Southern School Notebook: March 31

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Cape students earn spot in national Science Bowl finals

A team of high school students from Cape Elizabeth won their regional competition for the 2017 National Science Bowl earlier this month and will advance to compete in the NSB National Finals this spring in Washington, D.C.

A series of 116 regional middle school and high school tournaments were held across the country from January through March. Winners will advance to represent their areas at the National Science Bowl from April 27 to May 1 in Washington, D.C., for the final middle school and high school competitions.

The NSB brings together thousands of middle and high school students from across the country to compete in a fast-paced question-and-answer format where they solve technical problems and answer questions on a range of science disciplines, including biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physics and math.

The top 16 high school teams and the top 16 middle school teams in the National Finals will win $1,000 for their schools’ science departments. Prizes for the top two high school teams will be announced at a later date.

DOE’s Office of Science manages the NSB Finals competition. More information is available at http://bit.ly/2mPJKWv.

SPHS jazz bands take home honors from state festival

The Maine High School Instrumental Jazz Festival, hosted by Nokomis High School on March 17 and 18, brought schools from across the state to a two-day festival of music and competition. Competing in small combos and large ensembles, students were adjudicated by professional jazz musicians and jazz educators.

South Portland High School brought two Jazz Combos and two Jazz Ensembles to the festival under the direction of Craig Skeffington. In addition, SPHS brought home top awards in many categories.

Under a newly adjudicated system, which awards gold (95 or above), silver (90-94) and bronze (85-89) medals to bands for achieving appropriate scores, the first day of performances saw both the SPHS Jazz Band II and Combo B awarded silver medals. Receiving an Outstanding Musicianship Award for Jazz Band II was sophomore Alex Rowell on tenor saxophone, and receiving the inaugural Dale Huff Superior Musicianship Award for Combo B on trombone, sophomore Max Saffer-Meng. Later in the day, Combo A was awarded a gold medal and honored two Outstanding Musicianship awards to junior Thomas Costin on piano and senior Owen Doane on trombone.

Living up to stellar jazz performances in the past, the SPHS Jazz Ensemble was awarded a gold medal for its performance and three musicianship awards during the second day of the festival. Recognized for Outstanding Musicianship Awards on lead trumpet, junior Jesse Pearlman, on alto and soprano saxophones, senior Ellen Stanton. Awarded the Dale Huff Superior Musicianship Award on trombone was senior Owen Doane.

The evening’s performance showcased six gold medal bands, qualifying from a field of 33 jazz ensemble groups. Taking the stage were gold medal performers, beginning with the SPHS jazz ensemble, who entertained the crowd with “Surfin’ the Big Wave,” written by Skeffington; a ballad, “Lifelong Friends,” by Kris Berg; and a crowd favorite, “Gaea,” by Nate Kimball. Other gold medal performers were George Stevens Academy, Greely, Hampden Academy, Old Town and Westbrook.

SMCC hosting spring open house

Southern Maine Community College is hosting open houses this spring at its South Portland Campus and its Midcoast Campus in Brunswick for prospective and accepted students, families and anyone with an interest in SMCC.

South Portland Campus Open House will be held 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 8 at 2 Fort Road. Learn about academic programs and financial aid, meet faculty and tour the ocean-side campus. For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/1hTgJSm.

CEHS advanced placement students make D.C. trek 

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and independent Angus King welcomed high school students from Cape Elizabeth to Washington, D.C., on March 22. The annual trip by the AP Government class allows the students to meet their senators and congressmen, attend congressional hearings, and tour the Capitol building.

“We are delighted to welcome these students from Cape Elizabeth High School to our nation’s capital,” Collins and King said in a joint statement. “D.C. is filled with educational opportunities, and we are glad that these bright young Mainers have the chance to augment their studies by seeing the legislative branch firsthand.”

The students were accompanied by Cape Elizabeth Principal Jeff Shedd, Social Studies Department Chairman Ted Jordan, and Technology Integrators Ginger Raspiller and Carolyn Young.

Trivia bee to benefit Project G.R.A.C.E.

Have you heard the buzz? The place to “bee” on Tuesday, April 11 is Wentworth School, where middle school students will see which team will correctly answer the most questions in a trivia contest. In addition to the Jr. Trivia Bee Championship, homeroom teams are competing for Best Costume and Best in Category, including history, math, science, geography and pop culture. 

“The Jr. Trivia Bee is on track to be another one Scarborough’s hallmark events, bringing friends from all around town together in support of our kids and Project GRACE’s mission of helping our neighbors,” said Kiwanis Builders’ Club student adviser, Ian Engleman. “It’s an evening of fun and goodwill, but one that showcases the talents of our kids.”

Students participating in the Builders Club have been busy organizing the event, the third hosted by the group. The Kiwanis Builders Club is local service organization of middle school students. The Jr. Bee also builds support for Project G.R.A.C.E.’s immediate needs funds, which helps students whose families are unable to afford essentials like shoes and warm clothing, personal hygiene products, and snacks and student lunches during the school year.

Admission is free, although a suggested donation is $2. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the competition begins at 6:45 p.m.

Members of the South Portland High School jazz bands brought home several honors following the Maine High School Instrumental Jazz Festival, held March 17 and 18.

Alyssa Desveaux and Kristina Jutras, both of Scarborough, visited the State House in Augusta on March 23 to serve as honorary pages for the day in the Maine Senate. With the students is Sen. Amy Volk, R-Cumberland.

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