More than just a Science Class

Story originally published on March 23 2017 on lakecentralnews.com

By taking their notes and applying them to real life, Mr. David Harnish’s, Science, Honors ACP I Chemistry class started part of a lab that reinforced what they just learned. This lab is an example of Mr. Harnish’s hands-on teaching method used in his classes.

“[This class] gives the students an opportunity to learn a lot about chemistry, but also to do chemistry. I’m a big believer in that you have to do chemistry; it’s an interactive thing. I don’t want them to memorize a bunch of information and spit it back to me, I want them to use it for something,” Mr. Harnish said. “We just finished a section on chemical equilibrium which can be a very dry topic. What they’re doing now is creating an equilibrium and they’re going to alter it just like they did on paper but now they get to see what it does. Th[is] equilibrium they’re doing, is nothing like what they had in their notes; it’s a new thing so they get to apply what they learned in that to this situation.”

The hands-on learning aspect of this class comes from the amount of labs performed by the students. It is one thing to learn the material, it is another thing to apply it.

“We do about 20 labs a year. The labs are definitely a big point. I think the [students] like the lab work because it not only gets them up and doing something, they also can see how what we’re doing in the “lecture” fits in real life,” Mr. Harnish said.

Honors ACP I Chemistry is more than just a dual-credit class. It is a chance for interested students to take a college course right at Lake Central.

“It’s a dual-credit class through Indiana University Bloomington so it’s an actual IU class that is accepted at all IU campuses, anyone in that state that is a public university and then outside of Indiana, whoever takes IU credit. Normally this class would be done on campus in one semester. At the high school level, it takes the whole year to get through the course. Essentially, this is Honors Chemistry, but with additional topics you would not normally see in Honors Chemistry. This is a good class for anyone going into the sciences, like medicine, and of course students who want a lot of lab experiences,” Mr. Harnish said.

Honors ACP I Chemistry student Safia Mohiuddin (10) enjoys being able to perform these experiments in class. She credits Mr. Harnish with her understanding of the different topics they learn.

“My favorite part was getting to work with the chemicals and see them in action. Mr. Harnish is a great teacher and makes it easy to understand everything. He does a great job of that,” Mohiuddin said.

Dancing with the Centralettes

Story originally published on Feb. 1 2017 on lakecentralnews.com

The Lake Central Centralettes hosted their annual dance clinic on Jan. 29. While still making time for laughs and smiles, the clinic gave the younger girls a chance to be a Centralette for a day.

“The Centralettes have always been tremendous ambassadors of goodwill for LCHS. This goodwill exists not only because of our achievements both locally and nationally, but because selflessness and mentoring are as important today as they were 20 years ago. 2017 marks the 22nd year we have hosted this clinic for our community. Many of our Centralettes are former Junior Centralettes. They understand their role in mentoring young dancers who may someday stand in their proverbial dance shoes. It is because of this mutual benefit, the connection we have with our community continues to flow both ways,” Kevin Mathis, Dance Director, said.

This clinic provides benefits not only for interested Centralettes, but current Centralettes as well.

“The purpose of our clinic is to make dance accessible in a safe and friendly environment. It introduces the community to our team while allowing our dancers the opportunity to reconnect with the community of a personal level. It reminds our dancers why they choose dance as their sport,” Mathis said.

There were three age groups at the clinic: Preschool/Kindergarten-third grade, 4th-6th grade and 7th-8th grade. The younger girls were able to show off their hard work during the Parent Show at the end of their session.

“The kids were so excited to show their parents and vice versa. I think the kids really picked up the dance well, so we impressed a lot of people,” Maisie Westerfield (9) said.

There were a few challenges getting the girls to break out of their shells, but at the end of the session, the smiles on their faces proved that the hard work paid off.

“It was difficult getting them to be quiet and listen since they are little [and] they love to laugh and talk to us and the other girls. My favorite part about today was bringing the shy ones out of their shells and seeing them have fun and also hearing how they wanted to become dancers like us. They really are the future of the Centralettes,” Hannah Hopkins (11) said.

Just Keep Swimming

Story originally published on Dec. 5 2016 on lakecentralnews.com

The varsity girls swimming team competed against the Valparaiso Vikings on Nov. 29. The meet ended with a final score of 91-95, Valparaiso.

“As a team, I think we all did phenomenal time-wise. [We] really raced our hardest. We can focus on what did wrong in our races to better those areas and [to] practice even harder,” Savanna Spears (11) said.

Since this was the first meet of the season, the girls are already thinking ahead on ways that they can improve. The girls are willing to focus on smaller details to help with the big picture.

“I think that this meet showed how close it can come down to and how every detail counts. We will definitely be working on details like fast starts, dolphin kicks and just finishing hard,” Mia Rinaldi (10) said.

Aside from team performance, Kallie Higgins (12) had a successful meet as an individual. She ended the night with a new pool record.

“I currently hold the pool record, which is my personal best. Tonight, I beat that by one point. I was pretty consistent with all my scores and I beat my personal best, which is the new pool record now. I’m pretty happy with that even though it’s a small improvement,” Higgins said.

The girls learned from this experience and are ready to improve for next time. The biggest lesson they learned is the importance of every swimmer on the team.

