Author Archives: Hannah Quarnstrom

Cinco de Mayo Party

This year is the third year Mr. Montes’s Spanish classes will be hosting a party to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The Spanish one students will decorate the halls and the Spanish two students will be cooking traditional food. This is always a fun time to take a break and enjoy Spanish fun.

The party is an opportunity to have fun and learn about the Spanish culture in a different way. It’s an exciting time with school winding down and may term coming to have a party.

Kids are excited to cook traditional foods like tacos, nachos, and traditional Spanish cake and cuisine.

Josie Schlosser will be making fruit smoothie drinks while Sophie Crowell will be making churros. Sydney Welsh will be making Guatemalan rice. That’s only just a few off the dishes that will be served for the event.

Although the idea is already highly anticipated this year, Mr. Montes is still hopeful for the tradition to continue and already finding ways to improve the event. Mr. Montes spoke about an idea for next year, “next year the French kids could put up a table.” he said eagerly hoping to expand the event.

The party will be during fourth block and will be lots of fun with foods, music and decorations. Come and enjoy Spanish culture and food.

MCA Testing Inconvenient or Worth While?

With the MCA flung on students and the rumors going around that the MCA’s don’t count towards graduation, students are curious whether it is even worth while. Some students complained how last year was so much preparation while this year not so much. Students barely even knew about the testing until Monday night. Also people wondered if this even counts toward graduation because of the rumors that are going away next year.

Well this truth about that is

Although MCA’s are old school and somewhat a waste of time, they are necessary as of this year. However is it really necessary to have a morning of testing and then 40 min classes after?

How are you supposed to learn after just putting all your energy into a test that might not even count for anything? Not to mention that your lunch was shortened by ten minutes.

Sophie Cloutier (11) said this about advisory being shortened advisory being shortened was pointless. We were separated for 160 minutes of no talking today. Our advisory was well deserved.

Seniors don’t even show up, freshman get to watch movies. Many sophomores/juniors are upset by that fact and think it is unfair that others get to slack of while they have to test. They are wondering where there fun is. Also they were also angered by the fact that they were held in classes for way to long and could finish the whole test but weren’t allowed to. Then tomorrow they have to do it all over again what this makes no sense.

The silver lining is that next year there will be no MCA’s and just an ACT, which is required for College anyways.

NLA Robotics Going to State

In North Lakes Academy rookie year of its robotics team the Huskies were able to place 4th overall. In the semifinals NLA was beat out by Nordic Storm. When leaving the competition they were told they had a very good chance at making it to state. Last weekend they finally got the official word.

With the huskies win loss record of 8-2 and there amazing wins in the championship rounds allowed them to be 15th in the state. This is quite amazing because of the fact there are 185 other teams in the state.

The Huskies beat out teams like Green Machine, The Robettes, and Blue Twilight, three of the biggest names in robotics.This is quite impressive, not only because they are rookies, but also because they didn’t have a thrower. This competition was basically based on throwing to score.

Doing well at state is not only important because of the state champion title that is at stake, but could also allow the NLA Robotics team to qualify for the state fair competition in August.

First however the Huskies must fix their catcher frame, bumpers, and sponsor board. The team must also talk about adding more weight vs. more speed and talk about height to defend against throwers.

The team is also very happy to compete because they have a chance to destroy Nordic Storm, the team that beat them out for nationals.

The team is very proud to represent North Lakes Academy and are very optimistic for the future of Husky Robotics.

See you at competition on May 17



NLA Break-In Update

Last week, on March 22-23, there was a theft at North Lakes Academy. The iPads and Kindles were stolen leaving teacher’s lesson plans ruined because of the stolen technology. Dance Tech was also robbed, and a decent sum of money was taken from them.

Many students were startled when the cop cars were seen outside. Initially, many thought it was just a drug dog because the NLA staff wouldn’t let the students leave their classrooms.

Some students commented on how last year a similar event occurred  Last year, around this same time, there was a break in at the dance tech door. This break in last year was aimed toward Dance Tech, not NLA. However, this year the robbery seemed to be targeted more towards NLA then the Dance Tech Studios.

The robber entered through the new Gymnasium construction, and now the area has been sealed off to avoid another break in.

Although our technology was stolen, Mrs. Saunder’s wanted to announce that “No student data or other important things were stolen, only the students use of technology was stolen.”

And the good news is the insurance will pay for them to be replaced, but the school might decide to just buy new chrome books because you can do more on them compared to the iPads.

The good news is that no matter what happens everything will be fine. No student data was stolen, and the police are on the case. NLA will soon have more technology, and the school will be back to normal.

NLA Robotics Update

The Nasa NLA Robotics Team was able to compete at the Lake Superior regional on March 6-8. The team departed for the competition after school on the fifth, packing the necessary supplies in the trailer and began traveling to Duluth for the tournament.

