students prepare for the Economics Challenge, senior Rithika Srinivasan, a member of the Club, said.  

In the Economics Challenge, commonly known as EconChallenge, teams from across the state and country compete to become nationally recognized.

The categories that the team must be knowledgeable in include micro-economics (business and personal decisions), macroeconomics (how countries make decisions on a nationwide level) and current international relations, Srinivasan said.  

In order to compete at a higher level, teams must first take an online qualifying exam.  The top five teams from each region then move on to state championships. From there, teams progress to competing at national level, Srinivasan said.

During these competitions, teams are tested on their knowledge in a variety of ways; this includes a quiz bowl round and multiple online tests.

In 2017, two teams from HHS (“Geekonomics” and “Spice and Rice”) attended the EconChallenge, and both ended up placing at both state and national level.

This year, two students from each previous team, Srinivasan and senior Rebecca Zhu, are joining to form one of the 2018 teams.

The team spends multiple months ensuring they will be well prepared for the various tests given to them, Srinivasan said.

“Our team uses the Barron’s book and this website called ACEC Economics … they have a lot of really good graphs and equations and just really good information,” Zhu said regarding their preparations for EconChallenge.

This year the team would like to improve their overall communication compared to last year, Srinivasan and Zhu said, good communication is vital for performance as a team.

If one is interested in economics, the EconChallenge is a great opportunity for anyone to join in and have fun while learning about the subject, Srinivasan said.

Spotlight: Speech and Debate Club

 

Public speaking is a tricky thing to master. Thankfully, there are clubs created to help students with speaking such as Speech and Debate Club. This club helps others improve their public speaking skills and gives opportunities to compete against other schools.

Speech and Debate club has been a small part of Mustang life for many years, but was brought back with more intensity in 2012.  

This club is open to all, and there are no tryouts, which is meant to encourage all kinds of students to join, Club President Noah Thurm said.  Students with no public speaking experience are welcomed as equally as students who have been avid public speakers for years.

Members of speech and debate regularly attend meetings and workshops in order to improve their public speaking and prepare for competitions, which occur throughout the year.  Competitions happen multiple times in a school year and include a variety of events, so everyone can find something they like.

“We offer six to seven speech or debate events the people can join. We have meetings here where we teach them and help them learn how to do the event,” Thurm said.

The club has different types of events that club members can participate in. Thurm takes part in more complex events where participants are not given their topic awhile beforehand and only have about 20 minutes to prepare their debate. The judges give the contestant a topic that is highly profiled in the media and the contestant must adamantly discuss his or her stance on the topic.

These events and workshops that Speech and Debate Club provide help students expand their knowledge and better prepare for the future. This club is devoted to helping young students to learn the art of public speaking.

Club spotlight: Mock Trial

Motivated students take part in Mock Trial in hopes of bringing justice to all.

Mock Trial is one of the many clubs around campus that competes at conventions. The team is given a case and prepare arguments for their side with their attorneys and witnesses in time for competition season. This rigorous club helps aspiring lawyers get a little taste of what a future in law may hold. This year, the case in question is a murder trial revolving around liberals versus conservatives.   

Tryouts are held in the beginning of the year and students that seem best fit for the team are recruited. The Mock Trial team is a very committed and motivated group of students, Mock Trial Adviser Susan Wilson said.

The team works for six months on one controversial case, such as the murder trial this year. This murder occurred in an immigration rally involving the protection of hate speech, a current problem in the world today.

The team devotes over three hours a week on Fridays until February when competition season begins.

During these weekly meetings, students are trained by attorney coaches who help prepare each student for the upcoming scrimmages and competitions. The main competition the Mock Trial attends is in the San Jose Superior Court, which is held mid-January this year.

Wilson said the whole experience for the team is very similar to what happens inside a real courtroom.   

“In a real courtroom with a real judge … real lawyers score the kids on everything from public speaking, how they raise objects to how believable our witnesses are [and] if we are dressed in proper courtroom attire,” Wilson said.

Mock Trial is more than just a basic competition club, it is a group of determined students hoping to learn and help others. These students have been working very hard and will hopefully bring a win to HHS.