“We may have lost, but I think the team went out and did our best. I think we can all learn that we have the potential to do really well this year, but we are going to have to work our butts off. From this meet in particular, we learned that every point matters and that no matter what heat or race you’re in, you matter to the score and the team,” Sara Erwin (12) said.

I’ll Still Feel You Until the Moment I’m Gone

Story originally published on Nov. 21, 2016 on lakecentralnews.com

On the night of Nov. 13, the Castle Marching Knights Band suffered a tragedy. On the way home from Bands of America Grand National finals, Castle’s singer and flute soloist, 17-year-old Sophie Rinehart, passed away in a car accident along with her father and grandmother.

“It’s very tragic. This was Castle’s first year making it into finals, and instead of getting last place in finals, they got tenth, so they moved up. She did get a good experience before she passed, but it’s still awful,” Nikolas Rivera (11) said.

This accident drew the attention of many people, even the attention of singer Sara Bareilles who’s song “Gravity” was featured in Castle’s show. After the accident, hashtags like #singforsophie and #weareallcastle trended around the band community.  Many even wore blue, part of their marching band uniform colors, to show their support.

“I personally think this is a good idea to show support because the band community is a very close one. When we lose one of our own, we all mourn together. I also know how close of a community Newburgh [Ind.] is. My grandma has been telling me about how the entire mood of the community has changed. For such an event to happen to such a young, talented performer is horrible,” Jacob Bailey (10) said.

The Lake Central Tribe of Pride was one of the bands who showed support for Rinehart and her family. At their annual potluck, Jacob Bailey (10) organized something special for Castle.

“Lake Central is going to be making donations towards the Rinehart family. We are also writing letters of support to the Castle band family. We plan to hopefully deliver a picture of our band [wearing blue] down there as well. I want to show Castle and the whole town of Newburgh [that] we are standing with them,” Bailey said.

Bailey plans on delivering these messages, donations and the picture to either the Director or Assistant Director of Castle. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it’s important to remember to not take things for granted, and to honor the memories and people who they have touched.

“Sometimes it’s reassuring to know you’re not alone in a terrible situation like this. When people in this activity are able to come together and show their support and love, it’s meaningful, and I think it’s worth it. It just proves how we should all be thankful for who we have and never take anyone for granted and just cherish the people you have,” Hayley West (11) said.

Setting up for Success

Story originally published on Oct. 24, 2016 on lakecentralnews.com

On Oct. 20, the varsity volleyball team played against Highland at Munster High School. The girls defeated the Trojans in the first round of sectionals 25-21, 25-23, 25-19.

“In the beginning of the game, we were struggling with connection but picked it up and ended up winning in three sets,” Linda Morton (12) said.

The girls credit the outcome of the game with work done in practice.

“Practicing certain rotations that needed work really helped us to side out fast and keep the lead. It showed up in important moments when we needed the points the most,” Morton said.

In the beginning of the season, goals were set to help pace the entirety of the season. As their season thrives on, the girls are still working on the remainder of their goals.

“My goal was to try and contribute to the team as much as possible and to win in sectionals. I accomplished the first goal, and we’re currently working on the second,” Morgan Calligan (12) said.

The girls remain hopeful as the end of the season comes near.

“I’m hoping the end of this season brings a sectional title and great memories,” Lauren Stearns (11) said.

Biting the Gold

Story originally published on Oct. 11, 2016 on lakecentralnews.com

On Oct. 1, the Varsity girls and boys Cross Country team competed at the DAC. The boys took home second, with Joseph Copeland (11) earning first.

“As soon as I crossed the finish line, my face broke into a huge smile, and I put my finger up in the air,” Copeland said.

Copeland worked hard to prepare for this event, even until the night before. The outcome of the event taught him lessons he will remember for next year.

“I made sure to drink plenty of water a few days before, and [I] got a lot of sleep the night before. [Next year,] I’ll keep in mind that I can’t go out too fast in the first mile,” Copeland said.

Though it took a village to help Copeland get to where he is now, positive energy was a key factor.

“My teammates and coaches helped me by believing in me and telling me every day that I was going to win,” Copeland said.

It was an exhilarating moment for Copeland and one that he will never forget.

“After crossing the line, I felt like I could still run five more races. I felt great,” Copeland said.

Losing Steam

Story originally published on Sept. 16 2016 on lakecentralnews.com

On Fri. Sept. 2, the Lake Central football players played against the Portage Vikings. The Indians traveled to Portage to face their opponents on their own turf.

“We felt the energy from the Portage fans, but it was an environment we weren’t used to playing in,” Joshua Benson (12) said.

Tied at the end of the first two quarters and leading the third, the boys were full of hype. The third quarter was especially memorable for the offensive line.

“[The most memorable moment was] definitely the last drive. When you get to the fourth quarter with a lead, as an offense, all you want to do is ice the game and win it,” Anthony Giles (12) said.

The energy the boys had in the third quarter was not carried through to the fourth. The game ended with Portage winning 33-36.

“I think we came out with low energy, and we made too many mistakes, which were correctable on both sides of the ball. When it was time to make a play, we failed to finish,” Benson said.

Besides the outcome, the members agree that there are things they need to work on. At the end of the night, a few lessons were learned.

“Two three-point losses feels terrible. [We] have to regroup and see what we can do to get better. We now know [that] if we come into an away game with no energy, we will get punched in the mouth,” Giles said.

The boys next game is this Fri., Sept. 9, at Crown Point.