After putting the robot in the pit area and dropping of their suitcases in the hotel the team went to the Duluth Adventure Zone for a pizza party from there sponsor Snap-on. The team had an Andrew vs. Andrew dance dance revolution competition.

Andrew interview

Then pizza and pop the team returned to the hotel to sleep before the ensuing chaos. The next morning the team walked to the DECC and began the inspection process.

For the competition, they first weighed the robot. It weighed 50.2 pounds, the lightest at the competition. Then, measuring the perimeter found it was perfect. The team then returned to their work area for the rest of the inspection. After checking the wires, batteries, and electronics found that there bumpers where to low. So two hours later, and after a lot of drilling, screwing, measuring the team passed inspection. A quick computer switch solved all their tech problems and off they went.

Around 2:00pm they went to their first and last practice round and won. This victory put the team in a good mood and high spirits. They then packed up the gear to return tomorrow to compete. Half the team went back to the hotel while the other half went shopping.

Friday morning the team began their qualifying rounds, winning the first four. This put huskies as the number one team at the competition. Sadly, they lost the next rounds do to being down one robot. After another day and a half, they were in seventh of fifty seven teams.

In robotics the top 8 teams are called alliance captains and pick two other teams to join there alliance. In the end the NLA team was the 6th alliance captain, due to two alliances teaming up.

After lunch the championship rounds began. The Team won the first and lost the second. This began an intense round to get that two out of three wins needed to get to the semifinals. After an insane battle, the NLA team made it by one point with a triple assist and were overjoyed.

The alliance was so proud and began the semifinal rounds losing the first, making it a struggle to stay in. The team made the decision to switch out their robot for another shooting robot hoping it would help them point wise.  Thinking they had one from the scoreboard results made the team challenge the ref’s decisions when they said they hadn’t won. The team told the head ref that they played differently when ahead but they would not let them replay the match. In the end the team lost by three points and went home a little upset.

All was not lost, it is still possible the team will be eligible for state. The chances are quite good for this and hope to do as good or better as they had done in Duluth. Like the judges said “5290 was the Cinderella team of the competition” and they will get their happily ever after.

3d printer items now available for purchase

The Nasa North Lakes Academy rookie Robotics team  was able to purchase a 3d printer. The team was able to do this by spending their credits from Andy Mark on the printer. The group hopes to raise more money for the team by getting students to purchase items created from the printer.

It only costs $1 for every 10 minutes the item is being created on the 3d printer, so $6 per hour. This means you could buy a small husky head for $3 or a larger one for $12. There are countless 3d printing files across the internet, so possibilities for creating an item are almost endless.

Also the middle school art teacher Mrs. Gatez found an app that allows people to make 3d files of anything around you. Just ask Mr. Nelson, the 3d printer just created a model of him.

If you are having difficulties finding ways to create an item for the 3d printer, talk to NLA Science Teacher Paul Good.

The hope in selling these items is to create enough of a profit to buy small tools or supplies. If the Robotics team can attract enough business, they will be able to buy on a larger scale, purchasing items like a new computer or even parts for a new robot.

Carissa Morris (10) says “it’s exciting, we might even get to support ourselves.”

It’s very exciting for NLA to have a 3d printer but it’s even more exciting to be able to create and purchase items from it. North Lakes Academy is becoming a very well known school with great technology opportunities.

Frustration Over the New Gym

Many students have become quite frustrated with the delay on the gym and the promises that were made to them. Students were promised with the new gym by the 2013/2014 basketball season, but now the season is coming to an end and the gym is only partly finished. Students are also questioning the sponsor NLA was supposed to have, and also wondering how NLA will come up with the money to finish the gym.

The promises have been made but where’s the truth. NLA students are wondering when we are truly going to have this gym. The reason for the delays is due to the unusually cold winter, but students are hoping that they will finish it soon.

According to Mrs. Saunders “The hope is to graduate the seniors in the gym but, there is a deposit on the church in case”

Students are also wondering what happened to the sponsor that was supposed to help pay for the gym. Students were told if there was family support, the sponsor would pay the other half. Now NLA is trying to raise money for the flooring, and students are becoming concerned on what is actually happening.

It  has to do with the law. Charter schools can’t own their own buildings. So the owner of this building is our sponsor for our gym. The owner is only donating money towards the creation of the outside, and it is up to the NLA community to raise the rest for the inside interior.That’s the reason why NLA is trying to raise money for the inside now.

Even though there has been many delays and struggles to have this gym, NLA must have hope in the creation of the gym.

Formal Dress Shopping

With the winter formal only days away, formal dress shopping has begun.  A lot of girls went shopping over the four-day weekend to find the perfect dress that just might get them a slow dance with that special guy.

Dresses come in many styles and colors. For some reason, however, black – for part or all of the dress – seems to be a trend this year, along with flowing, sparkling designs.  Fancy purses or clutches are a popular accessory.

It is not often that a girl does not find the perfect dress – though they often don’t find exactly what they were originally looking for. Josie Schlosser (10) was looking for a blue dress and ended up with a black one. This is not always a bad thing – sometimes a girl finds the best dress that way.

To find dresses, NLA girls went all over.  Macy’s, JCPenney, and stores at the Maplewood Mall were common. Some even ventured to the Mall of America.  But the day was not done with finding the dress; some, like Sophie Crowell (10) and Maddy McDonough (9) plan to travel even further to find the right jewelry, makeup, and shoes.

Although accessories are not the most important part of formal dress, they can really make the outfit.  Schlosser not only found black wedges, but a gold clutch and belt, along with matching black earrings and a necklace.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how you find the dress.  Maybe it’s not your first choice or you just happen to find it, or your dad picks it out.  Formal Night is always a fun time; it’s always enjoyable to dress up and dance with friends.

Hope to see you at the dance – with or without bells – on February 15.

The 8th graders are coming the 8th graders are coming

Once again, it’s that time of year: Shadow Week. With the horror stories of kids getting lost and shadows running around the school, its effectiveness has come into question.

One point of Shadow Week is to help incoming students learn where everything is.  Last year, however, construction to the school left many students – even seniors – confused where classes were.  Many classroom locations have changed since then and this year’s freshmen claim that their Shadow Week didn’t help as much as they thought it would.

Some believe that for future freshmen, spending a day in high school is too overwhelming; they don’t retain anything about the building even when things stay in the same place.  Most students claim that’s not true – it is an effective way to learn the layout of the building and get advice from an experienced peer in an non-stressful, creative manner.

Another issue with Shadow Week is  how enjoyable it really is for the incoming students.  Getting out of math or science is appealing, but then being thrown into a math and/or science that’s a year ahead usually isn’t the engaging, fun experience 8th graders are looking for. Most students agree that isn’t fun.

Also, it’s hard to get a good idea of what a class or teacher is like from such a short experience.  Emma Sosa (9) didn’t enjoy her time in Tom Lutes’ English class during her Shadow Week last year because she didn’t understand his sense of humor.  Now, after being in the class for awhile, she does get it and it’s better.

There are many fond, often goofy memories of Shadow Week, however.  Sosa (9) states that former art teacher Joelle O’Keefe was funny and cool. Two years ago, many incoming 9th graders (now sophomores) got lost in all those walls back by the bathrooms and drinking fountains, recalls social studies teacher Chris Stewart.  And it is fun for the Upper School students to break out of our old routine and help the incoming 9th graders. As a school, we feel it is a very effective and creative way to show future students around, show off the curriculum, and make them feel at home.

Robotics Team Updates

The NASA NLA robotics team is preparing to catch, pass, and move in pre-programmed mode.

The team, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has been issued its challenge for the year.  A “challenge” is the operation that teams must get their robot to perform in the competition.  This year’s challenge is called “Aerial Assist” and is basically a mix of volleyball and soccer played by teams of student-created robots with a two foot diameter exercise ball. Teams must design a robot that can pass, throw, catch and/or score the ball.

The team is much farther than last year in week two of the six weeks they are permitted for robot construction. The NLA team already has a plan of what they need to do and how they need to do it, and already have the frame and wheels of the robot completed. All the robot needs to move now is programming.

In the next four weeks, the team must program the robot, which is a very slow process due to the downloading. They also must build a box that can catch the ball and add bumpers to hold the ball.

Paul Good’s goal, the team’s adviser, is to assist the alliance members and to actually score this year. He believes the team is doing well for being down two days, due to the harsh Minnesota cold. The team members hope to win a few matches and place better than last year; perhaps they will be chosen for the championship round.

The game of “Aerial Assist”

The game to be played is as follows.  The field is divided into red, white, and blue zones.  In the red and blue zones there are goals and in the white zone is an obstacle called a “trust”, a bar that bots can travel under.  If you can throw the ball over it, you score points. Also, you can catch it. Catching is important, according to Good: no catch, no points.

Six robots will perform per round – three on a “red” alliance and three on a “blue” alliance. The alliances switch after every round; one robot could be battling another and then the following round they could be allies.

The team has two major sponsors, which is new this year.  NASA paid for the competition in Duluth, while Snap-On Tools gave the team a brand new toolbox, including tools to help with construction of the robot. With these sponsors, the team was also able to purchase a 3D printer with their extra credits from Andy Mark.

The team is very excited to display its robotic prowess.  Come to see the competition March 6-8 at the Deck in Duluth.